BP Clothing, the garment center-based women’s apparel company that until recently held the license for the Baby Phat trademark, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Like many of its competitors, BP Clothing suffered from poor sales and rising costs of raw materials.
The company, which listed its 6,500-square-foot showroom headquarters of 530 Seventh Ave. in the filing, but also operates an office in California, cited assets of around $57 million, and debt exceeding $93 million. BP Clothing primarily operates the Susie Rose brand at Walmart, though it also manufactures Te Amo and KLS. In 2010, it discontinued its Fabulosity line with department store J.C. Penney after just two years, and earlier this year surrendered operation of the BP Clothing line, which was founded by Kimora Lee Simmons, to Phat Fashions, owned by Kellwood Co.
Last year, BP Clothing generated sales of $81.8 million, a 14% decline from 2009, and a 34% drop from 2008, according to the filing, which attributed the slide to “decline in overall demand within the retail industry sector due to an overall weak U.S. economy, depressed retail and wholesale prices and increased production costs due primarily to the sharp rise in cotton prices worldwide.”
It was unclear whether the garment center showroom will remain open. Calls to the business were unreturned, and landlord Savitt Partners did not respond to a request for comment. Michael Fox, an attorney with Olshan Grundman Frome Rosenzweig, who is handling the bankruptcy filing on behalf of BP Clothing, said the company has not yet decided what to do with its New York showroom.