Following recent news of Australian fashion designer Lisa Ho’s revelation of the labels closure, fellow Australian fashion designer Kirrily Johnston announced the very real possibility that the KJ fashion house may be meeting the same fate. Following the effects of the global financial crisis, KJ cites the astronomical cost of rent, local manufacturing and the pressure online retailers place upon bricks-and-mortar boutiques as the source of the labels demise.
After twelve years at the helm of Australian designer fashion Kirrily Johnston released a statement explaining that due to those pressures, the boutiques that have stocked the labels collections are “dropping off like flies on a weekly basis”. Kirrily Johnston has two stores in Sydney, one in Melbourne, is sold through David Jones and stocked by over seventy boutiques across the country, however the pressure of online e-commerce giants upon flesh and blood retailers has resulted in a power struggle local retailers are losing.
KJ announced that due to a lack of a backer for the labels future collections, the future remains uncertain, and is likely to follow in the footsteps of designer Lisa Ho who went into administration last month. With such pressures facing the Australian fashion industry, it appears retailers and designers alike are facing uncertain and worrying times. The Lisa Ho label stood at the forefront of Australian fashion for 30 years championing modern and clean collections, however the fashion house was brought to its knees after financial crisis and lack of stockists took their toll on the labels existence. The fate of these two iconic Australian brands emphasise the importance of supporting local designers and retailers, while labels Sass and Bide, Bettina Liano and Charlie Brown who recently fought their way out of financial demise remain standing as glimmers of hope in the uncertain times of Australian Fashion.
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