Ragtrader editor Assia Benmedjdoub gives members an exclusive wrap up of the week's most important topic.

"One piece of advice I would give to the industry: pay the people you work with, suppliers included, before you pay yourself. If you have their back, they will have yours."

This is what acclaimed fashion designer Toni Maticevski told me in an interview, after taking out The Australian Fashion Laureate Award in 2016.

Notoriously private, Maticesvki shuns the spotlight to focus on the growth of his ready-to-wear and couture business.

Like Australian designer Kym Ellery, he enjoys a strong global trade, with his Selfriges account expanding by 70% within the first three seasons.

Unlike the latter however, he has not liquidated his local business and set up base in Paris, with $1.7 million owed to trade creditors here and abroad.

The creditors list covers local cutters, manufacturers and suppliers and spans all the way from Europe to the US and Asia.

Let's be fair here: running an independent business is difficult.

Store closures have become a reality in recent years and according to IBISWorld, 1.3% of the number of consumers goods retailers in Australia closed down from 76,490 to 75,503.

2017 saw the demise of mega chains such as Topshop and Topman Australia, Marcs, David Lawrence, Herringbone, Rhodes & Beckett, Pumpkin Patch and Payless Shoes.

Last year, the brand shedding continued with Maggie T, Metalicus and Gap Australia also appointing administrators or exiting the country.

The high cost of doing business, paired with increased competition, is wrecking havoc on what was once a thriving retail scene.

But it is important to remember that behind every great brand is a great supplier. With this, arises the need for a frank discussion about the toll insolvencies take on the back end.

Earlier this month, Ellery removed her name from the Australian company, changing it from Ellery Land to ACN 124 374 358 Pty Ltd, the Australian company number.

The Paris-based business was salvaged, along with a potential global distribution deal to protect overseas interests.

With a strong design aesthetic and a solid network of stockists, there's no doubt Ellery will land on her feet again.

But with dwindling margins and less favourable creditor terms, can the same be said for local suppliers?

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