Ecko Unlimited: imbroglio over future of the brand
What is the current situation at Ecko Unlimited? Founded in 1993 by Mark Ecko, the American streetwear brand that built its reputation on street art and hip-hop culture is experiencing some difficulties.
Last May, Iconix, the American group and licensing specialist that held a 51% controlling interest in IPHU, owner of Ecko Unltd and Marc Ecko Cut & Sew, acquired the remaining 49% stake for 45 million US dollars (35 million euros). The company Marc Ecko Enterprises, with founder Marc Ecko in command, kept its role as core licensee for the brand and continued to develop its products.
Today, Marc Ecko Enterprises and its two entities, Apparel and Direct, have filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company admitted in administrative documents that it has been experiencing difficulties since 2009. With 30 million dollars in assets, the company has accumulated 62 million dollars in debt.
In March, it sold nearly all its inventory for 5.6 million euros. It also lost one of its major retailers, Macy’s, and the number of stores has fallen from over 100 to less than 30 in just two years. Nevertheless, the problems faced by MEE don’t mean it’s the end for the brand.
A spokesperson at Iconix pointed out to the AP that a new licensee has already started to deliver products to the brand’s distributors.
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