After providing First Lady Chelly-O with her Inauguration Day look, designer Tracy Feith became the talk of… people who talk about these type of things.
What should have happened next, along with people trying to copy the new FLOTUS’ style and coping the bust down versions Tracy Feith designed for Target, should have been a massive boom in business, right? Low and behold, today Tracey Feith is broke.
Feith and longtime partner Susan Winget have been virtually invisible as of late, which may have something to do with the more than $200,000 he and his company owe to landlords in Manhattan and in Montauk.
In January 2009, Feith got the most coveted fashion seal of approval – outfitting the First Lady – when Obama stepped out in his floral frock during inauguration festivities. By May of that year, however, Feith was evicted from the Madison Ave. storefront (between 93rd and 94th Sts.) where he operated his boutique. By December, a judgment was issued in Manhattan Supreme Court ordering Feith’s corporation to pay $77,060.38 in rent he owed to his landlord, KPLJ LLC.
And last August, another judgment handed down in Supreme Court determined that Feith himself was on the hook for an additional $152,745.27 because he had personally guaranteed the lease. (The amount includes court costs and damages.)
KPLJ’s lawyer Edward Shapiro tells us, “It is shameful that a popular and successful designer has shunned his most basic business obligation by failing to pay rent for his retail store.”
Feith’s troubles don’t end there. B.J. Wilson, the co-owner and property manager of Montauk Lakefront Cottages, tells us that Feith and Winget owe him approximately $7,000 for three cottages they rented last year for themselves and employees. “They paid half of what was due, skipping out on the remainder,” Wilson says. “They won’t return phone calls. They’ve disappeared.” (Feith’s Williamsburg store has also closed.)
No one really knows why he’s having such a hard time, but Feith was already falling off financially before he got the Obama cosign or landed his gig with Target.
According to records subpoenaed by his Manhattan landlord, notes another source, Target paid Feith’s corporation a total of $550,000 to create a line of apparel and accessories between September 2008 and May 2009, right around the same time Feith was falling behind in his rent.
And now he’s fallen off the face of the Earth to avoid paying his bills.