Be thankful if you still have a job: After the hell year that was 2009, a lot of fashion people don't. Many designers were fired, some were hired, and plenty lost their businesses altogether. An overview of the tumult:
Christian Lacroix's namesake house teetered on the brink of collapse for the better part of this year. After filing for bankruptcy in Paris this May, owners the Falic Group announced a "restructuring" plan that would see the couture house shuttered, and the Lacroix name live on only in ready-to-wear and accessories licenses. After it became known that the house of Lacroix had never turned a profit in 22 years of operation, Christian Lacroix told the press he was "too angry to cry," and that he had been working without pay for over a year.
A frenzied campaign to save the business ensued. One couture client made an offer to buy; but during the bankruptcy process, suitors like France's Bernard Krief Consulting and Italy's Borletti Group dropped out. A relative of the Sheikh of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates made a serious offer, and seemed to speak seriously of Christian Lacroix private jets and Christian Lacroix yachts and Christian Lacroix lifestyle products; for a while, it seemed all would end well, and a fantastic couture collection was shown in July despite the cash-strapped state of affairs. However, the sheikh could not provide financial assurances to the bankruptcy court, and on December 1, Falic Group's own worst-case-scenario plans were put into place. At least 100 people lost their jobs. Christian Lacroix lost the rights to his own name, and started designing uniforms for French railway workers.