Future of Simon Spurr Brand Up in the Air

Executives are being tight-lipped about the label's future in the wake of the surprising and abrupt departure of its creative director.

NEW YORK — Executives at Simon Spurr are being tight-lipped about the brand’s future in the wake of the surprising and abrupt departure of creative director Simon Spurr. Co-founder Judd Nydes, who launched the company with Spurr in 2006, did not return e-mails and calls Monday, nor did the company’s chief financial officer, Jenny Villarreal.

This story first appeared in the March 20, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

However, a financial source that works with the New York-based company said Nydes planned to continue the business without Spurr. Nydes and other members of the team were “shocked” by Spurr’s decision to leave, added the source.

A press representative for Simon Spurr said the company would have no further comment on the designer’s exit. Spurr himself did not respond to additional questions.

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Ilaria Urbinati, the co-owner and buyer for Confederacy in Los Angeles, questioned whether the brand would last long without Spurr at the design helm. “He was the heart and soul of the company. The brand is 100 percent about him and his aesthetic and vision. I don’t think it can survive without him,” she said.

Urbinati was one of the first buyers to pick up Simon Spurr when it originally launched, but she said Confederacy would no longer buy the line without its namesake designer. Urbinati, who is also a Hollywood stylist, has regularly dressed clients like Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans and Armie Hammer in Simon Spurr for red-carpet events and press tours.

“He must have been pretty unhappy to leave the company like that,” noted Urbinati, who is a personal friend of Spurr’s, with the designer attending her wedding last year to photographer Eric Ray Davidson. “It’s a huge shame.”

The company is owned by Spurr, Nydes and a Sweden-based family that invested in the brand, said a source. Nydes is also a founder and managing partner of Ridgeway Capital Group, which raises capital for asset management firms.

Spurr’s exit came just two days after he was nominated for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award, along with Patrik Ervell and Billy Reid. While Spurr is no longer associated with a label at the moment, this latest development won’t directly impact that nomination, said Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, as the prize is based on the designer’s previous two seasons of work — although it could sway voters’ perceptions of Spurr.

“It’s the individual, not the company, that is nominated,” Kolb explained. “I hope that the voters will vote on that body of work.”