Boateng bounces back as fashion shrugs off Asian chill from Far East recession

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The Independent Online
A WEEK is a long time in fashion. Only last week new high-street concept store Jack went into receivership before it had served a single customer; it was about to open the first three of a planned 15 stores for 1998. A few days later bespoke tailor Ozwald Boateng announced that he too was going into receivership because his Japanese wholesaler cancelled a pounds 1.2m order for suits already in production. Both are suffering the knock-on effects of the economic crisis in the Far East.

Now it is all change. Jack has been acquired by successful high-street chain Oasis, and Boateng has secured his company by negotiating a recovery deal with Receivers BDO Stoy Hayward. "I didn't know what a receiver was until last week," a relieved Boateng said yesterday, "but after working out the problem with their help, I bought back my name, and achieved a seamless transition. The shop didn't even close." His business which employs 14 people, operates from a retail outlet just off Savile Row, and sells internationally , will be restructured, and though he will continue to trade with Japan and the Far East - which until now accounted for 40 per cent of his business - Boateng will direct his efforts towards the US and maintain strong UK links. "Sometimes you need to go down to go up, life is full of surprises," he said. Meanwhile, the future of Jack, which has been advertising in glossy magazines, will remain a mystery. Oasis, while owning the concept, product and identity of the brand, has no immediate plans for the store. "We shall be investigating the possibility of developing the brand concept for the future," said the company's vice- chairman and buying director, Maurice Bennett.