Belfast Telegraph

Orla Kiely staff 'in tears' as Irish designer shuts three of its stores

Royal favourite: the Duchess of Cambridge wears Orla Kiely
Royal favourite: the Duchess of Cambridge wears Orla Kiely
The Irish designer showcases some of her well-known patterns

Staff at the stores of Irish fashion designer Orla Kiely reportedly left in tears after being told the company had gone into liquidation.

Ms Kiely, whose brand is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, closed three stores for the last time on Monday.

The company went into creditors voluntary liquidation, having become insolvent.

The shutters came down on its Kildare Village outlet store in the Republic and two shops in London - in Covent Garden and Kings Road - have closed.

Media reported that staff from one of its London stores were visibly upset following the closure.

In a statement yesterday, the company said the voluntary liquidation came due to "various challenges" in recent years. "Having carefully considered the options, the directors of Kiely Rowan Plc have concluded that the business should be placed into creditors' voluntary liquidation following various challenges that have faced the company over the past few years, both in the UK and abroad," it read.

It added that the Orla Kiely home and design licensing will not be impacted and the accessories and homewares will continue to be sold through its distribution partners.

Paul Appleton, of David Rubin & Partners, has been appointed to handle the winding down process and liquidation of the company.

According to their most recent financial statement for 2017, the company employed 56 staff across design, administration, production, warehouse and online.

It's understood that six of these staff were employed in the Kildare Village outlet store.

Among the risks and uncertainties listed in the statement lodged at Companies House was Brexit, given that the company is based in the UK.

The store is no longer listed on the Kildare Village website.

Staff at stores close to where Orla Kiely was located in Kildare Village say the closure was a surprise to them, and that they heard about it online.

Belfast Telegraph