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“To Err Is Human…”

By 03.27.09

“… To Forgive Divine Is At Your Discretion.

During these troubled times, it looks like no one’s Recession proof as Marc Ecko’s facing the possibility of bankruptcy.

Ecko has hired investment bank Peter J. Solomon to help refinance at least $170 million in debt owed to two key business partners, sources told The Post. With lenders scarce, sources say his empire may be dismantled as he sells off assets to pay creditors. Sources said Marc Ecko’s executives and bankers alike have been lobbing phone calls to rivals, trying to unload the company’s brands in exchange for cash. The dire scenario is a far cry from a few years ago, when Marc Ecko had entertained potential offers from Jones Apparel Group and Tommy Hilfiger. At one time, both firms were weighing bids for Marc Ecko in the $500 million range, according to one source.

Regardless of whether you have $10 in your bank account or $1,000,000 people can usually find a sliver of sympathy for the individual down on their luck. It’s a little harder to do with Marc though. First of all, his core brand is pretty much living off it’s reputation this point and has had little relevance to Hip-Hop and streetwear within the past five years or so. Secondly, he has no problem throwing his money around and using it to cast focus on him and the Ecko brand. He’s like the Mark Cuban of the fashion industry, except he’s delivered lesser results.

We all know about the baseball incident, when he tried to play morality police and give America a chance to decide the ball’s fate. But take a look at what else he’s been doing with his money:

* In 2007, he paid $750,000 for Barry Bonds’ record-breaking home run ball, then branded it with an asterisk. Which was kinda cool, but still.
* He built himself a huge Italian villa-style mansion in Jersey and pimped it out—including, we hear from a pretty good source, buying hand-painted wallpaper and spending $180,000 on custom doorknobs.
* Company headquarters are just ridiculous: “Having slashed its bloated expenses in half, Marc Ecko is desperately trying to lease out chunks of its 280,000-square-foot headquarters on West 23rd Street — which includes a half-size basketball court.”

This may sound like hate, but I used to rock Ecko pretty tough back at the turn of the century. Yet, I had to jump ship when the designs became watered down and the brand became too accessible. It felt like he stopped embracing the culture he came from and began to pimp it instead. However, he earned the money, so he can use it however he deems necessary. But I bet he wishes he could hit the easy button on few of these now.

It’s also possible that he’ll be able to make the possible financial maneuvers to keep the company solvent. Not that I care, but he and his brand are still needed. Where else will girlfriends, mothers, and grandmothers turn to buy their Hip-Hop loving loved ones an article of clothing?

Designer Hangs By A Thread: Ecko’s Hip-Hop Clothing Empire In Peril On Debt [NY Post]

Marc Ecko Regrets Spending Millions on Doorknobs, Baseballs, Basketball Courts [Gawker]


TAGS755BancruptcyBARRY BONDSComplexEckoEcko RedMarc EckoRecessionSMOKE BREAKSNEAKERSZOO YORK

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