Nicole Farhi fashion chain enters administration

Nicole Farhi Nicole Farhi founded the business as a sister company to French Connection

The upmarket fashion and homeware retailer Nicole Farhi has gone into administration.

The retailer was founded in 1982 by the French Connection boss Stephen Marks and Nicole Farhi herself, who was his partner at the time.

Nicole Farhi has five standalone stores and also sells its clothing in department stores Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Selfridges across the UK.

Trading will continue while it holds talks with interested parties.

The restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper have been appointed to advise the firm, which employs 75 staff across its retail network, and has another 44 staff employed at its headquarters in London.

'Powerful brand'

The company has had two different owners in the past three years.

At one time it also ran food outlets in London and New York.

Peter Saville, a partner at Zolfo Cooper said: "Nicole Farhi is a very powerful retail brand. Unfortunately, as with many other fashion retailers, the decline in high street spend coupled with rising costs has led to increased financial pressures on the business.

"We are already in discussions with a number of interested parties who value the strength of the Nicole Farhi brand.

"We intend to continue to trade the business and will be working hard to identify the best possible outcomes regarding preservation of jobs, the value of the business and returns to creditors. As this work continues we will make further announcements as appropriate."

Zolfo Cooper said in a statement that customers with gift vouchers may continue to exchange these for goods as normal and that any returns should be made "as soon as possible" although cash refunds would not be given.

Nicole Farhi, who has a CBE, is also known as Lady Hare as she is married to the playwright, Sir David Hare.

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