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Is the Fashion Industry Failing Conceptual Brands?

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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Last week, Style.com ran a pretty bleak interview with Ben Kirchhoff and Edward Meadham, the duo behind one of London's more conceptual labels, Meadham Kirchoff. In the report, Kirchhoff told Maya Singer that the brand is suffering heavily from financial burdens and may not be able to stage a show in London this upcoming season. The report left many speculating that Meadham Kirchhoff is on its last legs.

Vogue UK put those rumors to rest yesterday, saying that the brand is still on the London Fashion Week show schedule and death is not imminent. However, it was clear from Singer's interview that the brand is struggling to keep up with the pace and financial demands of the industry. Susie Lau, the blogger behind Style Bubble, penned an op-ed for i-D on the matter, saying that Meadham Kirchhoff's woes is a reflection of a troubled industry.

Lau pointed out that the brand has a fervent fan base and the RTW line has always sold well, plus Meadham Kirchhoff's collaboration with Topshop last year sold out in minutes. But the brand's highly conceptual designers aren't business-oriented and the brand lacks support in London.

"Until solutions are found, I lament the dearth of 'difficult' designers—as in their clothes might be tricksy or their characters tempestuous," Lau writes. "Everything comes too easy with Instagram-able personas and rack-ready product. This isn't the industry that I fell in love with. I'd rather be in la-la land than a no-man's land of drone-like fashion and conveyor belt creativity."

· What Does Meadham Kirchhoff's Struggle Say About the Fashion Industry? [i-D]
· Top 7 Meadham Kirchhoff x Topshop 'Maniacal Baby' Looks [Racked]
· The Quick and Dirty on London Fashion Week [Racked]