Apr 26, 2021
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Temperley to appoint administrators - report

Apr 26, 2021

High-end womenswear business Temperley is reportedly in trouble with the company having filed a notice of its intention to appoint administrators at the High Court last Friday.

Temperley London - Spring-Summer2021 - Womenswear - Londres - © PixelFormula

The company has been struggling for some time and a Companies House filing for Temperley Limited this month said that founder Alice Temperley’s status as a director had been terminated. However, the company hasn’t commented. Fashionnetwork.com has contacted the brand's representative but hasn't heard back.

Last year, its auditor RSM warned that “material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

It’s unclear exactly what happens from here. The news of the notice to appoint administrators was published by The Times.

Temperley has struggled for some time, despite its ultra-high prices and its celebrity client list that has included the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, Sandra Bullock and Kate Hudson.

The cancellation of major events in the past year — including red carpets and weddings — will have hit it hard. Coming after years of business losses, it appears to have been the last straw.

The brand was founded by Alice Temperley 21 years ago and was originally based in London. It has stores in Mayfair, Somerset and Dubai. It’s been distributed in over 30 countries via around 60 wholesale accounts and nearly 60% of sales come from overseas. Its top markets outside the UK have been the US and Canada, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, China and Hong Kong. Again, the pandemic has hit some of these markets hard for an extended period, which would have undermined Temperley’s path back to profitability.

The company had actually been loss-making for some time and has seen a number of CEOs trying to turn it around. It appointed ex-Max Mara and Guess executive Luca Donnini as CEO in 2019. Pre-tax losses that year (the last year for which accounts are available) were £3.7 million, wider than the £3.3 million of a year earlier.

But it raised new funds in 2019 too with a £3.2 million injection, and after the pandemic hit, it raised another £1.9 million from existing investors. However, one investor, Rupert Hambro, died in February. He’d been a great believer in female entrepreneurs and he had a strong fashion link as his wife Robin had once been London Editor of American Vogue.

The company has been in the news recently after it moved out of London to Somerset and plans to set up a studio in the grounds of Alice Temperley’s grade II listed home are being opposed by Historic England.

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