By  on August 27, 2008

Two years after launching Premise, Theory LLC is closing its entrant into the bridge business.

Premise will stop shipments after fall in the U.S., where it was a $15 million to $18 million wholesale business carried in stores including Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

“I very much believe in the opportunity in bridge, but I was not 100 percent satisfied with the execution and in the direction we are headed,” said Theory president and co-founder Andrew Rosen. “I don’t want a business that’s just one of the pack — if we can’t dominate and be the standard for a category, it’s not enough for me and us as a company. I don’t believe that I won’t get involved in the bridge segment again, but I would rather when it’s painless to me and to my retail partners.”

When Premise launched for spring 2007, the collection joined the changing bridge floor, where brands like Tory Burch and M Missoni have gained space once dominated by Ellen Tracy and Dana Buchman. But the line, which has a minimalist aesthetic and neutral color palette, didn’t catch on like some of its colorful, print-happy counterparts.

Rosen said the economy did not play a significant role in the timing of pulling the collection, and added he wanted to focus his time on the Helmut Lang line, which he said is rapidly gaining traction.

Rosen said he expects Premise’s fall merchandise “will follow the same cadence that is normally done” in terms of promotions.

The brand will continue in Japan, where it has performed better and does about $30 million in volume. “The way they do business there and lease space is more like a retail and a wholesale business, and that’s been more effective,” Rosen said.

Premise was run by a small staff of about 10 to 12 employees, with Theory having helped with many services, and some of the staff will join the parent organization. Premise president Elizabeth Calderone, who had been with Theory for about eight years, will leave the company.

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