Ten years after its launch, Los Angeles retailer, Nasty Gal, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move comes as a shock and is also mired in irony as the company is most famous for the rags-to-riches story of founder, Sophia Amoruso. The self proclaimed “Girl Boss” went from shoplifter to eBayer to an inductee of the Forbes’s list of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” with an estimated worth of $280million and she’s only thirty-two-years-old.
The announcement comes after several years of trouble with Nasty Gal. In 2014, two years after hitting an annual revenue of almost $100 million and a couple of months after the publication of Amoruso’s auto-biography, #GirlBoss, the company laid off 27 people amid employee allegations of a deeply negative working environment. In 2015, a group of former employees sued the supposedly “women friendly” company for firing them right before they were to take maternity leave. This summer, famed NYC jewelry designer, Pamela Love, sued the company for copyright infringement. Although Forbes estimated Nasty Gal revenue to be $300 million in 2015 the brand continued to perform lay-offs and let go of nineteen employees earlier this year.
While it is unclear what went wrong, bankruptcy does not mean the end Nasty Girl. As part of the restructuring of the company, it is rumored that Amoruso will step down as executive chairwoman.