British designer Luella Bartley stops trading

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 12:21 PM

Acclaimed British fashion designer Luella Bartley said Tuesday that her company has stopped trading because of financial problems.

The company, Luella Bartley Ltd., lost its financial backing from VSQ Ltd. It was also hit by the closure last month of the brand's ready-to-wear producer in Italy, leaving it unable to fill its orders for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

The announcement is a major setback for the brand known as Luella, which has received widespread praise from critics and buyers alike since it was founded in 1999 by Bartley, a former Vogue journalist with a youthful design touch.

Bartley said she hoped to revive the Luella brand despite the financial setbacks.

"This is a very disappointing situation for everyone involved with the brand," she said in a statement. "It is upsetting not to be able to protect jobs in this difficult economic climate."

She said she is studying various way to keep the ready-to-wear and accessories businesses going in some form.

"We have a number of options open to us and are considering these over the coming months," Bartley said.

Bartley has enjoyed success with numerous catwalk shows in London and New York, winning over a number of influential editors and pop stars, including Lily Allen and Kate Nash. Actresses including Gwenyth Paltrow and Sienna Miller are also fans.

She is known for her playful use of bright colors, her "Gisele" handbags, and the fanciful names she gives her shows _ her first was called "Daddy, I Want a Pony" and staged in a friend's apartment.

Bartley's London Fashion Week debut in 2000 was titled "Daddy, Who Were the Clash?"

The statement indicated she and her design team will work as creative consultants to Liberty, helping with the landmark store's Christmas windows and store decorations.