Two retail brands filed for bankruptcy, some high-end fashion lines stopped working, and legendary Karl Lagerfeld died in 2019.
In August and September, two famous merchants – New York Barneys and Forever 21 – filed for bankruptcy in US federal court after financial problems. According to WWD, New York retailer, Barneys has 5,000 creditors, each with a few million dollars each. Multidisciplinary company ABG bought the brand for $ 271 million in November.
Forever 21 closed 178 stores in the United States and most locations in Asia and Europe, including its subsidiary Riley Rose. Vice-Chairman Linda Chang said the fashion house is still in the process of restructuring its business operations and repositioning the brand. Last year, the company faced a crisis when it got involved in lawsuits with singer Ariana Grande and Adidas sports fashion brand.
In addition to the two bankrupt brands, many fashion houses have to stop operating, including Zac Posen. The famous brand of Posen – House of Z – could not be maintained due to the end of sponsorship contracts with Yucaipa Cos Investment Company. (USA), 60 employees have lost their jobs since November.
Victoria’s Secret canceled the annual show. Stuart Burgdoerfer, CEO of parent company L Brand, explains that lingerie shows don’t help the brand significantly increase sales. Many experts say the program loses its appeal due to the aesthetic perception of women’s physique and attractiveness. According to market research firm Nielsen, the planet’s largest lingerie show lost half its audience in the past two years and had the lowest viewership in history in 2018 (3.27 million).
205W39NYC is the most famous product line under Raf Simons as creative director for Calvin Klein. The designer left the company in December 2018 ahead of schedule (the three-year contract between the two sides ended August of this year). According to WWD, Raf Simons has a different vision, flashy style not related to the general orientation of the brand, which emphasizes modernity and minimalism.
2019 witnessed a lot of parting between designers and brands. In June, Keren Craig left Marchesa – the brand she founded with Georgina Chapman in 2003. Marchesa has been in trouble since late October 2017 when director Harvey Weinstein – Chapman’s husband – was accused of sexual assault. Weinstein was also accused by a number of actresses like Felicity Huffman, Renée Zellweger and Kerry Washington to force them to wear Marchesa costumes on the red carpet. The brand then has to cancel its fashion shows.
Demna Gvasalia parted with Vetements – the brand he founded with his brother Guram Gvasalia in 2014 – in September. During 5 years of working with French fashion brand, Gvasalia quickly promoted streetwear style to crowded users. When he left, he said he had completed his mission with the company, wanting to open a new era for both himself and his old brand.
Meanwhile, the famous fashion brand Chanel lost the big creative director – fashion house Karl Lagerfeld – died on February 19.