Millie Mackintosh has announced she is closing her fashion line after four years of business. It comes as a shock to some fans of the brand, including our team here at IMAGE.ie. On the surface, the former Made In Chelsea star’s brand seemed to be successful. However, digging a little deeper her high-priced garments meant some saw it coming.
The Wiltshire-native made the unexpected announcement on Instagram last night, citing the current “financial climate” as the reason for the closure. Her line, which is still available from Arnotts and ASOS, included everything from feminine, floral tops to jumpsuits, dresses and jackets. Speaking to IMAGE.ie this morning, a spokesperson from Arnotts said, “We had three collections with Millie Mackintosh, which were exclusive to Arnotts in Ireland. We really enjoyed working with her and wish her every success in the future. We are already excited to see what her next project will be.”
The 28-year-old began her emotional post by saying how “incredibly fortunate” she’s been to have had the opportunity to run her own business, adding that “it is with great sadness that I’ve had to make the very tough decision to close it.”
Mackintosh didn’t just put her name to a brand, she was heavily involved in drawing designs, mood boards and sampling. Fashion lovers often commented on the flattering fit of her clothes. Speaking to Grazia following the launch of her second collection, she said, “it really has been from scratch and I think people can really tell the difference… It’s hard to do a reality show and then have a credible [business] because people think you’re just going to stick your name on the first thing that comes up… There were other options to do clothing lines but this is actually my brand; I own the brand with my partner so I really care about every detail.”
Given her dedication to the design process, Millie’s disappointment is understandable. She explained, “Despite our best efforts and being a top seller with a number of our stockists, the financial climate in the fashion industry has proved immensely challenging and the business is no longer sustainable.” While she doesn’t go into detail about her brand’s finances, The Sun UK paper edition reported that her company is over STG£500,000 in debt.
If the comments under her Instagram post are to be believed, the prices of her garments are a sore point. “Whoever advised you to put the prices up should go first. In fashion, once you hit a certain target of customers increasing prices by 200% will always have an impact on business!” one person said. Perhaps they have a point. All of the items available from Arnotts are over €100, while some are almost €300.
Despite criticism from some, Millie went on to thank everyone who supported her over the past four years. “The unwavering support from friends, family, influencers, the industry and customers has made this decision even harder. I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly that everyone who has been involved, especially my immediate team whom it’s been a privilege to work with.”