Designer Orla Kiely shuttered her online and retail business after 'challenges' in the UK

The company has decided to enter voluntary liquidation.

By Fora Staff

IRISH DESIGNER ORLA Kiely has closed her online and retail business after experiencing “various challenges” in the UK and elsewhere.

The designer was noted for her handbags and household merchandise and had stores in Kildare Village and London.

Her designs hit the headlines a number of times, such as when a dress that she designed was worn by Kate Middleton and sold out minutes after the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing it

According to a brief statement on Orla Kiely’s website, the company behind the retail and online unit – Kiely Rowan plc – ceased trading as of 17 September.

“This means our retail stores in London and Kildare and our online business has closed,” the company said.

“Orla Kiely’s Home and Design licensing business will not be impacted, and its selection of accessories and homewares will continue to be sold through its distribution partners.”

It was not immediately clear why the business has closed.

In a separate statement to Fora, the directors of Kiely Rowan said they have decided 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”.

David Ruben & Partners has been appointed as administrators to handle the winding down of the business.

Orla Kiely Catwalk - New York Fashion Week 2016
Source: NameFace/SIPA USA/PA Images

Kiely’s products are available for sale in outlets such as Arnotts, Littlewoods and Kilkenny.

The most recent set of accounts for the Kiely Rowan’s UK business show that the company registered an operating profit of over £322,550 in the 12 months to the end of March 2017, up from £233,315 the year before.

The company’s sales increased by £1.1 million, surpassing £8.3 million.

Last year, an exhibition dedicated to Kiely in the London Fashion and Textile Museum described her as “one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful designers”. 

Written by Sean Murray and posted on Additional reporting by Conor McMahon

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