Saying Goodbye to Sies Marjan

Sies Marjan arrived on the New York fashion scene in 2016 with a blast of color, industry fanfare and an exclusive two-year retail deal with Barneys New York.

The creative director was the Dutch designer Sander Lak, a charming onetime member of Dries Van Noten’s design team who named the label after his parents. Joey Laurenti, an Opening Ceremony alumnus, was the chief executive. And bankrolling the endeavor were the billionaires Nancy and Howard Marks, who used the New York showroom and atelier of a previous fashion acquisition, Ralph Rucci, as the headquarters for the new label.

The first show was in the penthouse, still under construction, atop a luxury condominium building in Lower Manhattan. Anna Wintour took pride of place in the front row.

How times have changed. On June 16, Sies Marjan announced that it would close its doors at the end of the working day.

“As a young independent company, we were significantly impacted by Covid-19,” the email statement read. “With a heavy heart, we have made the very difficult decision to close our business.”

The decision made Sies Marjan the latest fashion name to be felled by the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the industry to its knees, thanks to a global sales slump and significant production delays. It also underscored the fragile operating models of independent fashion businesses, many of which had already been stretched to a breaking point.

Initially, the future had seemed bright for Sies Marjan, with its distinctive point of view and handsome, slightly eccentric European designer. Mr. Lak was a welcome advocate for a rainbow palette in a city known for its penchant for black. He offered tailored women’s wear in myriad textiles that tended to have a lounge-y elegance and a quirky simplicity.

Critics murmured approvingly. In 2018, Sies Marjan won the CFDA Award for Emerging Talent, and Mr. Lak expanded his offerings to include men’s wear. His designs were worn by celebrities, including Beyoncé and Zoë Kravitz. Wearable as well as eye-catching in their saturated shots of color, they were also popular with non-boldface names, despite high prices.

The backing of billionaires, however, did not make Sies Marjan immune to the hurdles that have become increasingly insurmountable for small fashion companies. Unlike brands in the conglomerate stables of Kering or LVMH, Sies Marjan could not tap into shared resources for manufacturing and marketing. Limited investment in its direct-to-consumer retail operations also made it dependent on wholesale partners.

The downfall of Barneys New York, and the growing crisis faced by many multibrand retailers, left Sies Marjan painfully exposed. Then the pandemic hit, and stores canceled or postponed orders.

  • Updated June 16, 2020

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

In May, Sies Marjan signed on to the #rewiringfashion proposal, which suggested seismic changes in the fashion calendar and production cycles that could give faltering businesses a better chance at a long-term future. But for Sies Marjan, that was not to be.

“What we have worked on has been a dream come true,” Mr. Lak said in his farewell statement, hours before the Sies Marjan Instagram account was deactivated. “We have built a singular brand whose legacy is not just in the clothes and collections but within each person who contributed along the way.”

Most industry insiders expect an eventual return to the fashion world for Mr. Lak, but he didn’t say what would come next. Like so many in a business looking to a brighter horizon, perhaps he simply doesn’t know.

Source link


Blue Jays drop series opener to Athletics in Chapman’s return to Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Vogt hit a home run...

Jakarta Masuk ke PPKM Level 2 Lagi, Anies Baswedan Koordinasi dengan Pemerintah Pusat –

Laporan Wartawan, Fandi Permana TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA - Pemerintah memutuskan untuk...

RBA hikes interest rates to 1.35 per cent

The Reserve Bank of Australia has increased the nation's...

When the Czarinas Ruled the Front Row

Around this time just over a decade ago something happened in fashion that was as rare and unexpected as the sight of Kate Moss...

Kurt Markus, Photographer of Cowboys and Models, Is Dead at 75

The award-winning photographer Kurt Markus led a life and career that seemed as vast and varied as the Western landscapes he captured on film.As...

No Guns, No Dragons: Her Video Games Capture Private Moments

Growing up in Ipswich, Mass., Nina Freeman spent a lot of time playing video games with a pair of close friends, twin sisters whose...