LONDON — Nicole Farhi, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has been put into administration, the U.K. equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
On Wednesday, the London-based firm Zolfo Cooper said it was appointed administrator of NF Fashion Limited and NF Acquisitions Limited.
“Nicole Farhi is a very powerful retail brand. Unfortunately, as with many other fashion retailers, the decline in high-street spend coupled with rising costs has led to increased financial pressures on the business,” said Peter Saville, a partner at Zolfo Cooper.
The collapse of the company follows the resignation in May of its chief executive officer, Francois Steiner, after a year in the role.
Sion Kearsey, the managing partner of Kelso Place Asset Management, which owns Nicole Farhi, and Joanna Sykes, the brand’s creative director, had assumed the day-to-day management of the business.
In addition to its flagship store on Conduit Street in London, the brand has five stand-alone stores, 10 concessions throughout the U.K. and Ireland, an e-commerce Web site and a wholesale business.
Zolfo Cooper said it would continue to operate the business while exploring “all possible options” for the future, including a sale of all or parts of the business.
“We are already in discussions with a number of interested parties who value the strength of the Nicole Farhi brand. We intend to continue to trade the business and will be working hard to identify the best possible outcomes regarding preservation of jobs, the value of the business and returns to creditors,” Saville added.
Kelso Place bought a majority stake in the Nicole Farhi business in January 2012 from OpenGate Capital, the Los Angeles-based private equity firm. OpenGate bought Nicole Farhi from French Connection Group plc in early 2010.