My heart broke a little today. I heard a sad (not new, but true) story about my favorite designer shoe label Sigerson Morrison: the brand is no longer run by its namesakes and founders, Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison. Not only were they fired from the company they created but they have been embroiled in a lawsuit with the company who became their ‘angel investor’ in a deal that went bad. Very bad for Sigerson and Morrison. Now these women are searching for what to do next as the lawsuit continues.
These two entrepreneurs met while they were students at FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, and later became graduates of the accessory program. They built their business from scratch and in 1991 launched Sigerson Morrison, their designer shoe label. Their unique design esthetic not to mention their successful philosophy of women designing for women, lured women quickly, including numerous celebrities. It did not take long for their brand to soar. I discovered Sigerson Morrison on my visits to New York’s Noho District and fell in love – with the styles, the colors, the comfort – just about every aspect of these unique and magical shoes. I would save my money and purchase a new pair of Sigerson Morrison shoes or sandals once a year. It became my fashion ritual.
I guess this is a cautionary tale for all creative entrepreneurs: don’t lose sight of the business aspect of your brand. I hope that Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison find their happy ending. For the rest of us? Many customers won’t necessarily know that the founders of this special brand are no longer designing the shoes. But now I know. And I’m sad …
What do you think?