NEW YORK — Premium denim label Earnest Sewn has pared down its operations here in a bid to reduce costs, streamline operations and move toward profitability.
After several staffers were laid off from the New York office on Tuesday, speculation regarding the brand’s financial health and future started to swirl. An e-mail sent by the brand’s former director of public relations said the New York office was closing as of Tuesday. That e-mail was later amended to say the office would remain open, and that all online and bricks-and-mortar stores would continue to operate.
The brand’s management told WWD on Thursday the layoffs were part of a number of changes that have been made over the last several months intended to reduce costly overhead and create better operating efficiencies.
“We’re trying to have a more rational operating model,” said Brian Cytrynbaum, the Montreal-based entrepreneur and owner of T-shirt maker Majestic Mills, who leads the investment group that purchased a controlling stake in Earnest Sewn in January 2008.
According to Cytrynbaum, back office administrative operations such as press relations and advertising are being moved to Montreal to be handled by his existing infrastructure, eliminating redundancies. Cytrynbaum acknowledged that poor economic conditions have played a part in spurring the moves.
“Our overhead for what currently is happening required that we make some changes,” he said, adding current volume made it difficult to make money given the cost structure of the New York office.
Michael Press, president of Earnest Sewn, said the New York staff has been cut from nine people to around five over the last three months. The label’s design staff was transferred from New York to Los Angeles about four months ago, joining its production and warehouse operations.
“This is a tightening up of the company and it’s an intelligent tightening up,” said Press.
Press and Cytrynbaum stressed sales will continue to operate out of New York, as well as the company’s retail operations.
“It looks like the brand will be profitable moving forward under the new structures,” said Cytrynbaum.
Scott Morrison, Eleanor Ylvisaker and Lori Jacobs launched Earnest in 2004 after working together at Paper Denim & Cloth. After selling the controlling stake, Morrison ceded his position as president to Press, but continued on as creative director with responsibility for overseeing retail expansion. Ylvisaker maintained her position as public relations director. Jacobs, who served as head of sales, left the company a month after Cytrynbaum’s investment.
In March, Morrison and Ylvisaker said they were leaving the company, citing differences over management and overall direction of the company. They maintain minority stakes in the brand.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews