Australian fashion designer Alice McCall has confirmed a new licensing strategy to keep her namesake brand in operation.

Worrells principal Matthew Kucianski was appointed as liquidator of Alice McCall Pty Ltd on February 12, 2023. 

In an exclusive interview with, McCall said she has retained ownership of her intellectual property.

"I made a decision to close my business, and maintain ownership of my IP or intellectual property, allowing me to do licensing deals, keep the brand name alive, and continue to create," McCall said.

The business owed over $1 million to creditors at the time of its liquidation, including $677,922.93 to the Australian Taxation Office and $540,000 in aged payables.

"I found post-COVID financially very hard to keep the business sustainable,” McCall said. “I had never taken a business partner, and the business had grown fairly big. I had 15 bricks and mortar stores and 100 staff including full time and part time.

"It got to a stage where I lost visibility and transparency on the systems and processes. Completely consolidating the operation to 'a one man band' felt like it was the best path forward."

McCall has defended a watershed deal to secure fast-fashion giant Shein as her first licensing partner. 

"I knew I wanted the product to be more accessible. I also ideally wanted to partner with someone that had an international presence as well as an infrastructure that allowed me to focus on being creative and design. Shein provided the perfect platform for this.

"One of the most appealing things about working with Shein is that we could work with rescued textiles sourced via their partnership with circular technology leader, Queen of Raw, who specialises in solving the excess inventory issues of the world’s Fortune 500s.

"This is something I had always wanted to do. As far as sustainability, repurposing existing fabrics is up there."

McCall said the partnership was created through a mutual connection and includes a 35 SKUs capsule and 12-piece collection pitched as sustainable.

"Once the partnership was agreed upon, I travelled to China to meet the team and work with them. We worked together very well. I really admire their efficiency and work ethic .

"I visited the factories they partner with and worked with very good product developers and the marketing team. I have always very much enjoyed working with the Chinese, and traveling to both HK and China to work.

"For the last 16 years I manufactured in China, now with this current licensing deal we are also manufacturing in China."

McCall said licensing will continue to be a cornerstone of the new business.

"I now license the brand name, where I get paid a negotiated design fee. I feel very lucky I’m able to still design. It’s extremely difficult to run your own fashion brand. I’d like to continue to do licensing deals to keep the brand alive."


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