High-end womenswear brand Temperley is currently facing financial difficulties and has taken steps to file a notice of its intention to appoint administrators at the High Court. This news comes as no surprise given the challenges the brand has encountered in recent years. The company, which has been struggling to stay afloat, recently removed founder Alice Temperley from her position as a director. Despite attempts to reach out to the brand’s representative for comment, there has been no response.

Last year, the company’s auditor RSM expressed doubt about its ability to continue operating successfully. Now, the brand has taken the step of filing a notice to appoint administrators, as reported by The Times. The cancellation of key events and occasions, such as red carpets and weddings, due to the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to Temperley. Coupled with the brand’s ongoing business losses, these cancellations have pushed the company to its breaking point.

Founded by Alice Temperley 21 years ago in London, the brand currently operates stores in Mayfair, Somerset, and Dubai. It boasts a strong international presence, with distribution in over 30 countries through approximately 60 wholesale accounts. Overseas sales make up nearly 60% of its total revenue, with the United States and Canada, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, China, and Hong Kong serving as its major markets outside of the UK. Unfortunately, the pandemic has significantly impacted these markets, hindering Temperley’s chances of achieving profitability.

To try and remedy its financial struggles, Temperley has made several changes in its leadership. Luca Donnini, a former executive of Max Mara and Guess, was appointed as CEO in 2019. Despite these efforts, the company recorded pre-tax losses of £3.7 million that year, compared to £3.3 million in the previous year. However, in response to the pandemic, Temperley managed to secure new funds through a £3.2 million injection and raised an additional £1.9 million from existing investors. Tragically, one of the investors, Rupert Hambro, passed away in February. Hambro, known for his support of female entrepreneurs, had a strong connection to the fashion industry through his wife, Robin, who once held the position of London Editor at American Vogue.

In addition to its financial struggles, Temperley has also encountered controversy in recent times. The brand faced opposition after relocating from London to Somerset and attempting to set up a studio on the grounds of Alice Temperley’s historic grade II listed home, with Historic England expressing concerns about the move.

Looking ahead, the future of Temperley remains uncertain as it proceeds with the process of appointing administrators. The brand’s once-prominent position in the luxury womenswear market seems to be fading, and it will require significant changes and support to regain stability and profitability.

Useful links:
1. Temperley Official Website
2. Financial Times