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12 Jun '15

Farewell, for Now. KCR is Retiring from the Apparel Business

Posted by K. Cooper Ray

After three fantastic years collaborating with Brooks Brothers and 2 years on my own with Social Primer Charleston I am announcing today that I am retiring from the apparel business. It's been a great ride, let me tell you. I've enjoyed the creative process and meeting and hearing from enthusiastic supporters the most, but it is time to take a step back and look at what is profitable.

When I first began the Brooks Brothers collaboration I was at the front of the Bow Tie Revolution in fashion. We experienced stellar success at BB selling out each season and even ranking in the top 10 worldwide sales. When I launched Social Primer solo collection at New York Fashion Week we were met with great acclaim. Press and praise have never been lacking and for that I am grateful to the bloggers, journalists, stylists and stores, but one cannot live on praise alone. Since I insisted my collections be made in America, we experienced the harsh reality that the competition was content to produce in foreign factories and offer inferior product at lower prices. It became achingly clear that we could not turn a profit up against such odds. And don’t even get me started about the knock offs and copy cats! Flattery, gets you every time.

As we approach the end of the second year of Social Primer Charleston, I am proud to tell you that there will be no more bow tie collections for the foreseeable future -- the same for the tuxedo and blazer collections. The production hurdles are simply too formidable. I thank you for your support from the bottom of my heart. It has been a wild ride and one I do not regret.

As for what’s next? There are many options and offers and I am mulling for the future. Writing is always my first passion, with styling a close second. I hope to capitalize on my experience as an event planner, etiquette stickler and host. I do throw incredible parties, so you know that will be a given. I have been getting inquiries for collaborations, and I want to work with the best. There’s even talk of a women’s capsule collection, so don’t worry, there will be some style to come.

To close it out with a bang I am selling off the archives from the very beginning at Brooks Brothers and our very first samples from the New York Fashion Week debut. Here.

Thank you and so long, for now!