“People forget he [Bill Blass] was the first to do a lot of things. He was first to have a men’s runway show. The first to have a designer shop-in-shop, at Bonwit Teller. He had the first designer fragrance for men in America. But there’s been a huge gap since it ceased to be a collection business coming directly from his vision.”
In conjunction with designing his own up and coming eponymous line, Michael and his team designed two entire menswear collections for Bill Blass. The plan was that the clothes were to be sophisticated in keeping with Bill Blass' legacy - if Gant by Michael Bastian is his own line's "younger brother", this was to be the "older brother". Ultimately, Michael's designs never reached the public due to the fact that Bill Blass Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in early 2009. The company was in over $800,000 worth of dept and there were even rumors that their showroom's furniture would have to be sold to help ease financial troubles. When it was all said and done the only Bastian helmed item that ever made it into production was a cologne called Mr. Blass. Here is a quote from Michael regarding his much beloved and now rare item:
"I wear this cologne I did for Bill Blass which unfortunately never saw the light of day (although someone recently told me they saw a billboard for it in
South America). It was called Mr. Blass, and is amazing– very heavy and masculine with leather, patchouli, tons of carnation and this new musk the perfumers developed called Human Musk which smells incredibly real and dark and sexy– the opposite of Eau Sauvage. I’ve got 3 bottles that I guard with my life."
Well, guess what? You can now get Mr. Blass on eBay for $25.50 a bottle. It's a shame we'll never get to see the full vision of what MB had cooked up for Bill Blass, but it is nice to know you can at least smell like it if you really want to.