The West

Ruth Tarvydas. Picture: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

UPDATE 8.45am: WA designer Ruth Tarvydas has sold her house and is selling her car to try and overcome the financial woes of her fashion empire, revealing today she is paying $30,000 a month in rent at her King Street store.

Speaking a day after "astronomical" rents and gloomy retail conditions were blamed for the decision to close her flagship King Street store and appoint administrators to her company, Tarvydas said the bank had ultimately stopped supporting her.

"It's like leaving a bad lover, it's always for the best," Tarvydas told radio station 92.9 this morning.

"At this stage, with my experience, you recognise when the time is right and we can't go on in King Street the way rents are.

"I'm a major believer in going forward in the future with Perth City... we might come back into the city one day.

"The demand for the brand is incredibly strong around Australia. Unfortunately it's just the way things are, the landlords don't seem to recognise there's a retail slump."

Tarvydas, best known for the glamorous gowns that regularly grace Australia's fashion pages, is the latest in a line of casualties on Perth's premier shopping strip.

Next month, global heavyweight Chanel will open its King Street store, joining the likes of Prada, Gucci and Tiffany & Co.

But the combination of high rents and lacklustre consumer spending has put the squeeze on independent boutiques, with clothing retailers Stiller and Wasteland among those to close in recent months.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission records show external administrators were appointed to Tarvydas' company RTI (WA) P/L yesterday.

The company has declined to comment on whether the decision to call in administrators was at the request of creditors or how much they were owed.

"I've sold my house, I'm selling my car because I love my creditors (but) when the bank stops supporting you, and unfortunately that was the situation, and the rent is too high you just have to know the best time to exit before things get worse," Tarvydas said.

Tarvydas will close her King Street store next week.

Designer Aurelio Costarella expressed sympathy, tweeting: "Sad for Ruth. One of the last WA owned businesses on King St. Perth City rents are driving out WA owned business."

The West Australian

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