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Amanda Wakeley's luxury brand falls into administration

Lauretta Roberts
14 May 2021

British luxury fashion designer Amanda Wakeley's business has fallen into administration.

AW Retail Limited has appointed Clare Lloyd and Colin Hardman of Smith & Williamson LLP as Joint Administrators, after the business, which specialises in occasion and bridalwear, collapsed as a result of the pandemic and the cancellation of social events.

The administrators said the brand's London store in Mayfair and its concessions had a particularly tough time, due to  lockdowns, but that its e-store and premium teleshopping channels had continued to trade.

Amanda Wakeley had needed an injection of capital to keep going but this had not been forthcoming, and no buyer had been found for the brand despite efforts from Smith & Williamson.

Amanda Wakeley

Amanda Wakeley's Mayfair store

Amanda Wakeley, Founder and Creative Director, commented: "During the pre-administration phase, the Company’s staff worked tirelessly with me, and Smith & Williamson, to maximise sales and mitigate the impact of insolvency on the Company’s creditors. To this core team and those who have worked at Wakeley over the years, thank you.

“I am also very grateful for the support and expertise of our leading equity investor who has been a valuable partner since 2012.

To our customers, many of whom have become our friends, thank you for your loyalty. It is an honour to design for you and I am deeply touched by the many messages of support concerning my family and the business through the crisis.”

Colin Hardman, Joint Administrator and Director at Smith & Williamson LLP added: "Despite an extensive marketing process, attracting significant interest, and a huge effort from Amanda Wakeley and the Company’s staff, it was not possible to find a buyer for the business. The board therefore had to make the difficult decision to place the Company into administration.

"Our principal objective is to maximise realisations for the benefit of creditors. As well as clothing and accessory stock, the business boasts a newly platformed e-commerce site. Whilst a small number of redundancies have regrettably been necessary, Amanda Wakeley and a core team of employees continue to support us with our realisation strategy."

Amanda Wakeley established her label in the 1990s, with her first store based in Chelsea, and grew a high-profile client base including Princess Diana. More recently the brand has been a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge.

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