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Fashion designer Zac Posen suddenly shuts down namesake label

Fashion designer Zac Posen is shutting down his namesake label. House of Z and Z Spoke, which own his company, announced Friday that the company is ceasing all business operations.

The New York designer is known for his glamorous red carpet gowns, which have graced Hollywood stars for nearly 20 years. The company called the decision "difficult." 

"The Board of Managers is disappointed with this outcome but can no longer continue operations and believe an orderly disposition at this stage is the best course of action, under the circumstances," according to a press release. 

"I've been personally trying to find the right partner for some time," Posen told Vogue. "But time ran out, and the difficult climate out there… it's not an easy time in our industry."

"I want to express my appreciation to our extraordinary team and for all those who have stood by me and the brand," Posen said in a statement. "I owe a great deal of gratitude for their unwavering support for and dedication to the Company."

Posen said his company has unsuccessfully tried to navigate the changing fashion industry, which has as a whole struggled as fast fashion and online shopping have exponentially grown. Barneys New York, a stockist of Posen's, was sold Friday.

"We are disappointed that these efforts have not been successful and deeply saddened that the journey of nearly 20 years has come to an end," he continued. "I am grateful to the team who lent their incomparable talent and commitment along the way. I remain incredibly proud of what we created and hopeful for the future."

Posen founded the line in 2001 at just 20 years old, after dropping out of London's distinguished Central Saint Martins. He quickly became a darling of the industry. 

In 2004, Posen was awarded the prestigious Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. His dresses have been worn by countless celebrities, including Michelle Obama, Natalie Portman, Rihanna, Kate Winslet, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé, among many others. 

The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - Arrivals
Jamie Foxx, Andrew Garfield, Jourdan Dunn, Julia Garner, Nina Dobrev, Vito Schnabel, Gia Coppola, Katie Holmes and Zac Posen attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. / Getty Images

Posen was the subject of a 2017 documentary titled "House of Z," which highlighted his early success and subsequent struggles to run his business. He was a judge on the reality competition show "Project Runway" from 2012 to 2018, and is the current creative director of womenswear at Brooks Brothers. 

Posen also hosted a table at the Met Gala for the first time this year. Jourdan Dunn, Katie Holmes, Julia Garner, Nina Dobrev and Deepika Padukone all wore his 3D printed gowns to the event. 

"It's been 20 years of love, I'm very sad," Posen told Vogue. "But I've had the great fortune to express myself creatively, and to have made some incredible work with unbelievably passionate people. The community of people who have come through House of Z and are currently here — it's a powerful force."

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