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The fashion world’s freaking out over Zac Posen folding his designer line

The fashion world’s freaking out over Zac Posen folding his designer line
Zac Posen attends the 44th Chaplin Award Gala, May 18, 2017.Photo: via. lev radin / Shutterstock.com

His designs have been worn from the likes of Princess Eugenie, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, and even Target customers and Delta Air Lines employees.

Yet, Zac Posen’s namesake design collection is shutting down. In fact, they won’t even ship out the designs showcased at their New York Fashion Week show a mere 8 weeks ago.

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“The owners of the Zac Posen fashion and accessories brand, announced today that the Company has determined to cease business operations and carry out an orderly disposition of its assets,” the company said via a statement, confirming reports that Posen was going out of business. They claim their decision is based on “a comprehensive strategic and financial review of the businesses and pursuit of a going-concern sale process,” suggesting sales had declined beyond the point of salvation. The folding of the company includes the Zac Posen, House of Z, and ZAC collections. Their website’s already been reduced to an available Shopify account link.

Zac Posen is an openly gay designer who’s won awards for leaving critics, models and fellow designers awestruck with his versatile portfolio of designs in womenswear. He’s currently the Creative Director of Brooks Brothers’ women’s division, and he previously worked with brands Target, David’s Bridal, and Sean John. He spent 6 seasons as a judge on the Bravo/Lifetime reality competition Project Runway.

Laverne Cox with Zac Posen at the 8th Annual New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala, September 26, 2019. Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com

This comes just over 20 years after Posen’s career was jump started at 19, when the then-Parsons School of Design student first opened his line. Within the first two years, he had designed a dress for Naomi Campbell that was passed through Hollywood, and ran his first fashion show while only living on a $15 a day allowance from his parents as a budget. His career and work at his collection of fashion lines was the subject of the documentary House of Z in 2017.

Posen’s since dressed First Ladies, Academy Award-winning actresses, and #1 record-having musicians. The abrupt ending of the means items shown at his most recent Spring/Summer 2020 collection, as worn by Winnie Harlow and others, won’t be made available to the public.

Posen, in a statement, wrote that he “want[ed] to express my appreciation to our extraordinary team and for all those who have stood by me and the brand. I owe a great deal of gratitude for their unwavering support for and dedication to the company.”

“We are disappointed that these efforts have not been successful and deeply saddened that the journey of nearly 20 years has come to an end,” the designer wrote. “I am grateful to the team who lent their incomparable talent and commitment along the way. I remain incredibly proud of what we created and hopeful for the future.”

In speaking to WWD, which first reported the closing of Posen’s line, Posen explained that the investors in his line wanted to sell his entire portfolio of collections, but they couldn’t find one in time to prevent going under, as the board voted against further investments. Employees were told the day that the news broke to the public.

“My partners and I tried everything possible within our means to find solutions to keep it going. I have been trying to find the right strategic partners at this tough time in retail and in the industry. The clock ran out….

“It breaks my heart for my customer and the people who work for me.”

Along with recent news that Barney’s New York will be liquidated and gone for good, people fear that the fashion world they know and love is fading away. Posen, at least, remains optimistic: “Hopefully, I’ll have a long career ahead….I will always have me. I will always have my creativity,” he told WWD.

Posen’s creative ability is still intoxicating fans, as did his dress for Sandra Oh’s Emmys appearance that earned Barbie comparisons, and a light-up, Cinderella-like dress for Claire Danes to wear to the Met Gala. There’s no reason we shouldn’t see more of Posen soon.

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