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"He's open to a partnership," said a source, who added it doesn't appear Browne is behaving in a desperate way, or any different from many small designers that seek funding to fuel the growth of their businesses.
"He didn't save any money on his last show, that's for sure," said the source.
A Browne spokeswoman declined comment.
Browne is considered one of the most influential designers in men's wear, sparking a trend for shorter cuts in jackets and pants. He won the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award in 2006.
While often seen as uncommercial, his signature line is carried at stores such as Bergdorf Goodman.
Aside from his own collection, Browne designs the Black Fleece label for Brooks Brothers for both men and women. Black Fleece was launched in September at Brooks Bros. It continues to be sold at the stores. Browne has designed the fall 2008 Black Fleece Collection and is working on the label for spring 2009. A determination on whether Browne continues to design Black Fleece beyond next spring will be made in the future.
Regardless, Brooks Bros. plans to still sell Black Fleece, either with Browne or with another designer.