Hartmarx, the Chicago-based clothing company that made President Obama's dodgy tuxedo for the inaugural ball (above), as well as several of the suits he wore on the campaign trail, has just filed for bankruptcy the Chicago Tribune reports. Obama favors the firm's fairly bland Hart Schaffner Marx line, but the company also makes high-end men's clothing under its Hickey Freeman label, that, to our way of thinking, is much more suitable for a stylish young Chief Executive (it even has a Presidential Collection). Hart Schaffner Marx sales have picked up a bit thanks to Obama, but not nearly enough.
A newer, hipper Hickey Freeman spinoff, hickey, has recently become a fashionista favorite, and will hopefully survive the process. The company plans to continue operating while it undergoes a reorganization, but said it may sell some or all of its assets. Hartmarx, the largest maker of men's tailored clothing in the U.S., traces its roots to 1872, when brothers Harry and Max Hart first opened a men's clothing store in Chicago. The company also owns the downmarket Sansabelt and Palm Beach brands, and has licensing agreements with several well known labels.