FASHION designer Johanna Johnson has placed her label into voluntary administration.
After struggling with tax issues for two years, the company will relocate its operational headquarters to the United States.
“It’s an unfortunate process we have to go through along with many other Australian fashion brands, but it is the best way to ensure our clientele, staff and suppliers will continue to be looked after,” Johnson told The Daily Telegraph tonight.
“I take full responsibility for the direction of the brand but while building the business and travelling, I delegated and didn’t get the management support I needed.
“In Australia it is hard to source sophisticated management who understand the luxury fashion industry on an international level.”
Johnson said in placing her business in voluntary administration she hoped to “save it”.
Johnson launched her namesake label in 2008 and last year her slinky gowns were the highlight of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
Many of her red-carpet dresses, which retail from between $1000 and $15,000, have been worn by stars including Madonna, Pink and Meryl Streep.
Despite doubling staff to keep up with global demand, she ran into trouble.
“The overheads and high level of taxation makes manufacturing fashion in Australia difficult. I have advisers in the US who can’t believe the tax implications here. This is why we are relocating our head office operations to the US,” Johnson said.
Over the past few months, Johnson has been embroiled in a legal dispute with Bronte local Alana Teasel.
The former nanny claimed the red-carpet designer failed to pay her $25,000.
“With the court case and the tax issues, I realise I need to change my current lifestyle of constantly working seven day weeks and this restructuring will benefit the brand, clients and staff,” she said.
Johnson is preparing to launch her new collections in Los Angeles in the following weeks.
“It is very much business as usual. All manufacturing and local client sales will remain in Sydney as we continue to deliver our products. My brides are my most important celebrities who always come first,” she said.