Case study: Is American fashion less attractive today?

Financial results of the largest American brands they do not fill with optimism. Nyfw loses its importance, and designers are looking for happiness and success in Europe. Whether American fashion ceases to matter?

Case 1: Calvin Klein ends with fashion

Departure Simons Rafa , who managed Calvin Klein 205 W39 NYC for less than two years, i.e. the Calvin Klein "fashion unit" of the Calvin Klein, for many it was not a surprise. Quite cool reviews of the Simons collection for the brand, published poor sales results and detailed financial reports presented the image of the brand aimed at falling. Therefore, when Calvin Klein announced parting with Simons and his team, everyone breathed a sigh. A designer who was clearly tired in the USA. Fans who were of the opinion that Simons was wasting his potential in a commercial giant. The owners of brands who did not hide their disappointment at all breathed.

While many product categories were doing well, we are disappointed with the lack of return from our investments in the Calvin Klein 205W39Nec brand and we think that some of the resumed Calvin Klein Jeans products were too recombined and did not sell as well as we planned – explained to WWD the reasons for parting Emanuel Chirico, CEO PVH Holding who is the owner of the CK brand.

Parting with parting – such things happen in fashion all the time, but no one thought that for Calvin Klein, the departure of Simons would become a sealing of the fate of the brand. When the fashion stalkers outdoed in ideas who would replace Simons – M was Tom Ford, Alexander Wang, Phoebe Philo or Sisters Olsen, the owners of the brand dropped a real bomb … Decided to close Calvin Klein 205 W39 NYC . This means the lack of catwalk collections and for American brand – return to the roots. The brand will focus on jeans, underwear and accessories. In a word – on making money.

What went wrong?

There can be many reasons. Simons – unlike other brands in which he worked – with Calvin Klein supervised the entire portfolio. His eye in his head was the image Brand Calvin Klein 205 W39 NYC, moreover, specially created for him, but he had to take responsibility for "non -moderate" collections. And these Calvin Klein has several. Competition from other brands made itself felt. What Simons proposed – on the one hand interesting, and on the other, well … strange, did not necessarily gain customer approval. And this is mainly about them.

The goal of CK was to enter a higher, fashion level of the game. After all, it succeeded in others. Coach, Kate falls , Tommy Hilfiger – Brands that started far from the main fashion trend broke into it. Not without problems, but still. The mission that Simons undertook from the beginning was difficult. The owners never hid that they put financial results first. In the end, the money won, but the future of Calvin Klein in fashion is under a great question mark.

Case 2: diesel and others – The specter of bankruptcy

Italian brand, but business in the US was an important part of it. Will it end? American branch known mainly for jeans brand He has just submitted the application to protect against creditors under the so -called. Chapter 11. This means that the brand's troubles are so great that it must seek help, while there is still a chance for rescue. Diesel The US is three years to implement changes. And you need to change a lot – falling sales results, unprofitable locations, expensive lease agreements and … low recognition among millennials 1st generation with. Here's how diesel representatives explain the problems.

In the 90s. Diesel was a dream brand for many, not necessarily interested in fashion. Good quality (for which the high price stood, however), a large "visibility" of the brand (it is worth mentioning that it was the times of logomania) and a bold approach to fashion. Customers liked it. The appearance of competition – especially from American brands like True Religion or 7 for All Mankind, caused diesel to have considerable trouble. However, there is a chance for a rescue.

The restructuring plan assumes increased cooperation with influencers , Enlargement of the collection for women, changing the location of shops to smaller and more cost -effective. Will Americans love Italian jeans again? that is the question. Calvin Klein, as announced, has – as announced. The clash of giants is inevitable.

As it turns out, bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 11, This is a solution that American brands use very often. Only in the last year, apart from diesel, they applied for J.Mendel, Carven, Nine West, Charlotte Olimpia. And the list Goes on .. It concerns not only small brands, which were lost in a business game, or large clothing networks that overdraft. Increasingly, the court's help is also – seemingly stable and recognizable brands, with a well -thought -out product and a number of admirers. Will customers help?

Case 3: Giants under the fire

American Apparel

Problems also do not bypass the largest clothing companies Made in America. American Apparel This is one of the American giggant brands who had a fall from a high horse. And she promised to be a great success. Founder of the brand DOV Charney He was one of the greatest advocates of the idea to improve working conditions in clothing factories in the USA. He took care of where and under what conditions American Apparel products are created. He attached great importance to the promotion. As one of the first, he focused on natural, unquedant ads that won the hearts of American teenagers. The company's price policy also worked on a plus – American Apparel clothing was available even to the most economical customers.

Unfortunately, American Dream He didn't take long. Charney's successful success, he decided to direct the brand on a slightly more bold track. The campaigns have become tasteless, not to mention the behavior of Charney himself (he has accused of sexual harassment). Aggressive politics came to this retail, There were more and more stores, and debts anyway. The company had more than one, but as many as two bankruptcy proceedings. Her fate during the transformation (Charney was formally deprived of the right to decide on a brand, which he did not give, however, without a fight), they changed the observers in dumbfounded or led to a tear. In the end, American Apparel under the leadership of the new owner returns to the market. Only the online store remained from its own sales network. Collections are a return to the past. Base at low prices, produced in the US with all responsibility standards. From the American Apparel giant, he became an ant in the fashion world. Maybe – in the face of the problems of the entire industry – this is a better solution?


There are other American giants before a similar question. Gap, J. Crew or Abercrombie&Fitch has had a problem for years to find themselves in the new reality. Once loved by American teenagers, and in Europe recognized as a indicator of the status of the brand Abercrombie&Fitch She could not find the tastes of today's youth for a long time. It was necessary to change the strategy so that American customers would start visiting stores again&F. It seems that the changes implemented – both in terms of design, and marketing – began to give results, a&F returns to Wishlist youth. Unfortunately, not every brand is so lucky.


Something about it.Crew. Initially targeted at the American middle class, which wants to look simply good, but not necessarily fashionable, she enjoyed a great thing in the United States. Affordable prices, elegant, good quality clothes, a wide range for everyone. J.Crew However, it dreamed of a more fashionable image. And so the capsule collections for the brave were born, the pursuit of trends, the brand began to take part in Fashion Week, And the creative director of Jenna Lyons, has been hailed as one of the most important personalities in the industry.

Unfortunately, the new strategy has not gained approval among clients J.Crew. They did not capture (or did not want to bear) the "fashion" weight that Marek imposed on them and … they began to leave. The owners finally decided to return to the roots and break with a new image, but everything took place too late. In J.Crew has no Lyons nor trends anymore. Instead, there are troubles that the new board and another creative director are trying to deal with. So far, the brand is still far from the success of the glory days. Will faithful customers prove really faithful and come back? Chances, although small, still exist. This is one of the brands made in America, where everything is possible.

presentation J.Crew, source:

Case 4: What happens to Nyfw?

New York Fashion Week For many years it was the most important fashion event in the world. Fulfillment of dreams – Yes for beginner designers – and large brands. So what went wrong? Why names – so strongly associated with American fashion, abandon New York for Europe?


Escaping designers

Thom Browne began in 2017. Since then – although he lives and creates in New York – he regularly shows his collections in Paris. He also cooperates with European sports teams, creates collections for European boutiques, in a word in Europe he feels like a fish in water. Case Victoria Beckham It is slightly less controversial, although he also multiplies questions. The brand's jubilee show, the designer organized not in Big Apple, where she started, but in London. The choice of London is not accidental. Victoria is a British by origin, she repeatedly admitted in interviews that her heart stayed in London. On the other hand, she began the designer's career in American land and there she also achieved the greatest successes. However, she did not return to America. Both the birthday show in September and the next February presentation took place in London.

America also said goodbye to the Duet Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra and Rodar. However, these were short breakups. Proenza Schouler designers returned to New York – as "for good". Mulleavy sisters with Rodte After the French adventure, they returned to their homeland. Once they show in New York, once in Los Angeles. In the case of this brand, whose aesthetics closer to haute couture than fashion for everyday wear, everything is possible.

Thom Browne, S/S 19, source:

Goodbye New York!

However, where did the idea of "moving out" from New York come from? While the choice of London by Victoria Beckham can be explained, the "direction: Paris" gives food for thought. Experts of the American fashion industry indicate at least two reasons for such a phenomenon.

First – disorganization. Calendar Nyfw It is full of every season and the whole event is poorly planned. The breaks between the shows are too short, and the participants of the event must move around New York. Therefore, they do not hit many presentations at all. Where is the meaning of such an event?

Secondly – competition. He is responsible for organizing the New York Fashion Week Council of fashion designers of america (CFDA), which brings together representatives of the American fashion industry. It is widely known that the Association has big problems with determining the action plan and support of designers. Such worries are not there. For years, the French Fashion Week has been given as an organization of the organization. The French association is also not afraid to reach for new names by inviting designers to participate in Paris Fashion Week, and designers are happy to use such invitations. Instead of "asking" for a place in the New York Fashion Week calendar, they receive an exposed date, care and support from French. Who would not benefit?

Rodarte show during the haute couture fashion week in Paris, S/s 18, source:

Perhaps this is only a temporary "collapse". Recently, there has been a lot of talk about changes at the CFDA summit. The chairwoman of the organization Diane von Furstenberg wants to give way, and Tom Ford is tipped to its successor. And as you know – what you don't touch, turns into gold. Will it be the last resort of American fashion?

Tom Ford and Diane von Furstenberg, source:

Is it the twilight of fashion designed in USA what we know? The overflow of the American market makes itself felt. Brands from Europe do not remain behind and – more and more often – from Asia, which enter fashion business on a global scale. The competition takes place not only at the level brands, but also organizations working for fashion. USA versus Europe – the eternal duel has also affected fashion. Who wins?