by Stephen Garner

Los Angeles-based denim brand BLDWN is fashion’s first Coronavirus casualty.

In an email to MR from the brand’s now former director of public relations, she said, “It brings great sadness to say that BLDWN is closing its doors. Today will be my last day along with everyone else in the company. We worked so extremely hard to make this brand successful – which I do believe we had a lot of wins. Unfortunately, the investors decided it was time to shut it down.”

According to reports, BLDWN started layoffs this week with employees in Kansas City, where the brand was founded in 2009, and ended Wednesday with all employees in California being let go. The brand employed a total of 33 people in corporate roles and another roughly 45 people in its stores.

Until last year, the brand had been in expansion mode with its brick-and-mortar business, with stores in New York, San Jose, Austin, Dallas, two stores in Kansas City, and one in Los Angeles. Its 1,100 square-foot Melrose Avenue flagship opened just last year.

The bulk of its business, however, came from wholesale, with a big presence in specialty stores and department stores like Nordstrom.

It’s former president and creative director Jonathan Crocker left the brand at the end of October and the company never replaced him. Crocker was brought on as president at the end of 2017 to strategically grow and reposition the Kansas City-based brand into a modern American ready-to-wear fashion brand. Spring 2019 marked the first season under the brand’s new direction, with spring 2020 being the most recent collection that was presented during NYFW.

BLDWN will be missed.


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