The future of the Miss Sixty brand in the UK hangs in the balance, with stockists left waiting for deliveries amid confusion over whether the parent company will slip into administration.
Italy-based Sixty Group – which also owns the Energie and Killah brands – has been locked in discussions with Asian investors since early September in an effort to save the business.
Local reports suggest it has entered a creditors’ procedure agreement in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.
However, Drapers understands that production and distribution of the brand has now completely stopped, with nothing being manufactured or delivered.
Workers at the base in Chieti, Italy, have worked intermittently for more than a fortnight and nearly 400 jobs are at risk. As a result, many UK stockists have not received their full autumn 12 orders. Supplies for spring 13 are also in doubt as production has been frozen indefinitely while talks continue.
“Stock is being held in China and stockists have received only partial quantities of their autumn 12 orders – or in some cases nothing at all,” a source close to the situation told Drapers. “People have also bought spring 13 but there is the possibility they may never receive that either.”
The source said this could result in long-term damage to the brand in the UK, with speculation suggesting a number of stockists may turn their backs on Miss Sixty altogether.
Indies spoken to by Drapers have complained of confusion around the situation. One said it was still waiting for autumn stock but had received no information from Sixty Group. “I don’t know what’s going on, to be honest,” she added. “I haven’t heard from them at all.”
The situation in Italy is further complicated by the involvement of Sixty Group’s Asian investors, Crescent HydePark, who acquired the trademarks of the fashion group in May this year.
Speculation now suggests that Crescent HydePark might begin manufacturing the brands direct from Asia, without Italian involvement, from January 1 next year.
“I think the UK market has gone in terms of wholesale,” the source said. “Even if China takes ownership of all the brands from January the situation will be very difficult to rectify here in the UK if stockists have already been so let down.”
A UK representative for Sixty Group declined to comment.