Isabel Toledo

The fashion community applauded in 2006 when Jones Apparel Group tapped Isabel Toledo, a highly regarded designer, as creative director of a new, upscale Anne Klein collection that would set a fresh tone for the entire brand, including its lower-priced bridge and better lines. Sadly, the union wasn’t meant to last. In November, after just two seasons, Jones shocked the industry when it pulled the plug on Toledo’s collection. While reasons for the move weren’t disclosed, the industry assumption was that Toledo’s creations proved too costly a venture for the apparel conglomerate. The spring collection will not be produced, and Toledo will leave once her contract expires later this year. Whether the better AK Anne Klein—which was relaunched for fall with Toledo’s touch—will return to its traditional pattern remains anyone’s guess.

Photo: Talaya Centeno