A company statement confirmed that U.K. Revenue and Customs officials have issued a winding-up order for the company, with a court date set for July 12. A winding up order is issued when a British court decides that a company cannot pay its debts.
An officer of the court, or receiver, is then put in charge of winding up the company. The officer freezes a company’s bank accounts and sells its assets.
The statement said the wind-up order was due to “debt built up as a consequence of lockdown strategies to tackle the pandemic.” It also noted that the court petition was issued without prior warning, and followed a delayed payment earlier this year and the “rejection of subsequent requests” to secure what is known in the U.K. as a “time to pay arrangement.”
The statement added that The Vampire’s Wife is working with its secured lender to “find a solution agreeable to all parties.” The company said it will continue to trade in the meantime.
Following the lifting of lockdown, sales at The Vampire’s Wife rebounded, and the company turned a profit in 2022 after posting a loss of 2.1 million pounds in 2021.
Revenue is forecast to hit 6.6 million pounds in fiscal 2023 on the back of wholesale and direct-to-consumer sales. The latest accounts are due to be filed at Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses, in September.
The Vampire’s Wife launched in 2015 and was an immediate hit, wooing customers with its lavish fabrics, romantic prints and signature ruffles.
It started as an insiders’ secret and was favored by British fashion editors, models and friends of the brand’s founder Susie Cave, a former model and the wife of musician Nick Cave. It later turned into global retail hit, with stockists including Matchesfashion, Browns and Dover Street Market.
Cave has said her aim is to offer product that fits well and makes women feel good.
“There is certainly a community of women who are loyal to The Vampire’s Wife, but this is simply because the dresses just look beautiful when on — women respond to this,” Cave told WWD in 2019.
“The pieces are easy-to-wear, but have a maximum impact and there’s a disruptive quality to them, a sort of seditiousness. They are simultaneously demure and outrageous, turning the wearer into a walking event,” she added.
In 2018 The Vampire’s Wife won Walpole’s Brands of Tomorrow award for emerging talent.