Presently on the Charlotte Russe website, there are thirteen subcategories under the heading of “Tops” for your perusal—including New Tops, Casual Tops, Crop Tops, Going Out Tops, Off The Shoulder Tops, and Tunics. None of this was enough to keep the flirty tweenage clothing chain from financial peril.
Charlotte Russe has filed for bankruptcy, according to CNN, and will close nearly 100 stores in hopes of finding a new owner and a way to stay open even longer. In 2009, Charlotte Russe was bought by a private equity firm, and we all know how that ends.
The clothing retailer became known as the mecca for super-cute shirts and dresses that were juuust risqué enough to put parents a little on-edge. As a teen, I never thought I was cool enough to shop there, and the one time I did, the sweater I bought sat in the back of my closet for the rest of eternity.
The cause of Charlotte Russe’s current predicament involves too much debt and failing to remain relevant with the young folks (damn you, hypebeasts). Perhaps it’s for the best; had Charlotte Russe familiarized itself with newer fashion trends, then it would now probably be indistinguishable from H&M and Forever 21, and the world doesn’t need more of that. I already get enough anxiety walking in to my neighborhood Forever21 once a year looking for accessories to my Halloween costume.
If Charlotte Russe can turn it around and stay in business, it won’t be the same store that so many young women turned to before a party at Matt’s or the prom after-party. But as my high-school English teacher once drilled into my head: Nothing gold can stay, and that goes for cool-girl stores at the mall, too.