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Cloak Designs Planning to Shutter

Alexandre Plokhov plans to close his six-year-old business, Cloak Designs LLC, due to partnership issues.

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NEW YORK — Alexandre Plokhov plans to close his six-year-old business, Cloak Designs LLC, due to partnership issues.

The men's wear company will shutter after it completes production and shipment of its spring 2007 collection.

Plokhov couldn't be reached for comment Sunday, but said in a statement, "I am extremely proud of all the accomplishments our collective of like-minded individuals has managed to achieve and would like to thank all of our supporters through the years. Cloak had a good run and I had a blast doing it."

The Russian-born designer, 40, was nominated for the 2006 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award, and received the 2005 CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Menswear. In 2004, Plokhov tied for second place for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Foundation Fund Award.

A spokesman for Plokhov said the designer's plans are unknown at this time. He said that Plokhov wasn't intending to go forward with his capsule menswear collection for Uniqlo either. He declined to reveal how much volume Cloak generates.

Known for its elegant hand-tailoring, dark colors and military-style detailing, Cloak has become a favorite men's wear brand among rock stars and others. The line has also developed a female fan base, as women buy Plokhov's chunky sweaters and drainpipe trousers. In an interview in 2005, Plokhov told WWD, "Women buy my clothes. I would love to design women's wear one day, but I want to concentrate on men's now."

Cloak sells to stores such as Barneys New York here, in Los Angeles and Boston; Fred Segal in Santa Monica, Calif.; Colette in Paris; Holt Renfrew in Toronto; Camouflage in New York; Arrive in Miami; Harvey Nichols in London and Hong Kong, in addition to many stores throughout Japan.

In September, 2005, Cloak opened a 1,000-square foot flagship on Greene Street here, which will also carry the final spring 2007 collection. The store was opened as a joint venture with specialty retailer Opening Ceremony. Humberto Leon, co-owner of Opening Ceremony, who along with his partner, Carol Lim, are partners in the Cloak store, couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

Designed by Plokhov and Leon, the store's interior has the feel of an English gentleman's club. It offers a bespoke service as well as limited-edition pieces.

Having previously worked at Ralph Rucci and as a pattern maker at Marc Jacobs, Plokhov set off on his own in 2000. He was followed there by Robert Geller, who became his creative and business partner. The two designed four collections together before parting ways three years ago, and Geller retained a 50 percent interest in the company. Geller went on to design a women's wear line called Harald.

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