The duo behind high fashion retailer, OAK, which was acquired by American Apparel in 2013, “really want their stores back,” according to reports. Upon learning that American Apparel, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, was preparing to shutter their four stateside stores in Los Angeles and New York, founders Jeff Madalena and Louis Terline offered to buy their brand back. After a couple rounds of negotiation (think: offers of $600,000 and $1.1 million), which have been turned down by American Apparel, Madalena said the two parties are still in negotiations.
At the time of the purchase, American Apparel's founder and former CEO Executive Dov Charney said that the small retail chain, which stocks brands like COMME des GARÇONS, Costume National, Tom Ford, and Preen, among others, "had $5 million in annual revenues but could benefit from American Apparel’s retail know-how and manufacturing facilities to grow revenues. After the American Apparel acquisition, OAK last year opened two stores in Los Angeles. Also last year it briefly opened stores in Tokyo and Paris, but those soon closed,” writes Footwear News.
Of the acquisition, Madalena told GQ in February, “We found a lot of symbiotic spaces where our brands overlapped and ways we could inform each other.” Terline elaborated, saying: “We’re always looking for opportunity, and the next way to expand. As with anything, you reach a certain point and then you have to find what’s next. American Apparel presented an opportunity for us to take it to another level. Perhaps on the horizon are other levels.”
As of now, the plan is not to shutter the OAK brand but instead, to take it all online in lieu of brick and mortar locations. More to come …