At the beginning of June, we told readers about how denim label Earnest Sewn laid off several staffers from their New York office in an effort to pair things down and control costs, causing speculation regarding the brand’s future. According to WWD.com, an e-mail sent by the brand’s former director of public relations said the New York office was closing. That e-mail was later amended to say the office would remain open, and that all online and bricks-and-mortar stores would continue to operate.
Since that time, Earnest Sewn has named Gary Cohen president of the U.S. business, assuming some of the responsibilities of Michael Press, who exited the company as chief executive officer last month. According to WWD.com, Cohen was brought in by the Earnest Sewn owners to head the company, which has not turned a profit in its five-year history. According to many, Cohen faces a big challenge in turning the brand around, as it has alienated retailers with late deliveries and suffers from a serious cash crunch.
Cohen himself acknowledged many of the problems but insisted he is looking toward the future. “Deliveries have not been good, but we’re going to change that. They’ve been late, and in some cases nonexistent,” said Cohen. “There’s been poor internal communication and execution. I think the people before me did an amazing job building a brand, but you have to follow through. They had a great thing in the palm of their hand. I’m going to be fortunate enough to take it and build it to another level.”
Cohen is now the sole employee in New York, and the company’s office functions are being handled out of their Canadian headquarters, where his company, Majestic Mills, is based. Production is in L.A, where Earnest Sewn has hired a new denim designer, Kearstin Nuckles, an alum of Paige Premium Denim, Blue Jeanius and Swift Denim to help bring new life to Earnest Sewn.
With new financial backers and a new president who seems optimistic about the change he can bring, we are excited to see what Earnest Sewn has in store.