‘Heavy heart’ as iconic brand goes under


Australian fashion brand Alice McCall has gone bust as the company wrangled with COVID-19 financial woes.

The designer joins several other retail businesses to enter voluntary administration in the past year, including Seafolly , Kikki K, Jeanswest and Bardot.

Ms McCall confirmed the business went into voluntary administration on Monday, with Sydney-based insolvency firm SVPartners appointed to handle the liquidation.

This will likely result in the closure of several of the brand's 14 stores across Australia.

Meanwhile, the brand's bricks-and-mortar stores and online shop are still currently trading as per normal.

RELATED: Iconic Aussie bikini brand collapses

The business launched in 2004 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
The business launched in 2004 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

Ms McCall said in a statement it was with a "heavy heart" that the company called in administrators.

"Due to the unprecedented effects that COVID-19 has had on our economy, as well as some unsustainable bricks and mortar rental obligations, I have had to make a necessary decision to edit down my business, with the objective of building a more sustainable business model for the future," she said.

The designer thanked her staff and customers. "There is nothing that fuels me more than a customer sharing their experience of a meaningful memory that they have lived while wearing an 'Alice' garment," she said. "This truly is what motivates me to do what I do."

SVPartners' Ian Purchas said a number of stores will be forced to closed and some of its workers will lose their jobs as the company's revenue was "severely impacted".

"Unfortunately that will require the closure of a number of its stores, and the redundancy of some employees," The Age reported he said.

The brand launched at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in 2004.

In 2009, Ms McCall launched a complementary online store and the business expanded internationally, including a strong following in China.

The global expansion included launching a dedicated e-commerce site in China to complement the bricks-and-mortar store that opened in the country.

McCall was the first Australian brand to launch a physical store in China, but the store has since closed.

This follows a string of other businesses in the fashion industry going under amid the crushing toll of the pandemic.

Alice McCall said it’s with a “heavy heart” that the business has gone bust.
Alice McCall said it’s with a “heavy heart” that the business has gone bust.


Iconic Aussie bikini brand Seafolly collapsed into liquidation in the middle of this year.

In March, rival swimwear brand Tigerlily also collapsed into voluntary administration, blaming the economic downturn from COVID-19.

Other retailers to collapse this year include Harris Scarfe, Jeanswest, Ishka, Bardot, Kikki K, Colette by Colette Hayman and Bardot.

The new year brought in news that department store Harris Scarfe was set to shut 21 stores across five states over the course of just one month in January after the retailer was placed into receivership in December 2019.

Just days later, McWilliam's Wines - the country's sixth-largest wine company that has been run by the same family for more than 140 years - announced it had also appointed voluntary administrators.

Then it was popular video game chain EB Games' turn, with the business confirming it was closing at least 19 stores across the country within weeks, while fashion chain Bardot also planned to shut 58 stores across the nation by March.


Originally published as 'Heavy heart' as iconic brand goes under