Westwood cuts ties with long-term partner

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The Independent Online

Vivienne Westwood's franchise partner of 18 years has placed itself into liquidation following an out-of-court settlement to end its agreement with the eccentric fashion designer.

Manchester-based Hervia Ltd had run seven Vivienne Westwood stores, but the companies began a legal row in the High Court last year after the designer sought to end the partnership.

An undisclosed pay-off has been agreed and Vivienne Westwood Ltd has taken on the leases and the running of stores in Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Nottingham.

A store in York will close while Hervia, via its two other companies, will continue its Hervia Bazaar luxury store in Spring Gardens in Manchester and the London shop of the Y3 fashion label, for which it has the licence in the UK. It is also expanding the Y3 concept.

Hervia was founded by Oscar Pinto-Hervia in 1993. Richard Duncalf, the chairman of Hervia, said: "We have gone our separate ways after 18 years."

Vivienne Westwood has sought to make her business more commercial and has been taking control of licences and franchises since her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, became a business partner.

A spokeswoman for Vivienne Westwood said: "Since 1995 the two companies have enjoyed a successful business relationship and wish each other the best for the future."