Carly Cushnie to shut down namesake label due to pandemic

Cushnie, the fashion label seen on celebrities such as Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, has announced a shut down due to coronavirus hardship.

Loading the player...

The coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to shut down and fashion label Cushnie is the one of the latest to make the announcement.

Read More: Ruth Carter’s new clothing line at H&M inspired by 80s and 90s fashion

Fashion designer Carly Cushnie shared the news via social media that unfortunately, COVID-19 has pushed her namesake label to the end.

Carly Cushnie
(Credit: Getty Images)

“As many designers have experienced, the fashion and retail landscape has become increasingly challenging over the years. While my brand has persevered through unending headwinds, the effects of COVID-19 have hurt my business beyond repair, and it is with great sadness that I share Cushnie will be closing its doors​,” she wrote in the caption on Thursday.

She shared an open letter through the post, sharing her plight as a Black-woman fashion designer, celebrating her accomplishments and looking forward to the future.

“While there are many achievements I am so proud of, it would be neglectful not to acknowledge having to fight much harder than my male peers to be afforded the same opportunities,” she continued. “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. This is especially true for women of color.”

Read More: Beverly Johnson recalls pool drained at fashion shoot because she’s Black

During the beginning of the pandemic, Cushnie did an interview with the New York Times and shared her worries. Her biggest outlet was retail merchants who delayed, canceled, or reduced orders.

“The biggest issue for us is retail. Stores were already having problems before the virus. Now they are canceling orders or reducing them, and lots of things are on sale. We have retailers who asked to return spring, but we had to say no. We paid for the fabrics, labor, warehouse, shipping. Then they wanted to return a portion of it, or pay later,” Cushnie shared.

She continued, “It’s at a point now where everyone is really freaking out. My V.P. had to say to one retailer: ‘You have a multimillionaire backer, and we are a family-run company. The likelihood of us weathering this storm versus you is entirely different.’ I’m definitely concerned about getting through it. I haven’t even thought about September.”

Cushnie stood as a fashion label for 12 years. The company was founded by its namesake and a classmate as Cushnie et Ochs. Two years ago, she revamped the brand as a solo endeavor after co-founder Michelle Ochs left. She was appointed to the Council of Fashion Designers of America board of directors in 2019.

“The brand was just not going to be able to recover,” Cushnie said in an interview with the Times on Wednesday night. “It just wasn’t possible, with the lost revenue, to try and generate enough sales to keep the business going.”

Cushnie recently partnered with Target for an affordable fashion-forward collection. Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Rihanna, and more stylish stars all wore the Cushnie brand.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...