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Amies Shutters RTW, To Focus on Couture

LONDON -- The U.K.-based Luxury Brands Group, which set out last year to relaunch the Hardy Amies label and create a luxury conglomerate along the lines of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton or Gucci Group, is suspending the Amies ready-to-wear line...

LONDON — The U.K.-based Luxury Brands Group, which set out last year to relaunch the Hardy Amies label and create a luxury conglomerate along the lines of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton or Gucci Group, is suspending the Amies ready-to-wear line after just one season. A spokeswoman said the decision was due to a “lack of financing for production costs.”

She declined to elaborate.

The line, designed by Paolo Gabrielli, made its debut at London’s autumn rtw shows last February, to mixed reviews. It was to be sold at the Hardy Amies store at 14 Savile Row. Sir Hardy Amies, now in his 90s, is a longtime dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth and a pillar of Savile Row.

Simon Petherick, chairman of Luxury Brands Group, said in a statement Tuesday that the focus would now be on Hardy Amies couture.

“Hardy Amies is a couture house first and foremost, and we need to spend more time reinforcing the strength of the couture,” he said. “Once we have achieved that, we will look to produce a ready-to-wear version.”

Jacques Azagury, who designs the couture, has a two-season contract with the company and is now working on his second season. Sources say this will be his last.

The spokeswoman added that there was “no news” regarding the Norman Hartnell label, which Luxury Brands Group also purchased last year with an eye toward relaunching it.

Luxury Brands Group, a victim of the global slowdown in luxury goods sales, has also lost its chief executive David Duncan Smith — who was recruited with great fanfare last year — and who resigned this year. He has not yet been replaced.”