Thom's Troubling Omen

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With every designer from Roland Mouret to Carlos Miele entering the menswear market, you'd assume it's one area that's seemingly recession proof, or at least suffering on a smaller scale.

It looks like that may not be the case. If Men's Vogue going under wasn't the first indication of trouble on the menswear home front then Thom Browne might be the perfect warning to those considering suiting up the boys in the near future.

Browne's known for his too-cool-for-school designs - outfits that look like you picked them up off your bedroom floor and suits practically built around bow-ties. But apparently investors just realized said suits cost about $5,000 a pop and they're not holding their own on the rack. Which means canceled orders for Spring and Fall from small boutiques to big department stores and the possibility of bankruptcy.

It's a bit of a surprise for two reasons:

1. Thom Browne has quickly become the fashion world's sweetheart.
2. His multi-million dollar partnerships with Harry Winston, Moncler and Brooks Brother continue into 2011.

With that much established success and future potential, how could anyone not be surprised he's flailing? Is this an omen for all the designers we previously assumed could ride this out and a warning to those trying to expand?


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