The whole world goes bankrupt


Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Worldwide

Well, it turns out that not all sweatpants are “forever. “

On Wednesday, Scott Sternberg, founder of Entireworld, the Los Angeles-based brand known for its colorful and WFH-friendly sweatpants, announced that it would immediately cease operations, with a clearance sale starting. in line today. In a public letter to customers and subscribers, Sternberg called it a “nuclear apocalypse of an end,” citing the dissolution of an acquisition deal as the last nail in the coffin.

Sternberg, who could not be reached immediately for comment, unfortunately has a history of quick and dramatic endings. In 2015, he announced that he would be leaving Band of Outsiders, the fashion brand with a capital F that he launched in 2004, after would have run up against its Belgian donors and finally default on their loan.

Entireworld, founded in 2018, was Sternberg’s attempt to create something more enduring: a direct-to-consumer brand that existed outside of the quotation mark fashion system, which he openly criticizes since the days of Band of Outsider. Instead of producing trendy items on an incredibly demanding schedule, Entireworld would deliver “the things you live in” that is, well-made, inexpensive basics like t-shirts, turtlenecks. , socks, underwear and, yes, sweatpants that arguably had more charm than something mass produced. (Coincidentally, I’m wearing an Entireworld t-shirt as I type this after putting it on yesterday afternoon, sleeping in it, and apparently never taking it off.)

For a moment, it seemed like the whole world had a future. While many brands struggled to stay afloat at the start of the pandemic, it flourished, earning more in March and April 2020 than during its entire first year in business, according to one. New York Times Magazine cover story from last year titled “Sweatpants Forever. “ Its colorful and comfortable pieces gave customers a touch of cheerfulness during the lockdown. But what about life after sweatpants?

In the Times article, Sternberg acknowledges that nothing, of course, lasts forever, especially not in fashion. “You have to assume that the cycle will change even if you sell commodities,” he says. “And how are you going to deal with this? How to create a business able to withstand these fluctuations over time? A few weeks ago, Entireworld’s fall / winter collection, which included slippers, coats and other new arrivals, was listed as “coming soon” on its website. But, unfortunately, he never came.

At the end of “Sweatpants Forever,” Sternberg expresses his frustration with potential investors, who – to quote writer Irina Aleksander – seemed more interested in turning to bigger brands on the verge of bankruptcy, rather than supporting a smaller who actually made money. . Now we know how it all turned out.

“Alas, here we are, a messy pile of bricks strewn across the floor, making a goddamn clearance sale,” Sternberg wrote at the end of his letter. “If I dare say, everything must go. So refuel. Enjoy it. Live in it. Love in it.

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