British fashion label Amanda Wakeley failed to find a buyer and ended up collapsing into administration on Friday.
Over the years, the classically styled fashion brand was a favorite of members of the British royal family, including the Duchess of Cambridge and the late Princess Diana, as well as American celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Beyonce.
The luxury brand’s flagship store in London closed during the coronavirus pandemic and never reopened. The brand is best known for its bridal and occasion wear offerings. Sales were hard hit last year as special events were canceled due to the pandemic. The company then tried to find a buyer in 2020, garnering interest from potential suitors, but never got to the point of inking an actual sales agreement. On Friday, it became the most recent designer fashion brand to fall victim to the pandemic.
The company has named joint administrators from Smith & Williamson to oversee its administration.
During administrative oversight, the joint administrators will work towards selling the company’s assets. Most of that is comprised of apparel and accessories inventory and an e-commerce platform.
U.K. fashion firms and high-street retailers were particularly hard hit by the lockdowns in 2020 as the government tried to curb Covid-19 infections. And just as the U.K. was getting ready to celebrate the Christmas holidays in December, restrictions were again put in place, while a new U.K. variant forced the country’s third lockdown at the start of 2021. While the country has reopened nonessential retailers and begun easing restrictions, there’s now the threat of new mutations, such as the variant ravaging India.
Among the British firms that became insolvent last year were Laura Ashley Holdings, Oasis and Warehouse, DFS Studio U.K., Victoria’s Secret U.K., TM Lewin, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jaeger and Arcadia Group. The department store retailers that collapsed into administration were Beales, Debenhams, Peacocks and Bonmarché. The shopping mall Intu also fell into administration, while men’s retail Moss Bros and women’s fashion brand L.K. Bennett chose the route of a company voluntary arrangement.