LONDON — After trying, and failing, to raise fresh funds, Roland Mouret‘s brand has filed for administration, according to Companies House, the register of U.K. businesses.
The business is vacating its Mayfair townhouse at 8 Carlos Place and has let go around 50 staff, according to industry sources. Earlier this year, Mouret’s company had welcomed Grosvenor as a minority investor, but the money was not enough to keep the business afloat.
Grant Thornton has been appointed as the administrator, and it is understood that the intellectual property has been purchased by a third party.
Mouret declined to comment. The designer was a shareholder in the business alongside Mark Langthorne, the CEO; Justine Rouch, who had recently joined the brand as president; and Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment.
Grosvenor, one of the largest property owners in Britain and Ireland, took the stake in Mouret’s business in June. It owns the Carlos Place townhouse, and Mouret’s brand had been one of its longest-standing fashion tenants in the neighborhood.
It was the first time that Grosvenor had made an equity investment in an occupier. The investment was made through Grosvenor’s Tenant Investment Fund, and Grosvenor said it was a first from a U.K. property company.
Grosvenor declined to comment on the administration.
Mouret had opened the lush, six-story Mayfair townhouse in 2011. Located across from the Connaught hotel, it housed the designer’s first stand-alone store, a showroom, design studio and offices. The two-floor retail space spanned 3,240 square feet.
Although the brand had been struggling to raise money behind the scenes, it was forging ahead with a number of creative projects, and seeking new avenues of growth.
As reported last month, Mouret launched an activewear collection known as Roland Mouret Body, which is sold through stockists including Neiman Marcus, Mytheresa, Tsum, Selfridges and RolandMouret.com.
The new pieces featured in his spring 2022 collection, which he showcased in a film last September.
Instead of staging a runway show, Mouret gathered members of the press — and his pals — together at a London hotel for the screening of a short film called “Terma,” a retelling of Odysseus’ tale from a female point of view.
Mouret commissioned and produced the film and gave the actress and co-director Magaajyia Silberfeld carte blanche to come up with a story encompassing women and diversity.
Mouret was also the first European brand to launch with Amazon Luxury Stores.
The designer opened his shop on the platform in September 2020, and to mark the occasion, he screened a new CGI film called “No Show,” which he created with Amazon and which featured clothing but no models, and zero carbon footprint.
At the time, he described Amazon as “the next frontier” for luxury fashion online. “At the moment — in my gut — it feels so right. It’s part of the reset of the fashion industry,” he said.
This is not the first time that Mouret’s business has run into trouble.
Mouret split from his backers, Sharai and Andre Meyers, in October 2005 over differences in strategic direction, and lost the rights to use his trademark. The couple held 100 percent of Roland Mouret Ltd., and Mouret eventually bought it back in 2010, after he partnered with Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment.
“My advice to young designers is to carry on no matter what — everything is possible,” he said after taking back his trademark.
Mouret had joined forces with Fuller, the British entertainment guru behind “Pop Idol” and the Spice Girls, in 2006. They formed a 50-50 fashion joint venture that was part of Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, the global media organization.
A spokesperson for Fuller declined to comment on the administration.