Just a few days after releasing its second Courtney Love design collaboration, alt-retail giant Nasty Gal has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, 10 years after its founding. #GirlBoss author and tech world darling, Sophia Amoruso’s company has come under repeated fire the last few years, following a series of layoffs and lawsuits for discrimination and wrongful termination, as well as repeated reports of being a toxic work environment, and criticism for knocking off both established and emerging designers.
Still, the eBay seller-turned-retail mogul was one of the youngest women on this year’s list of Forbes‘ richest self-made women in America, older only than Taylor Swift, with a personal fortune of almost $300 million. She also just released her second book, Nasty Galaxy, hosts the #GirlBoss Radio podcast, and recently announced plans to build Nasty Gal brick-and-mortars across the U.S., following the success of two Los Angeles locations. By all appearances, the Nasty Gal brand was only continuing to grow, but today’s announcement paints a different picture of what’s been going on behind-the-scenes.
“Our decision to initiate a court-supervised restructuring will enable us to address our immediate liquidity issues, restructure our balance sheet and correct structural issues including reducing our high occupancy costs and restoring compliance with our debt covenants,” said CEO Sheree Waterson, who took over when Amoruso stepped down last year. “We expect to maintain our high level of customer service and emerge stronger and even better able to deliver the product and experience that our customers expect and that we take pride in bringing to market.”
There have also been reports that Amoruso will resign as executive chairwoman, but it seems too hard to imagine the brand without its poster girl. Though she’s been less involved in day-to-day projects since handing the CEO position to Waterson, Amoruso remains the company face, whose signature runs through its DNA. For now, Nasty Gal plans to restructure and secure partnerships that will ensure the brand has a future.
Thank God, because what would anyone wear to a festival if Nasty Gal went completely out of business?