While the world has continued to live this year through a global pandemic, daily, there is news of what this unprecedented virus has affected. Carly Cushnie, CEO and Creative Director of Cushnie announced that she will be closing down the doors of her label, citing COVID-19 as the reason.
“The effects of Covid-19 have hurt my business beyond repair, and it is with great sadness that I share Cushnie will be closing its doors,” Cushnie wrote in a letter sent to the media Wednesday morning. Cushnie’s designs have been seen on celebrities like Beyonce and Michelle Obama along with the designer being appointed to the Board of Directors of the CFDA.
The work from the label exuded a mod yet structured take on today’s fashion design. Mastering the art of monochromatic selects and silky silhouettes, Carly Cushie was a force in the industry. Most importantly, she was apart of a very small community of Black women who sit at the helm of a luxury fashion house. “One of the great ironies of the fashion industry is that while it caters to and profits from women, it has never felt like an industry that supports them. This is especially true for women of color,” Cushie wrote.
In 2008, the designer created the fashion house with her then business partner Michelle Ochs, under the starting name Cushnie et Ochs. After a 10-year-run, the design duo split in 2018 with sources stating the split was a natural end and announced Cushnie as a namesake label with Carly Cushnie as the CEO.
This news comes after months of the fashion industry discussing ways in which the Black curator should have the same amount of resources given to their counterparts. While there have been strides to create results from these conversations, there is a still a disconnect with buyers and supporting Black designers, especially Black women. “As one of the few Black female designers to achieve this level of success, I am both humbled and empowered by the undeniable mark that I have made.”
There’s much hope for the fashion industry in 2021 but the dismissal and the lack of support Black women are given within this space, curates an infrastructure that can’t succeed unless the community that inspires this institution is supported. Although the Cushnie era may be over, the designer notes that this journey will certainly not be her last. “I look forward to embarking on what’s to come,” she wrote.