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DVF Lays Off Majority of Staff, Plans Store Closings Amid Digital Shift, Report Says

DVF is going digital. New York-based brand Diane von Furstenberg will be shifting its retail strategy following uncertainty due to the coronavirus as well as declining sales over the years.

According to Business of Fashion, DVF has laid off most of its 400-person team and will be shuttering all of its brick and mortar locations except for the Meatpacking District post in New York, making the label completely digital. BoF also reported that many of the stores that have been closed due to COVID-19 and have since reopened would begin to liquidate merchandise.

While the company did not confirm the news to FN, a spokesperson said: “DVF is in the process of restructuring due to the changing retail environment and until that process is completed we are not able to make any further comments.”

Last month, DVF announced that it’d be closing its London location. The designer’s Bruton Street flagship in Mayfair shut due to the coronavirus pandemic and will not reopen, while the brand’s local subsidiary, DVF Studio U.K., has gone into administration, which is equivalent to Chapter 11.

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Andrew Stokoe, the brand’s chief financial officer, said that as a consequence of the pandemic, “DVF is resetting its business model and that, unfortunately, has resulted in a decision to close our store in Mayfair, London. We are continuing to invest in e-commerce and the DVF.com platform and remain committed to support our loyal customers in addition to our global network of franchise partners and wholesale accounts.

BoF also reported that the many members of the brand’s executive team was let go in early June, including VP of Production Holliday Hofstatter and CEO Sandra Campos, who reportedly resigned.

Von Furstenberg, who founded her eponymous label in 1972 and built a powerful business off her signature wrap dress, has been adjusting her business model prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

In February, the label launched its own subscription service through the online platform dvflink.com, which offers shoppers access to hundreds of the brand’s styles for a flat monthly fee of $159. Subscriptions provide shoppers with a monthly rental box, each containing four pieces; unlimited shipping and exchanges are included in the monthly fee. Shoppers also have the option to keep their favorite pieces at a discounted price. While the service features apparel spanning tops and bottoms to dresses and outerwear, shoes and accessories are currently not available to rent.

In addition, von Furstenberg continues to be vocal for women’s rights and other social issues through her #incharge series. She most recently spoke at the Tory Burch Foundation Embrace Ambition Summit on March 5 to discuss her life’s mission, and it had nothing to do with fashion.

“It’s to push the button in every woman and make them realize that all the strength and all the confidence is inside them,” she said. “Being true to yourself is the most important thing.”

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