SYDNEY — Collette Dinnigan is shutting up shop — at least the premium business that made her name.

Dinnigan said Tuesday that she will cease production of her eponymous evening wear and bridal wear by the end of 2013, with her three freestanding boutiques in Sydney, Melbourne and London to close early in the New Year. The spring-summer 2014 collection shown in Paris last month will be her last.

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Dinnigan will continue with her diffusion and childrenswear lines, Collette by Collette Dinnigan and Collette Dinnigan Enfant, both of which are manufactured offshore, unlike the premium lines, and are sold through department stores and e-tailers such as David Jones, Neiman Marcus, Net-a-porter and Matches. Also to continue is the Collette Dinnigan licensed eyewear line through the Australian franchisee of British optical chain Specsavers. Dinnigan said she is also looking at potential hotel, homewares and interiors collaboration opportunities.

Dinnigan made the announcement a matter of hours before the designer was due to launch a coffee table book through Penguin Australia that charts her life story and 24-year fashion career.

Dinnigan cited a desire to spend more time with her family, which expanded in November with the birth of her second child, Hunter, as her key motivator — and the book, “Obsessive Creative,” providing a catalyst for the decision.

“The book is a retrospective of my life and it’s made me stop and think about the amazing journey I have had thus far,” said Dinnigan. “It [crystalized] my thinking, that I have sacrificed a lot of family time in building and maintaining my business, now I want balance back in my life with my husband, nine-year-old daughter and baby boy. I have met and worked with some of the world’s most talented people, as well as realizing my own creativity while driving a financially viable, profitable business.”

However, in an interview published Tuesday in Australian Financial Review, Dinnigan cited a lack of resources as a contributing factor and notably. The designer said she embarked on a fruitless two year search to find a suitable business manager and/or investor to take up to a 50 percent stake in her company.


According to a spokeswoman for the designer, who has given notice to 40 of her 50 staff, the Collette Dinnigan business is debt-free and projected to generate 14 million Australian dollars or $13.41 million at current exchange in sales in the 2013-2014 financial year. Retail accounts for half of the business, with wholesale to 100 international stockists representing another quarter. The US business was hit particularly hard by the global financial crisis, with 20 percent of the brand’s US stockists having since closed.

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