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10 Designers Who Have Lost the Rights to Their Names, and Where They Are Now

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Sigerson and Morrison via <a href="http://ny.racked.com/archives/2011/05/16/sigerson_morrison_say_goodbye_with_a_threeday_giant_sale.php">Racked</a> NY
Sigerson and Morrison via Racked NY

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When the story behind Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison's mysterious departure from their namesake Sigerson Morrison label came out this week, it got us thinking of all the confusion that goes down when designers name their babies labels after themselves—and then lose the rights to them. It's a more frequent occurrence than one might think. Enjoy just ten of the severances that prove you can take the designer out of the label, but the name confusion will go on forever.

1. Jil Sander: This one is legendary. After building her label for almost 30 years, she sold 75% of her company to Prada in 1999. Six months later she resigned, citing differences with Prada's chief executive. Then she came back. Then she left again. Now, of course, she's back.

Moral: Breaking up is hard to do.

2. Daryl K: '90s purveyor of rock tees and low riding pants, Daryl Kerrigan sold her successful label to a fashion conglomerate in 2000, but when the economy tanked it took the venture with it.

Moral: This is a sign: Lowriders should stay in the '90s.


Hate to see you go, Chung

3. Doo.Ri: This one still stings. Doo-Ri Chung started her brand in 2001 and met a huge amount of acclaim in the industry. She left without explanation this summer.

Moral: We just want to know why, Doo-Ri.

4. Halston: Roy Halston Frowick was huge in the '70s. The designer sold to Norton Simon Industries in 1973, and they made a deal with JCPenney in 1982, and that was the label's kiss of death since it "cheapened the brand." Halston was fired two years later.

Moral: The pre-high-low collab world was a strange place.

5. Thierry Mugler: Thierry Mugler lost control of his eponymous fashion label to the nearly-as-bizarre Nicola Formichetti, aka Lady Gaga’s bestie man). Mugler now calls himself "Manfred".

Moral: None. Things can't be that bad if you get to refer to yourself as Manfred.


The man, the myth, the...

6. John Galliano: Saying goodbye to Dior also meant had to let go of the the LVMH-controlled John Galliano line.

Moral: We think we all know what the moral is here.

7. Hervé Léger: Hervé Léger said goodbye to his name when the company was bought by the BCBG Max Azria Group in 1998 (sad). Now he designs under Hervé L. Leroux (well, that works too).

Moral: Pseudonyms can be...fun?

8. Roland Mouret: From 2005 to 2010, Roland Mouret had to design under the name RM by Roland Mouret, but then he bought back the rights to his name.

Moral: There can be happy endings—if you consider spending an "undisclosed sum" (read: a whole big bunch) to own your own name a happy ending.

9. Calvin Klein: Klein is one of the few name losers who still holds financial stake in his company, but relinquished creative control over all his lines.

Moral: That's one way to avoid the Fashion Week frenzy.


The invisible man, not seen outside his inner circle since 1997

10. Martin Margiela: The ever elusive Martin Margiela performed his last disappearing act in 2009, peacing out without a word, until company stakeholders announced that he hadn't been there for quite some time. How very mysterious but his name lives on without him.

Moral: You snooze you loose (your name).

· So This Is Why Sigerson Morrison Was "On Hiatus" Last Season [Racked]