Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mayhem at Mayle Closing in NYC

About a week and a half ago, I spent two fairly excruciating hours on what had to be the longest, slowest moving line in sample sale history! While waiting, I encountered everyone from quitters to disgruntled shoppers to patient loyalists who had already been waiting for five and a half hours!!...it all got me wondering -- how could a designer with such a fanatic customer base be going out of business? Didn't help that a couple nights before and four storefronts over, BabyStyle, owner of Cadeau Maternity shuttered all 6 of its doors and its web business-after 10 years of delivering maternity chic-in a liquidation of an expectantista's lifetime. So, what gives?

Is the economy gobbling up everything from excessive output to products people actually want, will wait and pay for? Has the recession killed the fundamental indicators of of successful business as we know it? I couldn't let this go, so I went home and did some research. Here were my findings: as it turns out, Jane Mayle decided to shutter her decade old line, despite healthy $5 million dollar annual revenues in 65 wholesale accounts, because she sensed the bubble before it burst and was ready to gracefully bow out. She'd actually decided to end the line earlier last year, and told Womens Wear Daily

"It seems like a commercial cul-de-sac in a way that the customer gets tired before collections even hit stores," Mayle said. "How I came into this business was all about dreaming and building a wardrobe you would be seduced by. That mystery and remoteness ans insouciance have disappeared from fashion in order to accelerate the product. I feel I have just become another cog in that machinery."

Well, Kudos to her for quitting while ahead. As scary as it is to see two popular storefronts on Elizabeth Street shut down within days of each other, not to mention all the other empty storefronts in the city, maybe this recession is for the better.

Maybe everyone recalibrates and this downturn leads us away from cheap money and excess and back to basics alongside creativity when it comes to American business.

Editorial Note: This post was originally published on Hello Beautiful.

Shopping Note: Are you a Mayle enthusiast? Email val@valstyleonline.com to check out what was acquired before it goes online!


Dames and Broads said...

So you aren't even going to tell us what you bought at the sale?

Naki said...

This is all quite interesting. Some people feel that this crisis is necessary, a re-jiggering of sorts. That we will be much better off once the dust settles. Let's hope so. Kudos to Ms.Mayle for having the foresight to plan ahead. In the meantime, more inexpensive designer duds for us!