AFTER the announcement yesterday by Luella Bartley that her Luella label had ceased trading, the designer has now begun the process of seeking a new backer in order to continue her eponymous label. Club 21, the brand’s global licensee for ready-to-wear and accessories since 2003, announced yesterday that it had reluctantly “taken the decision not to invest further in its relationship with Luella Bartley Limited”.
“This is a very disappointing situation for everyone involved with the brand,” Bartley said. “I very much appreciate the support that [Club 21 subsidiary] VSQ has given me, but it is upsetting not to be able to protect jobs in this difficult economic climate. We have a number of options open to us, and are considering these over the coming months.”
It was reported in June 2009 (read the full story here) that Bartley was considering ending her contract with Club 21, but industry insiders assumed a new backer would be found before the relationship was dissolved.
The statement added that due to the unexpected closure last month of the brand’s key ready-to-wear producer Carla Carini, spring 2010 orders could not be fulfilled. Luella’s turnover is currently in the region of 9 million pounds under Club 21, which also distributes Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani.
This Upsets Me.