Six-store kidswear independent Bratz has gone into administration, blaming high rents and pressure from the high street.
The chain announced its fate on Monday, but owner Bahram Parinchy is in talks to rescue two of the sites.
"High rents pushed us off the cliff," he said. "We turn over £1 million per store but couldn't meet our overheads. We may be able to rescue two shops, but we're in talks over which ones."
Bratz, which won the Drapers Independent Kidswear Retailer Award last year, has stores in Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leamington Spa, with an average size of 2,000 sq ft.
Parinchy said he would either keep the Bratz business or sell off the two sites, if he succeeded in buying them back. A decision is expected to be reached within 10 days.
He is also considering launching a kidswear business online. "I still believe there's a business to be had in designer kidswear, but the key is to keep it small and local," he said. "I'd stick with the same suppliers, but I don't know if I'll still be running the company." He added that he had been approached by retail heads of larger fashion chains.
Parinchy said the designer kidswear market was struggling to compete with a "sophisticated" high street. "So many celebrities are endorsing high street collections, which affects the designer end," he added.