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Christopher Kane files for administration — company’s future in doubt

The stalwart of London Fashion Week has announced he is looking for interested parties to refinance existing debt, or to buy the business and assets

<p>Christopher Kane </p>

Christopher Kane

/ Daniel Hambury / Stella Pictures Ltd
21 Jun 2023

Christopher Kane, the 40-year-old Scottish designer known for crystal gowns, jelly bags, and subverted runway collections, has resolved to file a notice of intention to appoint FTS Recovery as administrators, as the company’s future hangs in the balance.

“This difficult decision has been reached to give the company sufficient time to implement a rescue plan. Key stakeholders have been notified,” reads a statement from the company given to WWD. “A period of accelerated marketing activity will now follow, with a view to locating potential interested parties to either refinance the company’s existing debt, or alternatively locate a purchaser for the business and assets.”

Christopher Kane and Lena Dunham attend The 2019 Met Gala

/ Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum

The news comes as a blow to London’s fashion community. The designer has been synonymous with London Fashion Week since graduating from Central Saint Martin’s College and launching his namesake label in 2006. Kane has been a huge force for creativity and intellectual design in the capital.

In the past decade, the company has experienced various financial difficulties and challenges. In 2013, a 51 per cent stake of the business was bought by conglomerate Kering, who owns other large brands including Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Alexander McQueen, but by 2018, it was announced these were to be sold back to the founder.

Christopher Kane’s AW24 catwalk, which saw Anna Wintour sat front row

/ Christopher Kane AW24

After a number of seasons without presenting a physical show, in part thanks to the pandemic, Kane splashed back to the official LFW schedule with a grand show in Camden Roundhouse for his spring/summer 2022 collection in September of that year. It marked a bright future for the now independent brand. This was followed by another standout show last season, for autumn/winter 2023, which turned heads, with farmyard lycra gowns and peplum minidresses, and was clapped on by Anna Wintour.

That these have not driven the sales needed to keep the company afloat puts a grey cloud over LFW, as other British labels, including Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, and Vivienne Westwood, choose to show in Paris.

Other highlights from Kane’s illustrious career, which began after he graduated from Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion in 2006, include dressing Shailene Woodley, FKA Twigs, Alexa Chung, and Lena Dunham at various Met Galas, as well as being a go-to designer to the Princess of Wales, Alexa Chung, and Dua Lipa.

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