Fall looks from the Bill Blass runway.

The economy is heading south, and in mid-May Bill Blass felt the pinch. NexCen Brands Inc., which owns Blass, saw its shares tumble by a whopping 77.1 percent after the firm disclosed that it had failed to note in its annual report a $30 million loan payment due. Ever since, the fashion world has been speculating about a possible sale of the house and about the fate of designer Peter Som, who was hired last year to jazz up Blass. NexCen’s president and chief executive officer, Robert D’Loren, told WWD that it was “too early to say what the future might hold for this business. We are exploring all options to improve NexCen’s liquidity, which may include the sale of one or more of our businesses.” Stay tuned.

Photo: Giovanni Giannoni