Fashion label Nique enters voluntary administration

(Source: Nique / Instagram)

Australian fashion label Nique has entered voluntary administration, becoming the latest high-street brand to falter in a tumultuous economic environment.

The 26-year-old label, best known for its minimal black and white designs and earth-tone apparel, on Wednesday appointed Justin Howlett of SMB Advisory as administrator.

Nique has since ceased trading, while Howlett pursues urgent expressions of interest for all, or part, of the business.

“The business fell on hard times during the Covid lockdown period and despite robust restructuring initiatives over recent years, the well-documented difficulties across the retail sector appear to be the key contributing factor to the company’s demise,” Howlett said in a statement provided to SmartCompany.

At least 15 staff will be affected by the administration, with many being casual employees.

“In what is an extremely difficult time for all management, staff and suppliers – we are currently exploring all options available to maximise the value of the business, stock and IP given the perceived value of the well-established and leading brand name,” Howlett said.

Creditors, including gift voucher holders, are invited to contact SMB Advisory with further questions.

Founded in Melbourne, the label boasted eight bricks-and-mortar outlets across its hometown and Sydney in 2019.

However, the label consolidated its retail footprint through the Covid-19 pandemic and operated three stores at the time of its administration: Fitzroy, Melbourne, and Newtown and Paddington, Sydney.

Nique also operates an e-commerce site, giving consumers nationwide the chance to wear its forward-thinking designs.

Beyond its traditional men’s and women’s lines, Nique has championed specifically gender-neutral designs since 2019 through its Genderu capsule collection.

Nique also launched an upcycling program, asking customers to return their well-loved wardrobe items to the store for repurposing and resale.

Despite the brand’s administration, it was still inking new deals as late as this month.

The brand recently launched a distribution deal with Brisbane-based Medley Jewellery, with jeweller Amber Hodgman saying the brands shared a focus on sustainability and circularity.

“We think that by allowing Nique’s customers to see Medley up close and personal it will allow them to find the perfect jewellery pairing, both in style and values, to their Nique outfits,” Hodgman told RagTrader.

This story was originally published on Smart Company.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.