Ecko, the hip hop clothing line that morphed over a decade from underground to JC Penney chic, is in danger of going bankrupt. Maybe that 280,000 square-foot fantasyland office was a bit much?

The company, which was once upon a time a fashion retailing darling, is now staring down $170 million in debt. It's fair to say that company chief Marc Ecko has not always been the most frugal spender, for the company or himself:

  • In 2007, he paid $750,000 for Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run ball, then branded it with an asterisk. Which was kinda cool, but still.
  • He built himself a huge Italian villa-style mansion in Jersey and pimped it out—including, we hear from a pretty good source, buying hand-painted wallpaper and spending $180,000 on custom doorknobs.
  • Company headquarters are just ridiculous: "Having slashed its bloated expenses in half, Marc Ecko is desperately trying to lease out chunks of its 280,000-square-foot headquarters on West 23rd Street — which includes a half-size basketball court." Decidedly not recession-era specs:

[Ecko pic via]