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Seeking Young Designers: New Wave of Money Men Scout Market for Brands

Designers have a new set of eyes analyzing their wares this season: investment bankers, private equity funds and their silent partners.

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"I don't think LBOs are permanently dead, just that the large transactions will slow," Kollender said. "This is where the strategics can come in because they can finance deals with lines of equity. I see more activity in the middle market, where debt capital is still available....The middle market is financed more with commercial banks, and they still have capital to lend out."

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