Royal favourite, designer Orla Kiely closes stores


DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish designer Orla Kiely, who built a fashion label around colourful 1970s-style geometric prints, has closed her online business and shops in the UK and Ireland after parent company Kiely Rowan went into administration.

The designer, best known for a distinctive stem pattern that adorns everything from bags to bedding, founded her label in 1995. It became a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

Kiely’s Home and Design licencing business will continue trading, selling accessories and homeware though distribution partners, the company said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.

Kiely Rowan Plc ceased trading on Monday and shut its two London stores in Chelsea and Covent Garden, and its Irish retail outlet in the upmarket Kildare Village shopping outlet.

The company is the latest retailer on the British high street to go out of business or close shops as they struggle with subdued consumer spending, rising labour costs and higher business property taxes as well as growing online competition.

London’s Fashion and Textile Museum is currently exhibiting a selection of Kiely’s work that includes more than 150 patterns and products, as well as collaborations with photographers, film directors and architects.

The ‘A Life In Pattern’ exhibition will continue until September 23, as scheduled, a spokeswoman for the museum said.

Reporting by Graham Fahy, editing by Padraic Halpin and Elaine Hardcastle