There were some serious layoffs at Bill Blass last weekend, when head designer Jeffrey Monteiro and his nine-person womenswear team were all fired without notice, explanation, or severance. WWD, which broke the news, reports that the pink slips came after Bill Blass Group exec Scott Patti told Monteiro to cease all work on the Spring 2013 collection, which was 90% complete.
Adding to the weirdness, the fashion house was sitting on $250,000 worth of Italian fabrics and had already paid Vogue Nippon fashion editor George Cortina his full fee to style the collection for the September runway. The Spring 2013 collection was really, really ready to show: Bill Blass' womenswear crew had already lined up a venue, a PR firm, and a production company. That's an insane amount of resources which are going to waste, and one only hopes they'll all somehow make their way to fashion heaven.
The New York Times notes that ever since Bill Blass left his eponymous house in 1999, the design company has stuggled to establish an identity without him. Monteiro is the fifth post-Blass designer to leave the line in a dramatic fashion: Steven Slowik and Lars Nilsson were both fired, Michael Vollbracht quit abruptly, and Peter Som left the label after execs terminated womenswear production in 2008. At this point, the only way Bill Blass will make a turnaround is by hiring John Galliano.
Image via IMAXtree