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'Nasty Gal' Founder Sophia Amoruso Discusses Company's Bankruptcy

The ‘Girl Boss’ author appeared in Australia for a motivational conference.

11/11/2016 10:43 AM AEDT | Updated 11/11/2016 11:20 AM AEDT
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Sophia Amoruso promoting her new book 'Nasty Galaxy' in New York City in October.

Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso spoke publicly for the first time about the online fashion retailers petition to file for bankruptcy.

The Girl Boss author, which spent 18 weeks on the the New York Times bestseller list, was Australia to speak at a Business Chicks members event when the news broke in the U.S. that the company had filed for bankruptcy and that Amoruso would step down as executive chairwoman.

"It's wild. I didn't expect this to happen while I was here. Leading up to a choice like this that a board has to make to fulfil their responsibilities, there's so many factors. Options were on the table and were considered, and ultimately what is crazy is that filing for chapter 11 relief was actually the most responsible thing to do right now," Amoruso said at the event.

"It's been a decade since I started Nasty Gal. A decade almost to the day. I feel so privileged to have worked with the incredible talent who have come through the doors of this company, and to be able to have learned from them."

"As it stands, what happened yesterday actually allows us to continue operating and provide some relief and a moment of pause as we get out of things -- like a 500,000 square-foot lease in Kentucky. I stepped out of the CEO role almost two years ago, so I haven't been on the day-to-day, though I have been on the board and have been privy to these difficult choices," Amoruso said.

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A photo posted by Sophia Amoruso (@sophiaamoruso) on

The Nasty Gal brand began in San Francisco in 2006 when Amoruso started an eBay store flogging vintage wares. In the decade that followed the brand grew to become an e-commerce juggernaut, with two bricks and mortar stores to complement.

In 2014 Amoruso penned the no-holds-barred book Girl Boss, part self-help, part business advice -- and inadvertently coined the 'girl boss' term, which has been hashtagged over 3.5 million times on Instagram alone.

In 2015 Amoruso made it to the Forbes' Richest Self Made Women list with a fortune of US $280 million.

Speaking to a room of close to a thousand women at the Business Chicks breakfast, Amoruso was briefly emotional when discussing the announcement.

"It's really interesting to be here [in Australia]. I mean, talk about being public, like, hello 1,000 women! It's so weird to feel the muscle memory and scar tissue that comes with having already dealt with so much, that I am capable of dealing. Things that I would have freaked out about two years ago I can handle now. Hopefully that is how I feel two years from now about this. It was my first business. I got really far," Amoruso said.

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A photo posted by Sophia Amoruso (@sophiaamoruso) on

As for the brand itself, bankruptcy doesn't mean closure.

"The brand is super super strong. If the company sells, which is probably what will happen in this process, there's a Netflix series that's going to be in 200 countries, marketing the shit out of the Nasty Gal brand. So, somebody is going to be very lucky, and if they want me involved, I will be here and they can call me," Amoruso said.

The Netflix series she refers to is a part-fictional, part-factual series coming in 2017 by the book's namesake. Produced by Charlize Theron, the comedy stars Britt Robertson, who plays Amoruso -- and even dyed her hair black for the part.

Amoruso has also just released her follow on book, Nasty Galaxy. The coffee table read is equal part pictures, motivational advice and a glimpse into the people that inspire Amoruso's world.

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