If we had to name the biggest fashion news of 2015, it would certainly be the massive amount of designer departures. So it seems almost fitting – in a maudlin sort of way – to see the year in fashion come to a close with another adieu, this time from Jonathan Saunders. The Scottish designer, well known for his amazing prints and work with color theory, rose through the ranks a little more than a decade ago alongside fellow London fashion designers Christopher Kane and J.W. Anderson. Although his designs attracted an elite group of A-listers like Madonna and Sienna Miller to his label, he never managed to push through to capture the international market the way his peers did.
Saunders has seen a year filled with changes. In January, it was announced that he would partner with investor Eiesha Bharti Pasricha, and then in July Saunders and Pasricha decided to take on CEO Rupert Maunsell to helm the business side of the company. It seemed like the Jonathan Saunders brand was perfectly poised now to capture the international market, but the accelerating pace of the industry ran roughshod over his plans. Rapidly increasing production cycles, a strong British pound, and “personal reasons” are responsible in part for Saunders’ decision to close down his label.
Fortunately for fans of the brilliant print maker, he seems to be sticking around in the field of design, but he plans to move away from fashion toward a collaboration with The Rug Company, where he will practice his print prowess on rugs, runners, and cushions.