The fate of Ruth Tarvydas' fashion empire hangs on the WA designer's ability to clear more than $1 million owed to her bank and King Street landlord.
Two weeks after Tarvydas, best known for her flesh-baring red- carpet gowns, called in administrators, her debts have been laid bare, with between $1 million and $1.5 million owed to creditors that also include the Australian Taxation Office, suppliers and her accountant.
Although most debts are with the bank and landlord, the exact figure owed is unclear because her books have not been updated since August.
To avoid liquidation, Tarvydas needs to strike a deal with creditors on terms yet to be decided.
Tarvydas said yesterday she was confident of securing third-party funds so she could buy back her company. But it could take six to nine months to finalise.
"This has hurt me more than you can imagine," she said. "These things happen in life but I'm going to rectify it."
In addition to selling her house and car, Tarvydas has spent much of the past fortnight selling stock in her since-closed King Street store at a heavy discount.
Administrator Kim Wallman, of HLB Mann Judd, said the fire sale was a success with all but eight garments sold.
Mr Wallman was appointed to Tarvydas' holding company RTI (WA) Pty Ltd this month after she lost the support of her long-time financier.
It was the latest in a series of retail collapses to make headlines across Australia after the likes of Ojay, Fletcher Jones, Brown Sugar, Bettina Liano, Colorado Group and Ed Hardy. Some have since been brought out of administration.
RTI's collapse comes after a series of departures from King Street, raising concerns that the influx of international luxury fashion brands was squeezing out independent local boutiques.
In recent months, retailers Stiller, Subway DC and Wasteland have left the street, which hosts Prada, Gucci and Tiffany & Co. Chanel will move into its King Street digs next month.Tarvydas said "astronomical" King Street rents were partly to blame for her group's collapse.
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