Hard Times Hit Struggling Designers




Everyone has been crying foul at the state of the economy. Well, the problem has hit closer to home. The uber chic boutique, Jake, in Chicago has run into trouble and so have several of its suppliers. Created by Jim Wetzel and Lance Lawson five years ago, Jake was a trailblazer in finding unknown promising designers and promoting their wares. Their loyalty and innovation endeared them to many up-and-coming designers like Doo-Ri Chung. Alas, the fairy-tale of being patronized grandly (shelling out $50,000 in one go on orders) was not meant to last. To date Jake owes an outstanding $60,000 to Ms. Chung. They are not the only ones suffering. It is true the downturn has affected all luxury fashion retailers, but it is without a doubt the smaller independent outfits that have taken the worst blows. And, as retailers suffer, they pass the pain down the food chain to the designers.  An article in the NYTimes by Eric Wilson reveals just how bad things are.


(Maryam Majekodunmi)