>> Anna Wintour's words may have mended things for a few months, but ultimately, Peter Som has still decided to part ways with Bill Blass.
Som left the brand after his contract expired a week and a half ago to focus on his own label, and Prabal Gurung, longtime second-ranking design director at Bill Blass, will be working with the existing team to produce the Fall 2009 Blass collection.
As previously reported, Som was unhappy with NexCen, the owners of Bill Blass, because he felt they couldn't financially support his creative vision; The Spring 2009 show was scrapped in favor of a retailer presentation, fabric vendors and embroiderers weren't being paid in a timely manner, and according to an industry source, NexCen "knew very little about how to run a luxury brand, much less rebrand one."
NexCen is still trying to sell Blass, a process that is taking longer than expected — just one more reason Som left. The delay in sale also caused some retailers to pass on the Spring 2009 Blass collection, due to all the uncertainty. For a brand that could use the money, that can't be good.