The Eddie Borgo business seems to have quietly slipped away.
A source said the handbag and jewelry company closed shop late last year and has cleaned out its offices. The brand’s web site and telephone number were both disconnected as of Monday and its last Instagram post came on Dec. 8 — a picture of The Chet Minaudiére handbag that garnered 163 likes.
The brand is still available online from a number of third parties, including neimanmarcus.com, Shopbop and Net-a-porter. The assortment was on deep discount at the Neiman Marcus web site, where a pavé pyramid bracelet in gunmetal was selling for $135 rather than $300.
Efforts to reach Borgo were unsuccessful Monday.
The rise and apparent fall of the Eddie Borgo business illustrates just how tough it’s become for designers today, even for those who were once the talk of the industry.
Just over five years ago, Borgo was the picture of fashion success, the fedora-wearing herald of a new plugged-in generation.
He launched his costume and fashion jewelry label into the maw of a recession in 2008, but had a strong start with some very prominent support. He was mentored by former Chanel chief Maureen Chiquet, won the 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, received a $100,000 boost from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and another $100,000 from a Vogue Tiffany Grant.
Chiquet described Borgo in 2012 as “smart and ambitious with a real vision for his business. He has an incredible curiosity and hunger to learn about everything — from manufacturing to supply chain to sales to finance to management.”
There was talk of the designer bringing on an investor around that time. Borgo said, “I think where [we] started to look, for lack of a better word, ‘sexy’ to an investor, is the fact that we have multiple revenue streams, and all of those revenue streams are already lucrative.”
Those streams seem to have dried up. And investment, beyond an angel backer, seems never to have come. The business pushed on, expanding into handbags in 2015. The following year, Borgo became a Tiffany collaborator.
As of 2016, Borgo was sole owner, chairman and chief creative officer and told WWD, “I’ve always seen the company becoming much more of a design firm than a fashion or jewelry house.”