>> Last April at a dinner celebrating Cartier's 100th Anniversary, Zac Posen took a seat next to Harper's Bazaar editor and the evening's hostess, Glenda Bailey. Posen, offended that Bazaar, which rarely featured his clothes, had asked him to appear in a spread next to Sesame Street Muppet The Count, confronted Bailey in front of her guests. “I didn’t want to model with the Count,” Mr. Posen told the New York Times this week. “She said that was the only way my clothes could be in the magazine as a non-advertiser. I think she was surprised I wouldn’t take the part, but I stood my ground and I still do.” Last September, Glenda Bailey did not attend Posen's show, although a Bazaar spokeswoman said the magazine had always supported Posen.
Posen, in the meantime, has his work cut out for him »
In the meantime, Posen is coping with some growing pains. His lower-priced line, Z Spoke, hits stores March 1, and a Target line is coming out in April, but a fragrance deal which had been in development for two years was canceled due to the perfumer's corporate merger, and the Yucaipa Companies, which back Posen's investor Sean Combs, have begun imposing more financial constraints on the company, Posen confirmed. Posen also struggled with layoffs and a revolving door of executives last year.
In September, he switched from nighttime Fashion Week show at the largest Tent in Bryant Park to a more intimate version at 9 am: “I love a spectacle, but I saw it as social commentary. I think my level of sophistication was a little higher than most people’s. I saw an abstraction to the whole media frenzy of it. But at the end of the day, that’s all that people felt, I think, and they didn’t really look at the clothing.” He's continuing with the smaller show for Fall 2010 in two weeks.
Susan Posen, Zac's mother and the company's chief executive, says the company is not yet profitable. She would not disclose numbers, but business research company Hoover's Inc. reported sales of $3.3 million for 2007. And sales declined last year by a double-digit percentage.
When asked by the New York Times how he felt about the state of his company, Posen replied, “I am 110 percent, 200 percent confident and determined . . . I’ve burned bridges and I’ve built bridges, and I’m really just listening to my own voice now, and taking responsibility for it as well.”