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Nanette Lepore Seeking an Investor

The designer has hired The Sage Group to find a new investor who could help her make some strategic changes.

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NANETTE LEPORE SEEKING INVESTOR: Nanette Lepore has hired The Sage Group to find a new investor who could help the designer make some strategic changes, WWD has learned. Lepore started the business with a $5,000 loan from her father and now has 11 stores, including outposts in New York, Los Angeles, London, Shanghai and Tokyo. The designer also has a line at J.C. Penney, L’amour Nanette Lepore. Robert Savage, chief executive officer of Nanette Lepore, could not be reached Tuesday, and Mark Vidergauz, ceo of Sage, declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the designer was happily showing editors her latest project: bedding, gift pillows and rugs at the Peking Handicraft Inc. showroom in New York Tuesday. The bedding, which uses many of Lepore’s patterns, prints, special touches and ruching, will be available in stores in January. Lepore said she went through 20 years of her archives and was bringing back some patterns “that never got enough attention.” The gift pillows will hit some stores in July, and some of the rugs will be in stores in August. Retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s all have appointments this week.

Asked if furniture will be the next step, Lepore replied, “I want to do men’s wear before I do furniture.”

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