Lisa Ho shuts up shop

JENNA CLARKE
Last updated 16:20 18/06/2013
Lisa Ho Delta Goodrem
Getty Images
IN FASHION: Delta Goodrem wears a Lisa Ho dress.

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Fashion designer Lisa Ho is closing down.

Administrators HLB Mann Judd issued a statement today announcing the end of the Australian fashion queen's 30-year reign.

"Despite considerable interest, a sale of the Lisa Ho Group business as a going concern has not been achieved within the sale programme."

While there were whispers and numerous reports of interested buyers, including Myer and the Apparel Group - owners of the Sportscraft and Saba labels - administrators have been unable to salvage the Lisa Ho business in its entirety and are now closing the remaining stand-alone stores around the country.

"There is a difficultly in retail at the moment and a lot of other retailers are in a similar position but there was and still is a lot of love for the Lisa Ho brand. We still have parties interested in the intellectual property and remaining stock," HLB Mann Judd's Todd Gammel told Fairfax.

"Lisa is working through her own issues. She's been in discussions with us and she is still interested in getting her brand back."

"We don't know where it's going to get to in terms of the stock so we've just got to go ahead with what we can do. We would be trying for everybody to give us a view in the next few days around that so we can see if we can get some of the employees and retail away otherwise it's going to go through the normal closing down process," Gammel said.

Sales at the online store, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane boutiques are now underway until June 30.

Current stock, bridal and evening wear has been reduced by more than 50 per cent.

"It's a great chance to buy an iconic piece of Australian fashion. There are now A$10,000 ($12,527) gowns being reduced to A$3000," Gammel said.

Prior to being placed in administration on May 8 with debts of more than A$10 million, there were plans for Lisa Ho Designs to be listed on the stock exchange.

Ho started her career at a Sydney market in the early 1980s.

Over the years her designs have been worn by models-turned-mogels Tyra Banks and Elle Macpherson as well as singers Florence Welsh and Nicole Scherzinger. Lisa Ho has been a red carpet staple spotted at numerous film premieres and awards ceremonies both in Australia and overseas. 

Australia fashion leaders were saddened by the news.

"Personally, Lisa Ho is a dear friend who I have always admired as she built her fashion brand from a small store at Paddington markets into an iconic fashion label, so it is really devastating to see a fashion pioneer like Lisa fall on tough times," Harper's BAZAAR editor Kellie Hush said.

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"Like many Australian women, I have loved and worn Lisa Ho for decades as she has always created fashion women want to wear. I know this is not the final chapter for Lisa as she is an inspirational business woman and look forward to seeing what she does next."

Lisa Ho was unavailable for comment. 

- FFX Aus

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