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BLASS COUTURE FILES CHAPTER 7: Bill Blass Ltd., which manufactured the Bill Blass Couture line, filed a Chapter 7 liquidation petition Dec. 31 with a Manhattan bankruptcy court. The couture business shut down operations on Dec. 19. Over 60 employees lost their jobs without any severance. Market sources said NexCen Brands Inc., the parent company, planned to sell the office furniture in Blass’ Seventh Avenue showroom. Court documents listed assets of $192,000 and debts of $829,000. NexCen inked a deal with Peacock International Group on Dec. 24 for the sale of the Blass trademarks for $10 million. The couture business was not part of the Peacock purchase.
KIRA PLASTININA LIQUIDATION: Los Angeles-based KP Fashion Co., the firm that operates 12 Kira Plastinina stores in the U.S., is liquidating. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing on Dec. 31 in a Manhattan bankruptcy court listed $9.7 million in assets and $54.4 million in debt. The Kira Plastinina collection was designed by its 16-year-old namesake, whose father, Sergei Plastinin, bankrolled the concept. Market sources pegged the demise of the chain to the declining fortunes of the designer’s father, who was heavily invested in the Russian stock market, and to shortcomings in how the stores were operated. Neither the 40-plus Plastinina stores in the Russian Federation, nor the 10 sites in the Ukraine or the five units in Kazakhstan are impacted. The stores in the U.S. closed on Dec. 19, seven months after the first one opened its doors.