Designer-founders Nicholas Van Messner and Bridget McCall (the sister of local designer Alice McCall), sent out a frank email to all of its customers on Thursday announcing the label’s decision.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of LIFEwithBIRD over the coming weeks,” the email starts.
“We would like to thank everyone who has shared this incredible journey over the past 16 years. It has always felt more like a family than a business, and we will be forever grateful to everyone who believed in our ideas and championed the modern woman.”
From patternmaking on kitchen benches to packing ordering and hand tying swing tags at home, the email describes how the brand evolved into what it is today.
“[Knowing] our designs have touched so many people in Australia and abroad is something we will always be very proud of.”
Known for its sleek basics and intricately patterned cocktail dresses, LIFEwithBIRD will leave behind a hole in the fabric of Australian fashion.
But while the industry is tough, it’s not all doom and gloom for local retail. Last year’s retail industry State of the Nation report discovered that in 2015/2016 Australians made 90 million more trips to physical stores than the year before (1.43 billion trips in total.)
LIFEwithBird stores in Melbourne’s South Yarra, Chadstone and Emporium have ceased trading, while Sydney’s The Strand Arcade, The Intersection and Westfield Bondi Junction stores have all closed, too.
Stock has been heavily reduced in its online store, which is slated to go offline in the coming weeks.
LIFEwithBIRD was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.