Exterior of Bldwn's Melrose Place flagship. 
Photo: Bldwn

Exterior of Bldwn's Melrose Place flagship. Photo: Bldwn


Bldwn Brand Shutters Business

With its premium-denim roots in Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles, the Bldwn lifestyle brand quickly became a favorite in the fashion industry following its 2009 debut as Baldwin. The brand, started by Matt and Emily Baldwin, was named Best New Menswear Designer by GQ magazine in 2013 and placed as a finalist in the coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015.

A brand representative announced in a March 25 email that the brand would shutter. During her announcement of the label’s shuttering, Director of Public Relations Jessica Debreceni noted that she recognized the current climate posed challenges for the Bldwn brand and its peers.

“We worked so extremely hard to make this brand successful—and I do believe we had a lot of wins. Unfortunately, the investors decided it was time to shut it down,” she said. “I know we are not the only brand that is going through this in these uncertain times, and it breaks my heart to be honest. I know you guys are probably all feeling it as well.”

The announcement followed a few years of what seemed to be consistent growth for the brand prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Bldwn had doors in Austin, Texas; Dallas; San Jose, Calif.; Leawood, Kan.; in addition to its Kansas City, Mo., location. August 2019 saw the unveiling of the brand’s Los Angeles flagship store, located on Melrose Avenue. An Instagram announcement made on March 16 said that all Bldwn stores would temporarily close beginning March 17 due to the coronavirus threat.

While Debreceni mentioned that she found the decision to shutter the brand heartbreaking, she shared her thoughts regarding a post–COVID-19 future.

“My only hope is that we all come out of this stronger together, and I know we will, but it may take a minute to recover,” she said.