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BCBG Is Going the Way of American Apparel: Bankrupt

It just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

A model walks the runway in a crocheted dress.
A model walks BCBG’s show in 2005.
Photo: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images

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Since the start of the year, we’ve been facing down a steady stream of trouble at the clothing retailers many of us grew up with. Here’s an incomplete sampling: Wet Seal closed all of its locations, J.C. Penney and Macy’s slashed their store fleets and cut hundreds of jobs, and American Apparel filed for bankruptcy, only to be purchased by a Canadian competitor.

Now BCBG Max Azria, a prom and homecoming favorite known for its $200-$400 dresses, is following in American Apparel’s (and Nasty Gal’s) (and The Limited’s) steps. As of Wednesday, March 1st, the brand’s parent company has filed for bankruptcy. (Reached by Racked on Monday morning, a spokesman for the brand had declined to comment on the matter.)

On Wednesday, BCBG’s acting interim CEO Marty Staff released the following statement:

The steps we are taking now, to address the shift in customer shopping patterns and the growth of online shopping, will allow us to focus on our partner relationships, digital, ecommerce, selected retail locations, and wholesale and licensing arrangements. The chapter 11 filing will further aid the implementation of these steps and overall strategy while we explore opportunities to recapitalize the Company and profitably expand our international footprint.

In January, BCBG confirmed that it was reducing its “focus on free-standing brick-and-mortar stores” — that is, closing stores. That followed layoffs of over 100 employees, as reported by Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, stores had large signs publicizing inventory-clearing sales in their windows.

However, it’s not necessarily going kaput. Clothing lines that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection can make an effort to restructure their businesses and climb out of the hole they’ve fallen into, and others have sold off their names to the highest bidder, like American Apparel and Nasty Gal did.

So this may not be the end of BCBG. But you might consider capitalizing on those discounts if you are seized by a sudden impulse to nostalgia shop the hell out of the brand, just as many consumers (and Racked staffers) were when American Apparel announced its own bankruptcy-induced sale.

This article was originally published on February 27th, 2017. It has been updated with confirmation of BCBG’s bankruptcy filing.