NEW YORK — After 19 years, Cynthia O’Connor + Company, the multiline showroom, is shuttering its doors next month.
This story first appeared in the February 28, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“This is not a business model that I am willing to reinvest in,” founder Cynthia O’Connor told WWD. “Several of my largest vendors have exited the showroom due to buyouts by large corporations which forced me to reevaluate. Between these exits and some very large outstanding payments due to my company, we have decided to close the doors.”
O’Connor, a former buyer at Stanley Korshak in Dallas, had founded the showroom in 1992, and after a two-year hiatus during which she served as executive vice president of licensing and brand management at Kate Spade, she reopened in a 6,000-square-foot space at 141 West 36th Street in 2000.
O’Connor made a name for herself by helping businesses become significant retail brands, including Kate Spade, Me&Ro, Lela Rose, Rebecca Minkoff, Botkier, Isabella Fiore and Kooba.
At its height in 2006, the showroom’s volume hit $54 million, according to O’Connor, and in 2007, she renovated her showroom, doubling its space to 12,000 square feet. Since 2006, O’Connor also has operated a 4,000-square-foot showroom in the Cooper Building in Los Angeles.
O’Connor, who currently has about 20 lines in her roster, is pulling the plug on her garment district showroom at the end of next month. “This journey has been very rewarding and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to build the brands that I have over the years,” she said.