Dion Lee Enters Voluntary Administration

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By Published On: May 24, 20240 Comments

Dion Lee this week joins Alice McCall and Tigerlily as the latest Australian fashion label to call in the administrators in 2024.

High profile Australian fashion label Dion Lee has called in the administrators as major partner Cue announced its withdrawal from the label this week.

“After a recent strategic review, a decision has been made by the Cue Group to focus on our local Cue and Veronika Maine operations,” a spokesperson said.

For its Australian operations, dVT Group have been appointed as voluntary administrators under Antony Resnick and his team.
“We are in the very early stages of our administration process and our focus right now is on speaking with the Australian and US-based team and getting across all the relevant operational and financial data,” Resnick said.

“The Dion Lee brand has built global recognition and credibility in the world of high fashion. It is regularly worn by cultural icons and influencers. It is noted in the industry for its unique designs. All of which should attract both local and international investor interest.”

Aged just 23 at the time, founder Dion Lee launched his eponymous label in 2008 and since then, it has become a favourite among celebrities and local fashionistas alike. International pop stars Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa have been spotted donning the label in recent years.

“The Dion Lee brand is one of a handful of Australian fashion labels that has been able to break into international markets in recent years and there is no doubt as to the high creative regard in which it is held,” Resnick said.

With six retail stores in Australia, and one in Miami in the USA opening just last year, in what Dion Lee identifies as its largest market, plus a bustling online presence, how did this collapse occur?

Bernadette Olivier, CEO and co-founder of The Volte, a designer dress rental company, says the fashion industry is in its moment of reckoning “teetering on the edge of collapse”, and that the fate of this popular label proves that.

“The rise of TikTok and the increased popularity of Instagram stories and reels revealed new consumer habits,” says Ms Olivier.

“Consumers are turning online shopping into ‘online trying,’ often posting their ‘hauls’ to followers to decide which garments to keep while returning the majority.

“Retailers have been slow to identify this trend, and report as much as 50 percent of inventory sold online is returned, with a significant portion ending up in landfill or incinerated due to cost-effectiveness.

“Retailers are grappling with these challenges, in addition to changing consumer sentiments such as rapid decreases in brand loyalty, increased regulatory costs as governments attempt to curb overproduction and increase supply chain transparency – and the emergence of new Chinese fast fashion powerhouses like Shein and Temu.

“These new players, with criminally low prices and massive advertising budgets, have left an already fragile industry on the edge of collapse.”

Olivier claims that Dion Lee is just one of the many victims in this trend, citing the collapse of other fashion giants on an international scale like J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and Brooks Brother. Farfetch, and Net-a-Porter.

While the fate of Dion Lee hangs in the balance, administrators at dVT Group state that, “until we progress our administration process it is too early to comment in any detail on its current financial position other than to say our intention at this time is to operate the brand as a going concern.”

A creditors meeting will be put in place in the coming weeks, with a full creditors report being prepared.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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