British fashion label Luella stops trading

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Luella, one of Britain's top fashion labels, announced it had ceased trading Tuesday after the licensee that funded the brand for the past five years pulled out.

Designer Luella Bartley, a former fashion journalist who unveiled her first collection in 1999, said the situation was "very disappointing" and "upsetting" but expressed hope she could restart the business in the future.

"Luella Bartley Limited today announced that the company has ceased trading," the label said in a statement.

The brand's fun and feminine clothes and accessories had attracted rave press reviews and were beloved of celebrities such as singer Lily Allen.

However, the brand's ready-to-wear producer in Italy, Carla Carini, closed down last month.

And in a statement Tuesday, Luella announced that distributor VSQ Limited, a subsidiary of global retail group Club 21, "has 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 have had an incredible team around me and very much appreciate the support that VSQ have given me, but it is upsetting not to be able to protect jobs in this difficult economic climate.

"I love the Luella character and hope that after we have survived this challenging time, the Luella girl can have an exciting future ahead of her, whichever incarnation she takes on next."

Bartley, who was last year named designer of the year at the British Fashion Awards, said she had a "number of options" available to her.

In the meantime, she and members of her team have been employed as creative consultants to London department store Liberty for their Christmas windows and store decorations.

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