Bebe Stores Names New Board Member

Bebe Stores Inc. has named a new member to its board of directors. New to the board is Perry Mandarino, who became a member on April 22. He replaces Kenneth Young, a director who joined the board last year.

Mandarino is the senior managing director, co-head of investment banking and head of corporate restructuring at B. Riley FBR Inc. He has advised more than 400 companies during his career as a financial adviser.

“We are excited to welcome Perry to Bebe’s board of directors. Perry brings deep knowledge of our industry and has served as a trusted adviser to us throughout the successful completion of our business transformation,” said Manny Mashouf, the brand’s founder and chief executive. “In addition, we truly appreciate the service Kenny has provided to the board during his tenure and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

In 2017, Bebe announced it would lay off 700 employees and close its entire retail chain, which consisted of 134 stores and 34 outlet stores.

The strategy was part of the remake of Bebe, a once fashion-centric retail chain started in San Francisco in 1976 by Mashouf.

The shuttering of stores and closing of the company’s design studio and offices in Los Angeles helped the retail chain avoid bankruptcy. Earlier, it sold half its brand for $35 million to Bluestar Alliance, a New York brand-management company that over the years has acquired several labels including English Laundry, Nanette Lepore and Catherine Malandrino.

Bluestar Alliance came out with a new collection of sexy dresses with new sizes and new categories, which have been sold online. Last year, Bebe pulled the wraps off its first lifestyle store in New York City, located near the Empire State Building at 1 W. 34th St.

The outpost is a new concept store that includes a beauty bar organized through a partnership with beGlammed, an on-demand beauty service where shoppers can have their hair and makeup done on site. There is also a personalization bar where shoppers can customize clothing items—from jeans to jackets—using Swarovski crystals, patches and embroidery.

On-site stylists help customers define their personal style and wardrobe with the possibility of ordering from the Bebe website using in-store iPads.