Local apparel maker Motionwear shutting down, terminating 146 workers

Indianapolis-based apparel maker Motionwear LLC plans to shut down its local operations early next year, eliminating as many as 146 employees, the company said in a letter to the state.

Founded in 1987, Motionwear manufactures dance and cheer outfits, gymnastics apparel and other girls’ activewear at two facilities on the south side of Indianapolis—one at 1315 Sunday Drive and the other nearby at 5757 Kopetsky Dr.

The company notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, in a letter posted Tuesday, that it plans to close both facilities between Jan. 14 and Jan. 28, “at which time most if not all of the 146 employees working at the facilities will be terminated.”

Motionwear said the shutdown is expected to be permanent.

The company did not provide a reason for the closure. A Motionwear executive could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Motionwear got its start in the home of Tom and Emily Wilson, whose daughter, Erin, couldn’t find dance apparel that she liked in retail stores. Emily, a professional textile artist, sewed a costume for Erin and soon was fielding requests from others.

Its product lines grew to include hundreds of different styles of leotards, tops, pants, shorts, jackets and undergarments.

By 2006, the company had 120 employees and its products were being sold in 1,400 retail U.S. stores, when it was acquired by Italian sportswear firm Fila Holding and its parent Sport Brands International.

Tom Wilson and members of his leadership team reacquired a majority stake in the company in late 2013 with help from private equity firms.

The company had 180 employees in late 2013 when it announced plans to expand operations and hire an additional 28 workers.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Motionwear up to $85,000 in training grants based on those job-creation plans but the company did not collect on those incentives, according to the IEDC’s website.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}