Sies Marjan RTW Fall 2020

Sies Marjan is shutting its doors.

A casualty of the coronavirus, the independent designer brand could not weather the manufacturing and production shutdown caused by the global pandemic. “As a young independent company, we were significantly impacted by COVID-19. With a heavy heart, we have made the very difficult decision to close our business,” according to a statement released to WWD.

“What we have worked on has been a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who has given their time and talent to Sies Marjan over the years. We have built a singular brand whose legacy is not just in the clothes and collections, but within each person who contributed along the way,” continued creative director Sander Lak, who cut his teeth at Dries Van Noten before launching the label in 2016.

The designer has been a bright talent in the New York fashion scene, championing color and utility through precise technique and pillars of sustainability. The fall 2020 collection he showed during February’s New York Fashion Week tackled sustainability, the climate and the changing elements with workwear organically dyed and pounded with plants (as prints) that managed to remain modern and sleek. Lak is perhaps best known for his liquid-like dresses and languid separates in pastels and rainbow hues, balancing urban intrigue with a quiet sense of elegance.

As COVID-19 has put a halt to businesses worldwide, smaller independent brands are among those suffering the most. While some have had the ability to turn their studios and ateliers into production hubs for personal protective equipment, others have not been so fortunate. Wholesale cancellations and reductions have been commonplace for fall, while the Council of Fashion Designers of America has strongly urged against the production of a resort 2021 market season.

During quarantine, numerous fashion designers and groups have advocated for an overhaul of the fashion calendar to better align deliveries with the seasons they’re intended, but that itself is a long work in progress.

To ease the impact wrought by the coronavirus, the CFDA launched A Common Thread to provide funds to small and medium-size businesses in the fashion industry that have been in business for at least two years. Though it is unknown if Lak applied for the initiative, his name was not among those of first-round recipients.

The brand ended its farewell announcement by saying: “We greatly appreciate and thank our industry partners, clients and amazing team for your support and love over these past five years.”