Another much-loved Aussie fashion brand is on the brink of shutting up shop. Reps for Alice McCall announced this week that the business has gone into voluntary administration; folding under the pressure of COVID-19 and the ASOS's of the world.
The label, known for its party dresses and playsuits, is the latest among a long list of Aussie brands that have collapsed of late, including Seafolly, Kikki K, Jeanswest, Napoleon Perdis, Colette, G-Star Australia and Bardot. Seafolly, Jeanswest and Kikki K were eventually bought out and saved from shutting down entirely, which is good news for your fancy pen collection.
So, what does voluntary administration mean for Alice McCall? For starters, 'voluntary administration' doesn't necessarily mean the business has to shut down for good – it just means the company is in financial trouble and has been placed in the hands of an independent person (a voluntary administrator) who will look into its affairs, and report back to its creditors and recommend whether or not the company should be liquidated.
In Alice McCall's case, Sydney-based insolvency firm SVP will do the job. It's expected that the brand's 14 stores across the country will close, while its online shop should still continue to trade as normal.
Founder Alice McCall announced the decision in a statement, saying it came with a "heavy heart". "Due to the unprecedented effects that COVID-19 has had on our economy, as well as some unsustainable bricks and mortar rental obligations, I have had to make a necessary decision to edit down my business, with the objective of building a more sustainable business model for the future," she wrote.
She continued: "There is nothing that fuels me more than a customer sharing their experience of a meaningful memory that they have lived while wearing an 'Alice' garment. This truly is what motivates me to do what I do."
Alice McCall first hit the Aussie fashion scene in 2004, with a show at Sydney Fashion Week. Fingers crossed it can be saved.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.