Calvin Klein is retired, the brand that bears his name no longer producing a runway collection and trying to redefine its sex-saturated image for a new era. Donna Karan sticks out in recent memory more for her comments defending Harvey Weinstein than her “7 Easy Pieces.” Ralph Lauren remains busy but his empire’s value is shrinking as it struggles to course-correct after years of sailing on the status quo. This trio is not only emblematic of the second half of 20th Century American fashion, it is a prime example of what fashion businesses can achieve when well-timed and executed. They are also, perhaps more infamously, representative of the American fashion system’s failure to produce legacy brands that can survive their respective founders while maintaining relevance in comparison to European counterparts. America has managed to produce a handful of such brands––Mark Cross, Tiffany & Co.––but those, while very beautiful, are based on accessories, not fashion. With staggering recognition, sales which were at one time robust and clear talent, these labels should remain on top. But they haven't.