The other shoe has finally dropped for Nine West.
The mall-based retailer, which also owns Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt and Bandolino, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday.
Teetering under $1.6 billion in debt, Nine West succumbed to declining customer traffic at department stores and malls as well as self-inflicted wounds, including a “lack of fashion-forward products and design missteps,” according to the filing.
Nine West follows in the footsteps of The Walking Company and Bon-Ton Stores this year and Aerosoles and Payless last year.
Founded by the late designer Vince Camuto, 40-year-old Nine West generated $1.6 billion in revenue last year. It hopes to sell its Nine West and Bandolino brands and to reorganize its Anne Klein and Jeanswear businesses.
“This is the right step to address our two divergent business profiles,” said Nine West Holdings interim chief executive, Ralph Schipani in a statement. “We will retain our strong, profitable and growing apparel, jewelry and jeans wear businesses.”
Licensing firm Authentic Brands Group wants to acquire the footwear and accessories division associated with Nine West and Bandolino brands and plans to submit a bid for $200 million, according to the filing.
“The perception of the brand is Middle America,” ABG’s CEO, Jamie Salter, told The Post. “It’s a good product for a good value. What we need to do is give it more excitement, but it has a good foundation.”
ABG, which just bought the Nautica brand, also owns the rights to Juicy Couture, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.
Nine West secured $300 million in financing to fund its operations, which includes 1,500 employees in the US, during the reorganization.
Nine West has $1.3 billion in debt coming due next year, according to Reorg Research. It missed an interest payment in March, which triggered a 30-day period in which the company had to make the payment or file for bankruptcy, according to Reuters.
Nine West was sold in 2014 by Jones Apparel Group for $2.4 billion to private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Last summer, Nine West reached out to licensing firms to determine their interest in its brands and it began rapidly closing stores across the country, including its last full price store in the Big Apple at Rockefeller Center, as previously reported by The Post.
There are 70 remaining Nine West and Easy Spirit stores in the US, but the vast majority of its sales come from department stores and other wholesale outlets.