Diane von Furstenberg lays off majority of staff amid plans to go digital, focus on China market
New York-based brand Diane von Furstenberg has laid off the majority of its staff and closed all but one of its stores, as it shifts to becoming a digital brand and focusing on its China market, according to multiple reports.
The round of lay offs will cut most of the brand's 400 employees, and the only store to remain open will be the brand's New York City outpost located in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.
The brand, which was launched by namesake designer Diane von Furstenberg in 1972, saw its business suffer in recent months, due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the brand's struggles have been present for some time and before the international health crisis, which has affected companies globally.
Battling for market space during the rise of fast-fashion brands, DVF has gone through multiple changes in design and executive leadership in recent years, appointing Sandra Campos as its most recent CEO in April, 2018. Campos has reportedly since resigned.
In late May, DVF made headlines when it announced the close of its London store. In addition, DVF Studio UK went into administration, a procedure that is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the time of the London store's close, DVF’s finance chief told the Times that the brand was “resetting its business model."
Looking forward, DVF's reported decision to target China might prove to be a profitable save. According to 'The State of Fashion 2020', a report from McKinsey & Company and Business of Fashion, China accounted for 38% of global fashion industry growth across segments over the past 10 years. In addition, since 2012, it has been responsible for 70% of expansion in the luxury segment, a trend that is expected to continue through 2025.
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