Fashion label that has made dresses for Madonna and Meryl Streep falls into voluntary administration

An internationally-renown Australian fashion designer says she is placing her business in voluntary administration in order to move the company’s operations to the United States.

The appointment of external managers to the business comes a month after the Supreme Court heard an application to wind-up the business.

Designer Johanna Johnson opened her first stand-alone store in Sydney in 2005, and since then has designed dresses for international celebrities such as Madonna, Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has previously described Johnson as a “national asset to Australia” thanks to her “creative and innovative spirit”.

However, Sydney woman Alana Teasel applied to have Johnson’s business declared insolvent last month, according to The Daily Telegraph, claiming Johnson failed to pay her $25,000.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales heard an application to have Johanna Johnson Pty Ltd wound-up on March 23, according to an ASIC notice.

In a Facebook post published this morning, Johnson told her followers her label has been placed in voluntary administration but it is “business as usual”.

Johnson described the administration as “simply an internal process”.

“Time for some necessary restructuring … to continue with our expansion plans,” Johnson wrote.

“That, and I need more time with my babies, and to get somewhat of a work/life balance back. As much as I love my work, seven-day weeks are not good for anyone’s soul. We look forward to seeing our lovely clients in their fittings and updating you all with these great things ahead.”

The appointment of voluntary administrators to Johanna Johnson follows a number of well-known Australian fashion designers also appointing external managers.

In 2015, fashion heavyweight Josh Goot placed his label into voluntary administration and later re-gained control of the label after creditors supported a Deed of Company Arrangement.

Fashion designers Lisa Ho and Kirrily Johnston also called in external administrators back in 2013.

SmartCompany contacted Johanna Johnson for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.


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