One of fashion insiders’ favorite design houses, Sies Marjan, is closing its doors after five years in operations part and parcel due to ramifications of Covid-19.
The New York-based design house, founded by Dutch designer Sander Lak in 2015, quickly caught the attention of influential press and buyers with his intricately crafted clothes and unique use of color. The firm showed in Paris and New York, opting for larger productions as well as more intimate affairs. In 2018 the designer won the coveted CFDA Award for Emerging Talent. His rich, jewel tones and unexpected color combinations have become a trademark, as well as his soft textures and directional shapes.
What we have worked on has been a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who has given their time and talent to Sies Marjan over the years.
– Sander Lak, Creative Director Sies Marjan
Sies Marjan was backed by billionaires Nancy and Howard Marks, who previously owned Chado Ralph Rucci, with whom the couple parted ways unceremoniously with the namesake designer, afterward aiming to keep the house open by hiring Lak and Chief Executive Joey Laurenti. However, the Marks later opted to allow Lak to launch his own label named after his parents instead, which enabled them to keep Rucci’s previous atelier in New York running.
The Impression’s Philippe Pourhashemi caught up with the designer at the early stages of the Covid pandemic for an interview in April where the designer explained, “We still don’t know what is going to happen. It is a very scary time, but you have to be hopeful and flexible as a young brand. It’s not easy working from home. I do miss my team and being able to collaborate in person. That kind of dialogue is so important and it is where the magic tends to happen. We are doing our best to recreate what we can in a digital way, but we, as humans, obviously enjoy communicating in the flesh. The whole process is a bit isolating.”
The house lacked the resources many of European house has from a pool of shared resources from an global conglomerate such as LVMH and Kering brands that it sat against in the global offering. In 2019 Siers Marjan suffered an economic blow when its exclusive distribution to Barney’s New York imploded as the retailer closed leaving many designer brands reeling and seeking to control their own distribution to New York’s upscale market. The pandemic exasperated the firms cash flow as it has for many independent design houses, forcing the house to make the difficult decision to shutter.
Lak closed in his recent interview with The Impression, “What has inspired me is how everyone’s coming together right now. We are all playing our part and it’s clear that we can’t do this alone. This sense of community, strength, and collaboration, has been very inspiring.”