A visual of the Agent Provocateur spring 2017 ad campaign.
SYDNEY — Agent Provocateur is shutting up shop in Australia.The Australian arm of the troubled luxury lingerie brand entered administration last month, with three of four remaining stores that were open at the time of administration closing quietly in recent weeks, it emerged Monday.Rahul Goyal and David Winterbottom of Sydney-based advisory and investment firm KordaMentha were appointed administrators of Agent Provocateur Holdings on March 8 — less than a week after Agent Provocateur’s U.K. parent was placed in administration and almost immediately sold to London-based fashion and retail distribution company Four Holdings.RELATED STORY: Four Holdings Buys Ailing Agent Provocateur >>Shuttered last month were two concessions within Australian department store chain David Jones, which opened in February 2013, and a freestanding store for the L’Agent diffusion line in new Melbourne development St. Collins Lane, which opened in May 2016. The Westfield Sydney store, which opened in December 2014, is due to stay upon until May or until stock lasts.Two other David Jones concessions opened in Brisbane and Perth in late 2013; however, at the time of writing neither KordaMentha spokesman Mike Smith nor David Jones was able to clarify when those concessions closed.According to Smith, Agent Provocateur’s Australian business had sales of 5 million to 10 million Australian dollars, or $3.8 million or $7.6 million at current exchange, employed 20 people and was not carrying any bank debt, with the operation financed out of the U.K.“This is a strategy by the new owners in the U.K. — the directors have asked KordaMentha to do the wind-down,” said Smith. “Australians will still be able to buy the stuff online, they’ll be directed to the British web site. We can’t speak for the new owners in England, but they’ve obviously got a plan that doesn't involve Australia.”RELATED STORY: Agent Provocateur to Downsize Stores, Staff >>In November, following revelations of accounting irregularities at the U.K. parent, Agent Provocateur’s former majority owner, the London-based 3i private equity group, revealed plans to shutter 30 percent of the company’s retail network.Store closures were to primarily focus on the U.S. and Europe, with the footprint in Asia to be ramped up.At the time Agent Provocateur boasted 111 stores in 29 countries.RELATED STORY: Australian Chains Marcs and David Lawrence Enter Administration >>Agent Provocateur joins a raft of store and brand closures in Australia, primarily from local operators, including high-profile names such as Collette Dinnigan and Easton Pearson. High rents, poor cash flow and dramatically increased competition since 2011 have been cited as key contributing factors.However, the move seems unusual for an international brand at a time when international retailers continue to open in Australia at breakneck pace, with both fast-fashion chains and luxury brands reporting double-digit — in the case of H&M near triple-digit — sales growth down under.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)