Irene Neuwirth, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de VosIntimate dinner following the Capitol & Irene Neuwirth Brentwood store opening, Los Angeles, USA - 25 Apr 2019

LONDON — Peter Pilotto, the London-based label that was riding high just 16 months ago after designing Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress, is putting the business on hold, WWD has learned.

According to an official filing this week, the label’s holding company, Pilotto De Vos Ltd., is set to be removed from Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses, and will cease to exist.

A source close to the label said designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos “have decided to take a break and pause the Peter Pilotto brand. The plan is to take some time to reassess the future of the brand, its structure, business models and operations.”

The source added that when a decision about the future of the company has been finalized, an announcement will be made.

Peter Pilotto designers and principals did not return repeated requests for comment.

Late last year, the brand laid off members of its design team, according to a separate industry source. A pop-up, which opened at 21 Bruton Place and which was set to remain open until May, has shut. The designers did not stage a fall 2020 runway show in London or Milan.

The duo launched their label in 2007 and quickly made a name for themselves with their bright, printed and patterned collections. MH Luxe and Megha Mittal took an undisclosed stake in the company in 2015, the year after Pilotto and De Vos scooped the 2014 British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.

As part of the prize, the designers received 12 months of mentoring as well as a grant of 200,000 pounds to help them reach the next stage in their business.

Neither MH Luxe nor Megha Mittal could be reached for comment. As reported, the Mittal family sold the German fashion label Escada to the private equity firm Regent last October, and Megha Mittal stepped down as chairman.

Until recently, Peter Pilotto had been in expansion mode, moving its runway show to Milan for the spring 2020 season and unveiling luxury homeware, handbag and accessories collections last year.

The brand received a big boost in October 2018 when Princess Eugenie swept up the steps to St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, wearing a long, white Peter Pilotto dress with a wide V-neck, a fold around the shoulders, a revealing back and a long train.

The fabric was designed by Pilotto and De Vos at their studio in East London and included a number of symbols meaningful to the princess, including a thistle for Scotland, a shamrock for Ireland, and The York Rose for England. The designers reinterpreted those symbols in a garland of rope-like motifs, woven into a jacquard of silk, cotton and viscose blend.

But dressing a royal was not enough to sustain the business, especially in London, which is tough on small, independent designer brands.

The post-Brexit weaker pound has driven up costs for many U.K.-based brands that source or manufacture in Europe, while all the uncertainty around Brexit and future trade relations between the U.K. and the rest of the world has been stressful for small companies in particular.

Peter Pilotto develops all of its fabrics in Italy’s Como region, while its handbag and accessories line is also manufactured in Italy.

In addition, fashion-forward contemporary brands with lower price points have been stealing market share from designer brands such as Peter Pilotto. The brand’s turnover is understood to be less than 10 million pounds, and it is not required to submit full financial statements to Companies House.

Peter Pilotto is not the first fashion brand to wind down its business this year. As reported earlier this month, An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx have decided to shut their Antwerp-based fashion label A.F. Vandevorst after 22 years.

The designers will host an event during Paris Fashion Week on Saturday to thank their staff and supporters. While in Paris, they also plan to showcase a selection from the label’s 2,000-strong archive, which they want to sell to collectors and museums.

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