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Julien Macdonald Goes Into Liquidation

Photo: Giovanni Giannoni/Getty Images

Julien Macdonald — the celebrity-adored brand that has dressed the likes of Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid — announced plans to enter liquidation on Sunday. Insolvency practitioners FTS Recovery cited cash flow issues and inflationary pressures as causes for the decision. 

In a statement, FTS Recovery Directors Alan Coleman and Marco Piacquadio said that the company started facing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, “which has affected all aspects of the retail sector,” and that the brand lacked “a significant proportion of revenue” after British department store Debenhams shuttered its brick-and-mortar locations in 2020. (The brand had signed “long-term, lucrative contracts for secondary collection” with Debenhams, as reported by WWD, but suffered when it winded down retail operations. In 2020, it also signed a three-year deal for a collection of apparel, accessories and homeware with Freemans Grattan Holdings, of the German retail giant Otto Group.)

After having worked with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and with Lee Alexander McQueen, Macdonald opened his namesake brand in 1997. He made a name for himself with his bold, glamorous eveningwear featuring daring cutouts and shiny beading that became a regular sight on the red carpet. After a three-year break from the runway, the designer returned to London Fashion Week this February — but the comeback didn’t suffice.

“Due to the loss and under performance of several key contracts, including its main UK retail licensee, along with a previously growing licensee based in the United States, which severely impacted cashflow, the company is now in liquidation,” Coleman said, in the statement. “The cashflow issues were compounded by general inflationary costs, which impacted on all aspects of the business.” 

FTS Recovery is selling stock and other assets to attempt repaying creditors.

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