NEW YORK, United States — Critically lauded, New York-based women's fashion line Suno has ceased operations, BoF has learned.
While the company's Cruise 2017 collection has been produced and shipped to its retail partners across the globe, the Spring/Summer 2017 collection will not be produced.
"After eight extraordinary years, we have decided to close this chapter and let this resort collection be our last delivery," Suno founder and chief executive Max Osterweis said in a statement to BoF. "We have been humbled by the incredible support that we have had from the moment we launched. It's been a wild and wonderful journey and we would like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who has been there along the way."
Osterweis, who previously worked in film, founded Suno in 2008. He developed the concept for the line, known for its eclectic prints, after making several trips to Kenya’s Lamu Island, where he first sourced fabric traditionally used to make African kangas and repurposed it for contemporary womenswear. Osterweis began using factories in the country and recruited Erin Beatty, a well-regarded designer with experience at Donna Karan and Gap, to be his creative partner.
By 2010, Suno had generated major buzz and attracted praise from the likes of American Vogue and The New York Times. In 2013, the label — which participated in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund twice — won the CFDA’s Swarovski Award for Womenswear. In 2014, Osterweis and Beatty were finalists for the LVMH Prize.
As Suno grew, the label expanded its production to Italy, Romania, India and New York, though it continued to produce certain garments in Kenya, maintaining the emphasis on social responsibility and small-batch manufacturing that was part of the concept from launch.
Unlike many of its peers, Suno had a broad retail footprint, with more than 70 stores stocking its goods, according to the label’s website. Yet the wider retail climate has clearly created roadblocks for many brands. According to multiple sources, the company was unable to secure an investor to help maintain operations and also usher it into the next stage of growth.
In August 2016, Suno's vice president of wholesale and merchandising, Mary Song — who was with the company for nearly five years — left her post to join Prabal Gurung. In September, Suno relinquished its place on the New York Fashion Week calendar, opting to show by appointment later in the week.
Industry sources expect Beatty, who declined to comment, to re-emerge with a new label or at the helm of another New York-based brand.