Updated: May 9
Fashion news is buzzing about Made-In-Africa luxury brand Edun’s decision to stop its operations. In 2009, LVMH invested in the brand and owned 49% of shares, which transferred back to founders Artist Bono from U2 and his wife Ali Hewson. Sadly, the label’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection was its last and its only storefront on Lafayette Street in Manhattan, closed at the end of May 2018.
In the beginning, Edun received lots of hype for its support in the development of Africa’s manufacturing and agriculture industries. It’s most memorable contribution was lobbying to bring back the African Goals and Opportunities Act (AGOA) an initiative that helped factories across the continent by improving economic relations between the US and Africa. Through their persistence, the US Congress reinstated the legislation.
Unfortunately, factors like an ever-changing brand identity, pricing and leadership did not grant the brand a fighting change. Although the brand was aesthetically on par, it struggled to maintain a true brand identity. The brand rotated through several designers, starting with Rogan Gregory, who departed in 2007, then Sharon Wauchob, who stayed on for six seasons. In 2013, Danielle Sherman, a veteran of The Row and Alexander Wang, joined the compan, but she exited in 2016.
Edun’s ethical mission just was not enough for consumers to conform to the brand’s irregularities. This is a testament that customers require consistency over popularity and that business structure is even more important to the long-term success of fashion brands than the products themselves.