New York: End of A Dream

End of A Dream

In the roaring '80s, Carolyn Roehm became the archetype of what Tom Wolfe called the social X ray: a super-thin, high-profile fashion designer who consorted with the ultra-rich and married multimillionaire leveraged-buyout- king Henry Kravis. With Kravis' backing, she launched her own couture in 1985 and specialized in luxe items like ball gowns that cost as much as $6,000 each.

But Carolyn Roehm, Inc., suffered from management shuffles and poor sales. Last week Roehm, 40, suddenly announced that she was shutting down. The Wall Street Journal reported that Kravis had invested more than $20 million in his wife's anemic business since...

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