LOS ANGELES — Nau, the outdoor clothier that aggressively integrated e-commerce with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, said it will shut down operations because of insufficient funding.
The Portland, Ore.-based company said it was unsuccessful in securing money in its fourth round of funding. Since its founding three years ago by Nike and Patagonia veterans, Nau has raised $35 million from private and institutional investors, including hedge funds and private equity firms.
The announcement came less than two weeks after the company introduced in California its concept known as a Webfront, which combines conventional retail space with the convenience of an online shopping site. A Webfront lets shoppers make an immediate purchase or choose to have a purchase shipped directly to their home from Nau’s warehouse in Portland, with a 10 percent discount and free shipping.
After starting online sales in February 2007, Nau opened a total of four Webfronts in the next two months in Boulder, Colo.; Bellevue, Wash.; Chicago, and Portland. Nau launched its first California Webfront in Los Angeles’ Beverly Center on April 19. It had planned to more than double the number of Webfronts across the U.S. to nine this year.
“Those who invest in lifestyle brands are definitely pulling back,” said Debra Stevenson, owner of a fashion and retail consultancy firm called Skyline Studios in Los Angeles.
Nau said it exceeded its first-year sales goal by 5 percent. That figure ranged between $5 million and $10 million.
But Nau’s innovative concepts couldn’t defy the challenging retail market. Ian Yolles, Nau’s vice-president of marketing, said the firm planned to close all five stores by the end of Saturday and will continue to sell product at a 50 percent discount on its Web site for an indefinite period.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast