LONDON — Hardy Amies, the Savile Row couture and ready-to-wear house, has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator, the U.K.’s equivalent of filing for Chapter 11.
This story first appeared in the October 3, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The move came following the company’s suspension of its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market last week after its largest shareholder, the Icelandic investment company Arev, rejected Amies’ request for further financial support.
“The board has approached and has been approached by various parties in relation to the potential provision of funding to support Hardy Amies’ working capital requirements,” the company said. “The board has, as yet, been unable to finalize an offer that would secure the future of the company, [and has] therefore today taken the decision to file a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.”
Last year, Arev, which owns 49.3 percent of Hardy Amies, made a loan of $5.7 million available to the company to finance its retail rollout, after which the label opened men’s wear stores in Edinburgh and Chester in the U.K., and a women’s wear store in London. It also signed a partnership with the Aussino Group to open stores in China.
According to Amies’ latest full-year financial results released in June, Arev has made further loans of 1.5 million pounds, or $2.7 million, to the company this year. However, in June the company reported losses of 1.7 million pounds, or $3.1 million, for the 2007 fiscal year, which it said were partly the result of writing down the value of its poorly performing women’s wear lines.
The British label was founded by Hardy Amies as a tailoring house in 1946, and Amies went on to create gowns for Princess Elizabeth, who was later to become Queen Elizabeth II, and other members of the royal family. He also developed a significant men’s wear licensed business, particularly in Japan and at one time in the U.S. Amies died in 2003, before which Ian Garlant took over as creative director of the label.