Orla Kiely enters voluntary liquidation, closes all stores and online site
Irish company Orla Kiely has shut down its standalone retail stores, online website and wholesale business in a shock announcement on Monday.
The brand, best known for its retro-inspired patterns and colourful approach to design, said Kiely Rowan Plc, the retail and wholesale business behind the label, ceased trading on Monday 17 September.
A statement released to The Irish Times said the company has put itself into voluntary liquidation after facing several challenges over the last years.
“Having carefully considered the options, the directors of Kiely Rowan Plc have concluded that the business should enter voluntary liquidation following various challenges that have faced the company over the past few years, both in the UK and abroad,” the note said.
Kiely’s retail stores in London’s Covent Garden and Kings Road, as well as that in Kildare have been closed. But the company’s Home and Design licensing business will not be impacted, and its selection of accessories and homewares will continue to be sold through distribution partners, the brand said.
“Thank you for embracing our brand and designs throughout the years and for your ongoing support,” said the designer, her husband Dermott Rowan and the team in a statement published on the now-closed website.
An exhibition charting the Irish designer’s three-decade career, including a view to her archive, is now running at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London until the end of this week. Kiely had a close hand in the curation of the exhibition, which features over 150 patterns and products from the brand. According to the Irish Independent, ‘Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern’ was the fastest selling ticketed event at the museum.
The brand was famous for its plant-based patterns and had gained a loyal following with fans including Alexa Chung and Kate Middleton. It started out as a handbag label before becoming a fashion and homeware empire with its prints emblazoned on everything from scarves and dresses to portable radios, canisters and wallpaper.
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