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Fashion Stakes High As Independent Brand The Vampire's Wife Announces Sudden Closure

by Megan-Louise Burnham

The Vampire's Wife recently announced its sudden closure, marking another fashion loss. The final nail in the coffin of the British brand? The wholesale market.

Last Wednesday, the fashion industry was devastated by the news of the sudden closure of The Vampire's Wife, citing the upheaval of the wholesale market as a factor in the decision. The news also came with the announcement of an in-person final sale over the Bank Holiday to sell all remaining stock, the quick turnaround quashing many fans' dreams of ever owning a piece of the brand’s iconic catalogue.

“Due to factors beyond our control, The Vampire’s Wife has stopped trading,” founder Susie Cave wrote in an online post. “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have supported us here at The Vampire’s Wife.”

Perhaps what is most shocking is that the brand provided something coveted by fashion lovers worldwide—designs that transform the eternal quest for a fitted dress that flattered the form into a reality. And so a cult classic was born. Cave's design has become synonymous with femininity, subversion, luxury, and a flurry of ruffles.

Influenced by vintage fashion and sprinkled with mystery and darkness, The Vampire's Wife became the perfect brand for those looking to bridge the divide between distinctive gothic romanticism and classic British sophistication and make it wearable.

While hesitant to take the limelight from the designs, the success of The Vampire's Wife was not only in the fashion but those who wore it. The brand's clientele ranged from stars of screen and radio to actual royalty, working to cement the reverential status of the label.

It also resonated on a deeper level as a reflection of grief and emotion for Cave, as the brand was founded shortly before the loss of her and husband, Nick Cave's son, Arthur, in 2015. “Time just flies by," she told The Daily Mail in 2018. "It’s actually an absolute gift, because the worst thing happened to me. I channel any positive energy I can into creating clothes.”

The Vampire's Wife was not something that dwelled in the darkness but rather shone in the limelight as a designer who meant something to people.

And that is why the abrupt closure of The Vampire’s Wife is a dark omen for the fashion industry. Despite exponential designs, famous clientele, and a period of positive growth and sales, the brand could not escape its unfortunate ending.

There are various reasons why the fashion favourite was laid to rest long before its time.


 While Cave has not provided further details on the decision, it is clear that several key challenges, from HMRC debt to the fallout of Matches' closure, have significantly impacted the brand's financial stability. So too does the rise of fashion rental sites; as the brand has risen in popularity and rentals have boomed, it fails to put money back into the brand's pocket as fans are more willing to rent a piece than own it.

Some may view the luxury prices as a barrier for the brand, with four-figure price tags being unattainable for many in the current cost of living crisis, especially in the time of a global pandemic when designer gowns were replaced by loungewear.

Yet even the brand's efforts to make its designs more accessible did little to alleviate the financial challenges of the brand. The collaboration with fast fashion brand H&M was, for many, a break from the realities of the pandemic lifestyle, allowing fans to purchase dream pieces at a much more accessible cost. It made something special attainable (but don't take that as us condoning the fast fashion industry).

Nevertheless, the reality is that many of us are cutting back on luxury purchases, which is an unquestioned barrier for brands already struggling with trading costs. It's hard to know which of these reasons was the unequivocal stake in the heart of the brand, yet one thing is clear— the British fashion industry will lack the uniqueness the brand carried.

The Vampire’s Wife is not the first, and certainly will not be the last, fatality in the fashion industry.

It was news few saw coming, yet, as the cliché heralds: 'all good things must come to an end'. We just wish that The Vampire’s Wife took a cue from its name and was immortal.

Edited by Emily Duff

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