Since I’m a fashion person, I get really sad when I hear about independent New York designers that are closing because I know firsthand how hard it is to even start a clothing label, let alone thrive in an overcrowded market. But when I heard that Ohne Titel was closing this morning, it hit a little closer to home because Flora Gill and Alexa Adams were some of the very few designers with runway shows that included women of all races on a consistent basis, and their signature cut-out, body con dresses actually had extended sizing in major retailers.
The designers, Flora Gill and Alexa Adams came from high fashion backgrounds, having worked for Helmut Lang and Karl Lagerfeld, and aimed to create more relatable clothes for the modern woman. They carefully curated a collection of fit-and-flare dress silhouettes over their nine years of business, a staple that women of all sizes loved because of its tight, sexy fit and versatility in hem lengths and details.
Though there’s been no confirmation as to why they are shuttering the business now, it’s no secret that the industry is thinning out designers who have that middle ground, real approach towards women, in favor of haute couture and dramatic looks only worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. And with fast fashion retailers like Zara, Topshop and River Island, it’s been extremely hard for designers who are making quality pieces to hold that middle market of not so cheap but not crazy expensive clothing.
And Ohne Titel was financially independent the whole time—putting the integrity and production of their work first, but seemingly, at the cost of their business. Who knows where Flora and Alexa will go, but it’s a major loss for the industry to give up on designers that actually connect with women.