In June it was officially announced that all Juicy Couture stores would be closing and that the line’s signature velour lounge-wear would be available for customers at the not-so-glamorous department store, Kohl’s. There is no doubt that many of us like luxury and designer labels. In recent years, luxury labels have become more obtainable, the reason being that many major fashion houses and designers are collaborating with stores including the aforementioned Kohl’s, Target, J.C. Penney and fast fashion chain, H&M. While designer collaborations for a season or two won’t hurt (and might even help) the image of a luxury label, for some brands, it can lead to a declining reputation. Here are ten luxury labels that no one seems to want anymore. Some of these labels are no longer on the market, while others went mass market and stayed there. Either way, you probably fawned over most of them at some point and then probably forgot they even existed, until now.
10 Juicy Couture
In the early 2000’s, everyone wore Juicy Couture tracksuits, from Amy Poehler as Regina’s mom in the movie Mean Girls, to Paris Hilton and probably you, your mother or grandmother. Juicy Couture boutiques began to pop up in exclusive shopping districts from Rodeo Drive to Madison Avenue. The line was also sold at high-end department stores including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Now, all of the Juicy Boutiques are closing. Juicy inked a deal with Kohl’s department store and so now, anyone could pick up this no-longer-coveted look. But fear not fashionistas, Juicy will soon be re-launching its concept and opening up new stores, which will sell only their high end luxury black label line.
Like most people, you’re probably confusing Izod with Lacoste. Izod is a low-end brand owned by Phillips Van Heusen that sells polos which retail under $30, for a men's shirt. Lacoste is and always was a higher end company, which sells a similar men’s polo for around $100. What’s the difference? A small crocodile logo on the breast. Between 1952-1993, the brands collaborated to make Izod Lacoste shirts, which were commonly dubbed “Izod Shirts.” However, by the 90’s, their popularity began to decline and in 1995, the Izod brand was sold off to PVH. While Lacoste maintained its image as a chic brand, the same cannot be said about Izod.
8 Rock & Republic
Rock & Republic was founded in 2002. It became very popular when Victoria Beckham collaborated with them and designed a line of denim-studded jeans called VB Rocks. The brand was a celeb favorite, with a-list fans like Charlize Theron and model, Molly Sims. At the time, Rock and Republic jeans started at around $300 and were sold at upscale department stores including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. They also opened up boutiques in places like Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. Perhaps they expanded too quickly because in 2011, the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. The line was sold off to Kohl’s, who now sells the jeans for less than one third of the original prices.
7 Pierre Cardin
Pierre Cardin is a name you have seen, heard of, and probably wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Cardin established his fashion house in 1950 in Paris, France. In 1954, he designed his iconic Bubble Dress, which was considered extremely controversial at the time. In the 1960’s, he began the practice of licensing, which most designers use today (you didn't think Calvin Klein actually designed socks, right?). Cardin's name has been on over eight hundred products, anything and everything from clothes, perfume, frying pans, chocolate, ice buckets, sardines, radiators and cigarettes. Not so glamorous. So, while his clothing, even up until the 1980’s, was considered high end, Cardin’s name is so diluted, while it used to be associated with luxury, it’s now associated with junk.
6 Zac Posen
Unlike the other designers on this list, Zac Posen is a luxury label that no one wants anymore, unless it’s his actual luxury label. While Posen's couture line continues to thrive, every effort Posen has made to deviate from being high-end have failed. His lower priced line, Z Spoke only lasted for three years, from 2010-2013. His 2010 collaboration with Target received lukewarm reviews. Posen has tried and failed three times to start a perfume collection. His most recent effort to go mass market is a line of bridal wear for the very un-glamorous chain, David’s Bridal, called Truly. The pieces cost between $850-$1350. Perhaps the fourth time is the charm because so far, the line has received positive reviews.
5 Isabel Toledo
Isabel Toledo is perhaps best known for designing the “Lemongrass” dress that First Lady, Michelle Obama wore to her husband’s inauguration. At the time, Toledo's beautiful designs were sold at high-end department stores, such as Barney’s New York. Even the sophisticated New Yorker magazine profiled Mrs. Toledo and her husband, Ruben, who work as a team. Now the retailers who carry her line are anything but exclusive: Payless Shoe Source and Lane Bryant. In 2010, she launched her shoe line at Payless, which also included bags and clutches. In 2013, she became the first designer ever to collaborate with a plus sized retailer. Toldeo's twenty-five piece collection for Lane Bryant is priced accordingly between $38-$179.
4 Neiman Marcus
For the 2013 Holiday season, Neiman Marcus collaborated with a brand that is the exact opposite of itself, Target. Considering the designers they were able to secure for the line, this collaboration should have succeeded by default, but the line failed miserably. Tory Burch, Robert Rodiguez, Alice + Olivia, Diane Von Furstenburg, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Rag + Bone, Jason Wu and Oscar de la Renta, as well as several other designers all contributed to this collection. Overpriced, poorly executed and badly designed, this line went on sale nearly three weeks after its debut. Even the cache of the Neiman’s name wasn't enough to tempt Target customers to buy this line.
3 Ed Hardy
Don Ed Hardy is a tattoo designer and artist. In 2004, Christian Audiger, who was previously the head designer of Von Dutch, licensed the rights to produce a clothing line based on Hardy’s art. He opened up Ed Hardy stores everywhere from Hollywood to Quatar. Ed Hardy was everywhere for approximately fifteen minutes. The market soon became over-saturated with Ed Hardy clothing and junk from condoms and lighters to hair flatirons. When it first became popular, many celebs were fans of the line, including Fergie and Shawn Johnson. However, when Audiger became friends with Jon & Kate Plus Eight star, Jon Gosselin, the line’s cool factor apparently crashed. By 2010, the stores closed and the line was finished. However, many of the licensed products are still out there today, like air fresheners for your car to decorate your dashboard.
2 Isaac Mizrahi
Isaac Mizrahi was a renowned designer in the 90’s, who was a favorite of actresses Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman and Debra Messing. In 1995, his less expensive bridge line, Is**c, with items costing between $275 and $850 was supposed to be the next big thing, but it closed in 1997. In 2002, he created a successful line for Target, which consisted of linens, shoes, clothing and pet supplies. In 2008, Mizrahi shuttered that line and in 2009, launched a collection for Liz Claiborne. The Liz Claiborne line failed, but Mizrahi designed a successful line for QVC two years later, which is still being sold today. He also has a line of affordable footwear and clothing, available at Bloomingdales and Nordstom, but his days of being a big name couturier are far gone.
1 Liz Lange
In 1999, Liz Lange was the designer to be seen in, if you were pregnant. Previously a staff writer at Vogue, Lange designed her own maternity line when she and her friends couldn't find any maternity clothing they liked. She opened up stores on Madison Avenue and in Beverly Hills. The designs were very expensive for maternity at the time, from $200 for a cotton shirt to $400 for a cashmere sweater. Lange pioneered designer maternity wear. In 2002, she designed a line for Target, which to this day, is the only maternity line they sell. In 2009, Lange forayed into the world of ready-to-wear, with a line for HSN. Her exclusive shops have closed and while she is no longer a luxury designer, Lange has made mothers of all budgets look chic.
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