The COVID 19 pandemic has challenged the foundation of many businesses. With in-person restrictions prohibiting the way we commune with one another, major companies have taken a blow. Some high end designers have been able to stay afloat with their niche clientele, but others aren’t as fortunate.
Designer Carly Cushnie took to Instagram to announce the closure of her luxury brand Cushnie. “The brand was just not going to be able to recover,” she said an interview with The New York Times. “It just wasn’t possible, with the lost revenue, to try and generate enough sales to keep the business going.”
It seems like Carly anticipated the recovery would be tough. “It’s at a point now where everyone is really freaking out,” she previously told The New York Times this past spring. “I’m definitely concerned about getting through it. I haven’t even thought about September.”
Although she managed the business through September and most of October, she was simply unable to stay afloat.
The Cushnie brand was formerly known as Cushnie et Ochs. Together with her Parsons classmate Michelle Ochs, the two birthed a successful brand that captured the essence of a woman. The duo introduced a fusion of bright colors, bold prints, intricate draping, complex shapes and fun textures with an island flare. After 10 years in business together, they went separate ways, changing the name of the company to Cushnie.
Carly filled the role of creative director and CEO of her brand. She went on to have several New York Fashion Week shows and continued to dress Black Hollywood’s elite (Robin Roberts, Kerry Washington, Keke Palmer, Beyoncé and Michelle Obama to name a few).
Source: Kevin Winter / Getty
Now that award shows and high profile events are on an unforeseeable hiatus, the need for Carly’s brand has been put on the back burner.
As the world continues to shift into the into the unknown, businesses realizing that they too may need to discontinue services. The fashion industry can be very selective on who they decide to uplift.
“One of the great ironies of the fashion industry is that while it caters to and profits from women, it has never felt like an industry that supports them,” Carly said. “This is especially true for women of color.”
The last few years have been eventful for the designer. She recently wed her boyfriend, Oscar Cantu. The couple has two young children together, with one being born during the pandemic!
Carly Cushnie has offered the fashion industry 12 years of beautiful, elegant garments. Talent like hers doesn’t just fade away. I do believe that once the economy begins to balance out, the universe will create a space for her to create again.