LONDON — Alice Temperley has placed her business into administration, restructured and formed a new company as she looks to make a fresh start in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new business, known as Temperley Holdings Ltd., will have a “more streamlined and focused business model” with an accent on direct-to-consumer sales, social channels and tighter supply chain reliant on local British manufacturing, and sustainable raw materials.
The company said the changes are partly the result of a “devastating year for both the bridal and occasionwear industry,” which has long been a big part of the business.
The board is backing the move, and the shareholder base remains the same. Both Temperley, whose title is founder and creative director, and Luca Donnini, the chief executive officer, will remain in situ.
“COVID-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the necessity to approach the global market in a d-to-c model,” said Donnini, a former Guess Europe and Max Mara executive who has been helping turn Temperley into a more commercial operation. “This restructuring will allow for a leaner organization and a tighter control of our distribution and production, with a consistent delivery of quality to our clients.”
He said the aim is to deliver a group consolidated profit within 18 months.
The brand had already begun a process of transformation during lockdown last year, relocating its head office operations to Somerset, England, Temperley’s home county. The new headquarters is located in the small market town of Ilminster.
As reported, the new 22,000-square-foot space is multifaceted, with offices and studios for design, marketing, bridal fittings and retail. There is also a café and events space. The headquarters is housed in the Gooch and Housego building, a well-known, historic property in the main square of Ilminster, which Temperley has refurbished from top to bottom.
As a result of the restructuring, the designer also plans to press her 20-year archive of designs, prints and patterns into action. The brand has inked a series of licensing partnerships for ready-to-wear and lifestyle products that will launch in the coming months at retail and on temperleylondon.com.
She is also broadening the footprint of Somerset by Alice Temperley, a diffusion label she introduced in 2012 exclusively with John Lewis department stores.
That collection will be rebranded and relaunched, and John Lewis will continue to have the exclusive in the U.K. Temperley plans to roll it out internationally and sell it on the brand’s website, too.
The designer, like many of her peers, is narrowing the number of mainline rtw collections she produces each year from four to two.
In a telephone interview, Temperley said she was eager to embark on the next phase of the business, put the focus on the e-commerce site, grow her d-to-c footprint and rev up the bridal business once again.
She said she’s relieved the business is more flexible and not “wholesale reliant,” although that channel will remain important. Temperley added that she’s eager to work in a more sustainable way, using local factories for accessories and outerwear, and building a more fluid and efficient supply chain.
“I have discovered incredible partnerships and U.K. manufacturing companies on my doorstep, and this moves us closer to my vision for a better, more sustainable lifestyle for everyone,” said Temperley, adding that the move to Somerset “is an important step in being able to grow the strength of the brand, from a marketing, creative and experiential standpoint.”
In an interview last October, Temperley said the Somerset opening means “we’ll be able to do a lot more ‘made in Somerset’ collections and turn [made-to-order] bridal dresses around more quickly, too.” She said she’d spent much of last summer sanding, stripping paint and working on windows, electricals and plumbing alongside the builders.
She added that the new space will help her “slow down, focus and take more time with one-on-one appointments in the atelier.”
Her town house store on Bruton Street will remain open, for the moment, although Temperley said the company is still deciding its future. The designer has recently opened a second store at 163 Draycott Avenue in Chelsea, not far from Chanel, Joseph and Daylesford Organic. The public relations, and sales operations will remain based in London.
In the latest filings on Companies House, the official register of businesses in the U.K., Temperley London reported 8.5 million pounds in revenue and 3.7 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019.