Today is a sad day for the Duchess of Cambridge and her wardrobe. British-based label Orla Kiely, a staple in Kate Middleton, Alexa Chung, and Keira Knightley's closets, is no more after 23 years in business. The designer reportedly broke the news to her staff on Wednesday morning. According to The Metro, a source told the paper the news "wasn’t sent out in an official email or anything but was spread through word of mouth."
A note on the brand's website reads: "Kiely Rowan Plc, the retail and wholesale fashion business of Orla Kiely, has ceased trading as of Monday 17 September 2018," meaning business has come to a halt, quite literally. The note also announced that, in addition to its website, its retail stores in London and Kildare will be closing as well. "We apologize for any inconvenience caused," the statement continued. "Orla Kiely's Home and Design licensing business will not be impacted, and its selection of accessories and homewares will continue to be sold through its distribution partners. Thank you for embracing our brand and designs throughout the years and for your ongoing support. Orla, Dermott, and the team."
Kiely and her husband started her eponymous brand in 1995. "Each year, we do a new project," her husband, Dermott Rowan explained in 2008. "But we don't do anything unless it can be done absolutely perfectly." Rowan went on to say the "whole thing" started by accident. "We had this chaotic situation where boxes of sample designs would come into our apartment and if we didn't get them out by 5 p.m., there was nowhere to sit."