Entireworld, the low-key basics brand so in-demand that it basically garnered an entire New York Times thinkpiece (the now ironically-titled "Sweatpants Forever"), is shutting down.
Founder Scott Sternberg announced both the news and an accompanying liquidation sale via the brand's Instagram on October 13.
That NY Times piece centered around the general success of athleisure and loungewear brands in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reiterating the heightened value of cozy work-from-home gear, but it really revolved around Sternberg's success with Entireworld.
In fact, Sternberg revealed that his brand, founded in 2018, enjoyed its highest-grossing day ever on April 24, 2020, when it sold out of not only everything it had on hand but also an additional stock that arrived that very morning.
In the first two months of the pandemic-spurred WFH boom, Entireworld grossed more than it had in its entire first year.
The brand was riding a high, to say the least.
Just over a year later, Sternberg is on less certain footing.
"Just a few weeks ago, we were closing an acquisition deal that — after years of unsuccessful fundraising — would have finally given us a shot at realizing the financial potential of the brand," Sternberg said in that Instagram post. "But that deal disappeared in a flash, leaving us and our factories high and dry and giving us no choice but to shut things down."
It's tough out here for indie designers and their brands: the costs of running a fashion company (ranging from the logistics to the actual financial burden) are rarely apparent to observers. Even sudden success, like the kind that Entireworld found, can prove challenging to keep up with.
From the outside, though, it definitely looked like Entireworld was winning.
Popular with a core fanbase that seemed to keep coming back for its basic T-shirts, humble slacks, and do-it-all sweatsuits, Entireworld had just wrapped a seemingly successful summer with a Warby Parker partnership.
Sternberg never hinted that his business was doing anything other than gangbusters. Sure, he was considered, rather than braggadocious, in interviews but didn't really touch on finances after that pieces in the Times.
"Fashion is amazing in that it can be about this ability to create desire through images and we're certainly doing that," Sternberg told Highsnobiety.
"I was just more interested in creating products that had a different lifecycle and filled a different part of your life or a different part of your wardrobe, but still got you as excited as great fashion did."
Though the brand is ending, maybe Entireworld's clothing actually will live on forever.