News & Runway

8 Troubled Fashion Brands in Need of a Comeback

Christian Lacroix: Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall 2009; image: Getty

Christian Lacroix: Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall 2009; image: Getty

Few industries are as fickle as the fashion industry, so it’s not surprising that even some of the biggest names in fashion have had financial troubles. Here’s a look at brands that went bust that we hope to one day see return to their former glory.

  • Porter Grey: The contemporary label, which was launched by two sisters and named after their great-grandmother in the fall of 2006, announced it would be shuttering the line at the end of 2013. No word yet on the design duo’s future plans.
  • Juicy Couture: While the brand hasn’t gone bankrupt, it did announce this year that it would be closing all existing stores and that Juicy would be available only at Kohl’s, much to the disapproval of its founders.
  • Christian Lacroix: Though his brand survives via a few licensing deals, the designer announced he would be closing his couture business in 2009.
  • Schiaparelli: The House of Schiaparelli closed its doors in 1954. Last year, it was revived exclusively as a haute couture brand. Here’s to hoping the brand branches out into ready-to-wear and accessories.
  • Maria Pinto: Being a favorite of Oprah and Michelle Obama isn’t, as it turns out, enough to ensure financial viability. Pinto announced bankruptcy in 2008.
  • Nicole Farhi: Founded in 1982, the brand filed for bankruptcy in 2013 with no word on the company’s future as of yet.
  • Betsey Johnson: In 2012, Betsey Johnson filed voluntarily for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and all of her stores were closed. While she did relaunch as a lower-priced dress line and has done a few projects here and there, it’s far from her glory days when her brand had multiple boutiques and was sold in thousands of specialty stores.
  • Isaac Mizrahi: It was a major industry shock when, in 1998, Isaac Mizrahi announced he would be closing his namesake brand. In a bold move, Mizrahi returned to the fashion scene in 2002 with a diffusion line for Target. The line, one of the first big name collaborations for Target, was so successful it grew to include everything from apparel to housewares to pet products. In 2010, he launched a line with QVC and while, as of 2011, he does have some ready-to-wear, sunglasses, footwear and denim in department stores thanks to a deal with Xcel Brands, the products bearing the Isaac Mizrahi name are far from what they once were.

Proving there is life after bankruptcy, however, Michael Kors was forced to file for Chapter 11 in 1990 and he’s now one of fashion’s newest billionaires. Similarly, Balmain filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and was resurrected in 2005 when Christophe Decarnin was enlisted as creative director. He proceeded to turn the label into the poster child for luxe, heavily embellished and very sexy eveningwear. Olivier Rousteing continues where Decarnin left off, putting the brand on the map despite no longer showing couture collections.