The celebrity TV presenter and influencer Alexa Chung has announced she is to close her eponymous fashion label after five years due to economic pressures caused by the pandemic.
The label, which showed twice at London fashion week and recently collaborated with Barbour, is not going into administration but is, says Chung, “winding down”. Items from the Barbour collection will still be available on the brand’s official site until the end of the month.
Chung noted on Instagram that the decision to stop “wasn’t taken lightly”, saying “the experience of setting up and being at the helm of my own company has been rewarding and frequently joyful, but the last couple of years have been challenging for small independent businesses and ours is no exception”.
The model turned designer was reluctant to embrace the e-commerce branch of her label, according to Women’s Wear Daily. It reports that Chung would “do things differently” if she were to start again.
Following a career as a model and as a presenter on Channel 4’s Popworld, Chung became a fixture of the new rave scene, dating musicians the Faris Badwan of The Horrors, and Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys. She launched her fashion label in 2017.
Chung’s first show at London fashion week was a hit, with the Guardian’s Jess Cartner-Morley describing it as “London tomboy” meeting “Parisian chic”. The label became known for its outerwear, and despite being stocked in Selfridges and Bergdorf Goodman, supply chain issues hit Chung’s business during the pandemic.
While some celebrity fashion lines, including those from Kim Kardashian West (SKIMS) and Kanye West (Yeezy) have enjoyed commercial success, failures tend to outweigh the triumphs. Rihanna closed the ready-to-wear branch of her Fenty range last year and Victoria Beckham’s label has been struggling financially.
Chung’s distinctive look was a mainstay of 2010s fashion. Combining unkept hair with pie-crust collar shirts, skinny jeans and ballet pumps, her Jane Birkin-ish look prompted Mulberry to name a handbag after her in 2010. More recently, her style has been referenced in aesthetic movements on the social media platform TikTok: #indiesleaze and the “twee revival”.
“Fashion in particular unfortunately suffers from a quite a high rate of people really struggling,” Chung told Vogue last year. “So more than ever it’s important to have people around supporting you.”