LONDON (AP) — Upmarket British designer fashion chain Nicole Farhi has gone into administration, a form of bankruptcy in the U. K., a business restructuring firm said Wednesday.

Zolfo Cooper, a company providing restructuring services, said it is in talks to sell the brand, one of Britain's best-known luxury clothing chains and a regular at London Fashion Week.

"As with many other fashion retailers, the decline in high street spend coupled with rising costs has led to increased financial pressures on the business," said Peter Saville, a partner at Zolfo Cooper.

Nicole Farhi, which sells clothing for men and women as well as home furnishings, was founded in 1982 by the designer and her then-partner, Stephen Marks. Farhi, who married playwright David Hare, no longer designs the clothing and has instead appointed creative director Joanna Sykes to oversee the brand's collections.

The brand has a flagship store in central London's upmarket Mayfair area as well as five other shops and concessions in British department stores including Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. The company employs 119 people.

Zolfo Cooper said the company will continue to trade while it explores all possible options for its future, including a sale of all or parts of the business.

Nicole Farhi was acquired by private equity group Kelso Place Asset Management last year.


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