Luella Bartley made the switch from fashion journalist to fashion designer in 1999 when she presented her debut collection, brilliantly entitled ‘Daddy, I Want A Pony’. It showcased her eccentric yet modern take on classic British designs and got rave critical acclaim. Luella’s star has been on the rise ever since, her clothes are firm favourites in celeb circles, she opened her own shop in Mayfair and in 2008 was named British Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. She is one of the most successful and respected British designers in the industry.
It therefore came as a huge shock when, only a decade after she started, it was recently announced that her label would cease trading due to two major financial events. The Italian manufacturer that makes Luella’s products, Carla Carini, went into liquidation in October 2009; this was swiftly followed by Luella’s main investor and global licensee, Club 21 withdrawing its financial backing from the label. Consequently, Luella is not able to complete orders for the Spring / Summer 2010 collection.
Speaking about these events, Luella has been quoted as saying, "I hope that after we have survived this challenging time, the Luella girl can have an exciting future ahead of her, whichever incarnation she takes on next. We have a number of options open to us and are considering these over the coming months."
She is thought to be looking for a new investor. Hopefully Luella will be successful in her search, as there would be such a big heart-and-flowers-quaintly-clashing-shaped gap in the London Fashion Week schedule if she does not show anymore. Obviously we wish it wasn’t the case but due to circumstance there are huge price reductions on the Luella site. Let’s celebrate the label by taking a look at some fabulous pieces from her Spring / Summer 2010 collection:
Images: Deborah Latouche