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Charlotte Olympia Files for Bankruptcy Blaming Brick-and-Mortar Disruption

For Charlotte Olympia, the effects of retail’s disruption couldn’t be more real.

The luxury footwear brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, citing “unprecedented brick-and-mortar retail disruption,” Business of Fashion reported, referencing the filing.

According to reports, the brand developed by British designer Charlotte Dellal, has never been profitable, and last year it lost more than $6 million. Looking at its 20 largest unsecured debts alone, the business owed landlords, cleaning services and events companies $440,759, and it’s total outstanding debt could be upward of $20 million.

In October, the brand most famous for its kitty-face flats, was at least presenting itself as living in luxury, collaborating with Veuve Clicquot for a line of sparkling heels and a special edition of champagne.

Following the filing, the brand will no longer have a physical store presence in the U.S., shuttering its four retail stores in New York, California and Nevada.

“We are closing our U.S. entity that we set up for our U.S. retail operations, as we are closing the stores. Wholesale business, however remains intact,” company president Bonnie Takhar told BoF.

Liquidation of its U.S. assets is expected to happen in short order, with $410,000 in funding from a subsidiary of Charlotte Olympia Holdings, led by Dellal and Takhar.

The brand, launched in 2008, and sold at places like, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter, and Shopbop, has reportedly brought in revenues of 16.8 million pounds (roughly $23 million) as of March 2017, and was at the same time reporting losses of 6.4 million pounds ($9 million).