Anyone following Vena Cava will know that last year was a tough one for the brand. After a string of financial problems everything thankfully took a turn for the better last month when Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, the founders and creative forces behind the brand, confirmed that they had secured investment with LF USA. When the news was announced the pair said that they were pleased to be able to pass on the business reigns to someone else and considering that Li & Fung (the subsidiary of LF USA who the pair are working with) have helped make brands like Keds and Rachel Zoe a success, it's safe to say that they are in good hands.
Buhai reiterated this in a recent interview with Refinery 29 saying, 'We reached a point where we realized that in order to take the brand where we wanted it to go, we needed a strategic partner to help with the back-end. We were sick of getting caught up in logistics and wanted to spend more time on the product and on being creative. LF reached out to us. It was a strange psychic thing and everything fell into place,' she said and so far so good. 'We've been working with LF now for a few months, and it's far beyond what we had thought it might be. They're experts at sourcing, tech design, fabrication, manufacturing, and many other things that can be extremely difficult for a small brand to get a handle on. But at the same time, they understand that we're the experts when it comes to our brand and our customer, and are totally open to letting us continue to do awesome and weird branding projects like our online garage sale, non-fashion-persons' Fashion's Night Out, zines and anything else that helps our brand maintain its 'personal-ness,' Mayock added.
2011 end in a bad way for Vena Cava. As well as not being able to show their S/S12 collection reports confirmed that they had had to lay off a lot of staff and were forced to move out of their Soho headquaters due to financial problems caused by a loss of a major investor earlier on in the year. But don't worry. The brand are up and moving in a good direction again.
This week the brand released a press release explaining that their money woes had subdued after they managed to ink a new licencing partnership with Li & Fung subsidiary LF USA, which also works with everyone from Keds to Rachel Zoe. Under the arrangement founders Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayok will continue to design and work on the creative side while LF UK will take over the business side. But that's not all. To try and bring in a profit in the coming year the brand is set to expand into new product categories too.
Sadly things aren't looking to good for Vena Cava. Although the label has been well received by editors and celebrities since it was founded by design duo Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai back in 2004, the brand shutter.
As well as deciding not to show their S/S12 collection back in September, a source close to the brand revealed that the label had to move out of their Soho headquarters this week and are currently working from home and have had to lay off a lot of staff. Although their collaboration with TJ Maxx may still go ahead, WWD confirmed that the recent reports about the labels' financial situation are true and they are "on the brink". The trouble was caused by the loss of a major investor earlier on in the year but according to the duo, there is still potential for more investment. “We love what we built with Vena Cava and are dedicated to seeing it thrive and grow. We have had some very positive talks from potential partners and feel confident about moving forward,” Moyak told WWD.
Isaac Mizrahiisn't the only designer deciding against showing his S/S12 collection in a runway show this season. This week Max Azria have announced that they will not have a runway show this season but have remained quiet about the reason behind the change, leading may to believe that it's a result of their ongoing financial difficulties. But it's not all bad. Hervé Léger and BCBG Max Azria will both show their collections at normal.
But Max Azria is not alone. Vena Cava confirmed that she will show a small 'preview' of her collection rather than a full-on show with only friend and family being invited. Any press and buyers wanting to have a look at their spring offerings will have to wait to receive the look book which will be sent after the preview. Last season the collection receieved scathing reviews and didn't do to well at retail so this is probably the reason for the change.