As the company refocuses its prospects on China amid the pandemic, an ext than 75 percent the the 400-person staff has been let go, when 18 the end of 19 stores room closing. Yet the modern brand"s company model was challenged long prior to Covid-19.

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Diane Von Furstenberg wade the runway in ~ a fashion show on February 15, 2015. | Source: Shutterstock

NEW YORK, joined States — ~ multiple rounds of restructuring and also years of declining sales, new York-based brand Diane von Furstenberg has actually laid off many of that team and is changing its company to a digital-only, China-focused model, BoF has actually learned.It’s a significant setback for a designer who is still, in the eyes of many, associated with American fashion, attributed with presenting the pave dress and mentoring generations of young talent. Yet like for this reason many contemporary brands, DVF has found itself squeezed by quick fashion and the decline of department stores. The coronavirus pandemic, i beg your pardon closed stores and is supposed to drive down consumer spending top top fashion, was the last blow.

Multiple resources close to the company told BoF that lot of the executive, management team was let go from DVF in beforehand June. Chief executive Sandra Campos resigned, and Vice president of production Holliday Hofstatter is no longer at DVF either. This comes on the heels that layoffs in May, wherein 75 percent the the company’s about 400 employees to be let go, leaving the team under to a “skeleton crew.” Employees claimed layoffs were excellent over Zoom and without any kind of comment indigenous von Furstenberg. Some employees were let go without severance.

The worldwide businesses the DVF in England and France will certainly shutter. (At the finish of May, the brand’s brothers subsidiary, DVF Studio UK, got in administration, the country’s equivalent to chapter 11.)

DVF will certainly close 18 sleeve locations, leaving only its store in new York City’s meatpacking district, i beg your pardon von Furstenberg owns. (The added floors are the company’s office, studio and also a live-work an are for the designer.) stores that have been closed due to the fact that of Covid-19 will certainly reopen soon and also begin to liquidate merchandise.

Representatives from DVF declined to comment. Von Furstenberg did not respond come emailed requests because that comment.

DVF join the pileup of fashion brand struggling to recoup from the coronavirus pandemic. The global fashion industry is projected to watch revenue decrease by approximately 30 percent this year, according to The organization of Fashion and also McKinsey’sState of Fashion report coronavirus edition.

Fashion giants such as Gap, Macy’s and also Tommy Hilfiger and also Calvin Klein parent firm PVH Corp. Have reported losses of about $1 exchange rate each. Retailers including Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney have filed for bankruptcy, if Brooks Brothers and also Ann Taylor parent company Ascena Retail team are supposedly considering the same.

The DVF brand began in 1972, when von Furstenberg, then married come her very first husband, the German aristocrat Prince Egon von Furstenberg, introduced the pave dress. Von Furstenberg’s success embodied the American dream: she was in her 20s and had immigrated to the US when she introduced her brand. She even nabbed a covering of Newsweek in 1976.

The 73-year-old designer, in countless ways, is synonymous with American fashion. Von Furstenberg was the chairman the the board of directors of Fashion designers of America because that 13 years and also has mentored developers including Alexander Wang. The brand is privately owned and also family-run; von Furstenberg sits on the brand’s board, as do her husband, Barry Diller, and her kids Alex von Furstenberg and also Tatiana von Furstenberg.

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DVF’s ideal years were in the beforehand 2000s. Crucial to its success back then to be Paula Sutter, who served as chairman from 1999 come 2013, and also helped DVF build a second resurgence ~ its initial eight in the 1970s. Sutter helped the fashion label grow into a fashion lifestyle company, finish with shoes, accessories, and also a home items collection.

But like plenty of fashion brands, DVF was struggling well before Covid-19. Sources said the company generated promising outcomes from its direct-to-consumer e-commerce arm, but that didn’t make up for the high price of running physical shop — it decreased its number of locations from 32 come 19 over the last two years, several of which were global or franchises. It additionally had decreasing sales at room stores.

Campos, the chief executive who resigned last week, was carried on in 2018 from global Brands Group, wherein she to be co-president that women"s apparel, which had brands likeJuicy Couture and Herve Leger. She was tasked through revamping the company; she streamlined the business’ many offices, introduced more affordable products and also focused on its direct-to-consumer channel.

With the emphasis on straight sales, DVF shrunk its all footprint. Yet it has additionally lost vital accounts. It to be dropped by Bloomingdale’s, and also was stocked at under stores through Neiman Marcus, Saks fifth Avenue and also Nordstrom. One employee who operated in merchandising claimed the brand was under to about 10 wholesale account in the US, and also that plenty of wholesalers walk not desire to work-related with the company because the product didn’t offer well.

Clothing indigenous the DVF brand starts at around $200, but can walk all the way up come $1,800, placing the brand in the category of mid-priced fashion brand that have been edged the end in recent years through cheaper alternatives from rapid fashion and also the cultivation resale market. DVF’s draft were never ever quite distinctive enough to organize customers’ fist in an increasingly crowded market. Sources said revenue is meant to come in well listed below $250 million this year, under from a reported $500 million in 2015. DVF had been in search of a buyer and also was additionally considering license its brand name.

The decline of the DVF brand is representative that the threats of wholesale. Even with a founder and brand name together recognizable as von Furstenberg"s, fashion developers have long been struggling v cancelled orders, delay payments, and excess inventory due to the fact that of your wholesale partnerships. Coronavirus cut deep, with retailers resorting to fire sales in stimulate to generate much-needed cash to salary rent and salaries. Huge fashion brands like DVF that have tried to pivot discovered that expansions over the years had left them with bloated organization models that were expensive to finance.

DVF is still emerging its organization plan, however sources say the firm has rental designer Nathan Jenden because that the 3rd time. Jenden operated for the company for a decade and also was instrumental in DVF’s growth. ~ leaving in 2011, DVF cycled through a couple of artistic directors until it hired Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders in 2016 together its first chief an imaginative officer. Saunders resigned in 2017, v friction comes from an imaginative differences. Jenden to be temporarily hired earlier to DVF from the global Brands Group-owned Bebe (where the met Campos) however departed again in 2018.

The company"s worldwide wholesale company was performing far better than its united state one, and also so the firm plans come keep marketing DVF to a few wholesalers in Europe, under a tiny team in London.

Sources say the agency will now mainly focus on wholesaling to stores in China — an effort that will certainly be run by Gabby Hirata, the company’s head of business breakthrough for Asia-Pacific. It’s uncertain if the company will still be to run its e-commerce work in the US as soon as it sells out of the spring collection at this time on the site.

As a designer and businesswoman,von Furstenberghas transformed herself many times. Her different organization models reflect the fashion industry"s trajectory; the truth that she is focusing on China, which was responsible because that 38 percent of the global fashion industry"s development over the last decade, suggests that the agency might fine weather this daunting time.

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"Empowering women is miscellaneous I"ve constantly done," she said BoF in 2018. "It"s not a marketing tool."

Editor"s Note: This story to be updated ~ above 16 June, 2020 come reflect thatSanda Campos resigned native DVF, and also was no laid off.