Hardy Amies Seeks Buy­ers Af­ter Fil­ing for Ad­min­is­tra­tion

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY SAMAN­THA CONTI

LON­DON — Hardy Amies, the cou­ture house that once dressed Queen El­iz­a­beth and forged ties with roy­als, world lead­ers and celebri­ties, has gone into ad­min­is­tra­tion, the U.K. equiv­a­lent of Chap­ter 11.

Men­zies, the ad­min­is­tra­tors, said late Wed­nes­day they were seek­ing a buyer for the U.K. op­er­a­tions and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, and were get­ting down to work im­me­di­ately. In­dus­try sources said they are con­fi­dent a buyer will be found soon.

Fung Cap­i­tal, the pri­vate in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle of Vic­tor and Wil­liam Fung, who con­trol the Hong Kong-based

Li & Fung Group, had ac­quired the strug­gling Lon­don fash­ion house Hardy Amies out of ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2008. At the time, Fung Cap­i­tal bought as­sets in­clud­ing the Hardy Amies and Nor­man Hart­nell brands and the lease to the Hardy Amies store on Sav­ile Row, as well as the group’s li­cens­ing agree­ments.

Hardy Amies’ turnover was thought to be around 4 mil­lion pounds, although it had been op­er­at­ing at a loss. Prin­ci­pals at Fung Cap­i­tal could not be reached for com­ment at press time.

Hardy Amies is best known as the of­fi­cial dress­maker to Queen El­iz­a­beth II for nearly 35 years. The house would later leave women’s wear be­hind to fo­cus on men’s tai­lor­ing.

In 2012, on Fung Cap­i­tal’s watch, it joined the Lon­don Men’s Fash­ion Week cal­en­dar and inked a deal with Bloom­ing­dale’s to sell a se­condary line. Two years later it opened a 3,778-square-foot flag­ship at 8 Sav­ile Row.

In a cold cli­mate for high- end tai­lor­ing and tra­di­tional men’s wear, how­ever, Hardy Amies strug­gled like many oth­ers to keep up. It also suf­fered from the sea changes in re­tail: Un­less stores of­fer a con­stant re­fresh, ex­pe­ri­en­tial shop­ping, and a com­pelling rea­son to buy, they risk fall­ing out of con­sumers’ view.

In his hey­day, Hardy Amies was a world-fa­mous de­signer: In ad­di­tion to dress­ing the Queen when she was still Princess El­iz­a­beth, Amies went on to de­sign cos­tumes for Stan­ley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He made suits for ac­tors in­clud­ing the Hol­ly­wood in­génue Mil­dred Shay and Peter

Sell­ers and mixed with David Hock­ney, Mar­garet Thatcher, Ronald Rea­gan and Lord Snow­don.

Amies was also quick to lever­age his fame: By the 1960s, he was de­sign­ing every­thing from break­fast trays to bed­spreads.

He would later be­come one of the first de­sign­ers to build a li­cens­ing em­pire in men’s wear and to pop­u­lar­ize rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive ready-made suits in the U.K.

He had strong opin­ions about men’s wear, push­ing the four-but­ton, sin­gle­breasted jacket in the Eight­ies and break­ing the taboo of men wear­ing brown suits in town.

The brand is owned by Fung Cap­i­tal, which bought it in 2008.

Looks from Hardy Amies’ men’s spring 2017 col­lec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.