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Ksubi fashion label folds

Australian fashion label Ksubi has been placed in receivership, with 60 head office staff losing their jobs.

Ksubi has seven retail stores in the East Coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and an online store. All will continue to operate as per normal, until a buyer can be found for the business.

It’s not the first fashion label to fallover recently, and follows in the wake of other fashion brands including Lisa Ho, Kirrily Johnston and Bettina Liano. Since the Global Financial Crisis, several other brands have failed, including Colorado, Brown Sugar (twice), Ojay and the Shoe Superstore.

Lisa Ho Designs collapsed in May, less than a month after it was reported that the company was contemplating a listing on the National Stock Exchange. The company had 10 flagship stores as well as outlets within David Jones (ASX: DJS) department stores.

Local fashion retailers are facing heavy competition from offshore online retailers, as well as a wave of international fashion brands setting up shop in Australia. That includes the likes of Zara, TopShop, H&M, Uniqlo, and Marks & Spencer.

Department store retailers David Jones and Myer Holdings (ASX: MYR) have been fighting back, by signing exclusive labels and expanding their private label brands.

But local fashion retailers have also faced tough trading conditions with consumers unwilling to spend over the past few years. Premier Investments (ASX: PMV), the owner of Jay Jays, Portmans and Just Jeans, and Pacific Brands (ASX: PBG), owner of the well-known KingGee and Bonds brands, have both faced significant pressures to cut costs and revitalise their product offerings.

Foolish takeaway

Ksubi is certainly not the first fashion retailer to collapse, and nor will it be the last. The positive news is that consumers appear to be gaining some confidence and finally willing to spend some of their hard-earned cash.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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