So very often in the apparel biz, even a company that seems to have everything and then some going for it folds after only a short while. Take Nau, a label based out of Portland, OR (I was living there when it launched and remember all the hype and press very well) that is now going out of business.
Three short years ago, right out of the gates, Nau seemed to have it all. Founded by former Nike, Adidas and Patagonia execs, it had solid financial backing, good design and quality, and tons of media exposure perpetuated by a unique business model that was at the forefront of the now ubiquitous 'green' movement. So what happened? This article tries to piece things together, saying that sometimes even when you assemble the ultimate dream team, that is not always enough, because the consumer has to be into it as well.
I can only speak for myself when I say that I am not a fan of the 'sporty' look, no matter how chic it appears (think Stella McCartney for Adidas, etc.). You will never catch me wearing sneakers outside of the gym (I do all my exercising indoors, thank you) or a rain jacket with a drawstring hood (a trench and umbrella works fine for me), but even though that all is true I distinctly recall seeing Nau's designs and thinking, "Wow, that is so different, I think that is actually very practical and aesthetically pleasing as well."
But in the end, I did not buy. And that, as Robert Frost said, has made all the difference.