The Orla Kiely SS17 presentation at NYFW.

The Orla Kiely SS17 presentation at NYFW.

The designer is to close retail stores in London and in Kildare Village as well as the brand's e-commerce site. 

In a blow for Irish fashion, one of the country's most celebrated exports, Orla Kiely has announced that her eponymous label has ceased trading in its online and retail businesses, including its London and Kildare Village stores.

A note on the designer's website as of Monday states that "Kiely Rowan plc, the retail and wholesale fashion business of Orla Kiely, has ceased trading as of Monday 17 September 2018. This means our retail stores in London and Kildare and our online business has closed.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Orla Kiely’s Home and Design licensing business will not be impacted, and its selection of accessories and homewares will continue to be sold through its distribution partners."

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An additional statement subsequently released to The Irish Times elaborates slightly that "having carefully considered the options, the directors of Kiely Rowan Plc have concluded that the business should enter voluntary liquidation following various challenges that have faced the company over the past few years, both in the UK and abroad.”

The label had traditionally struck a cord with an older demographic for its homewares and accessories ranges, particularly in the handbag category; the Stem handbag being an It piece for over a decade. 

More recently, however, a brand reposition and the launch of the L'Orla range, a collaboration with celebrity stylist and ultimate cool girl Leith Clark, breathed new life into the brand with A-listers like Kate Middleton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung and Brooke Shields all spotted in the Irish designer's ultra-feminine pieces. 

The brand recently marked a landmark moment with an exhibition in London's Design and Textile Museum celebrating 20 years of life in print. Speaking to Irish Tatler earlier in the year, Kiely remarked that it was a moment of celebration.

"We were approached by the Fashion & Textile Museum, almost a year ago, I felt excited and a little overwhelmed by the idea. But it has been a great adventure, going through the last 23 years of work, seeing the depth of our print archive, reflecting on all our projects, rediscovering bags we designed over 20 years ago and how far we have come. We are seeing this exhibition as a moment to celebrate."

We'll be spending the morning reminiscing on some of the most inspirational Orla Kiely campaign images, of which there are many. 

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