SYDNEY — Brisbane-based fashion label Easton Pearson is closing its doors after 27 years.
Cofounders Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson announced on Wednesday that they would cease production after the current fall season, citing the need to spend more time with their families and to pursue other creative collaborations. The duo said the business carries “no ongoing debt” and that all staff would receive their entitlements.
One of Australia’s most prominent fashion labels, Easton Pearson was renowned for its luxury bohemian style and heavy artisan embellishment. At its peak prior to the global financial crisis, the brand sold through 140 stores in 24 countries, including Australia’s David Jones, Bergdorf Goodman, Browns in London and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.
Easton Pearson is the latest fashion name to shutter in recent years, mostly under heavy financial strain, as was the case for Ksubi, Bettina Liano, Lisa Ho and Kirrily Johnston, amongst others.
Easton and Pearson report they lost 40 percent of their export business in the wake of the global financial crisis, prompting a business restructure and the need to shift the bulk of production from India to China.
“We started tailoring the collections a lot more to the market that we had, instead of making it an aspirational collection where we were making the sort of collections that we wanted to make,” Pearson told WWD. “We’d run the business in a very, very personal and idiosyncratic way, but to survive we had to really cut a lot of corners. For us the fun really started to go out of it then. And with the advent of celebrity culture and social media branding, we just felt that our own ethos was not aligned with the way the business was headed.”
The duo also cited increased competition over the past five years from fast-fashion companies, who arrived relatively late to this market and who continue to open stores across the country at a rapid clip.