FASHION ICON: Lismore-raised entrepreneur Jodie Fox
FASHION ICON: Lismore-raised entrepreneur Jodie Fox Peter Derrett

Lismore woman's global business collapses into liquidation

CULT fashion start-up Shoes of Prey has entered into liquidation after months of speculation, with Kelly Trenfield and John Park of FTI Consulting appointed as administrators.

A former lawyer and advertising executive, Lismore-raised Jodie Fox founded Shoes of Prey in 2009 with two business partners who had previously worked at Google, one her then husband Michael, and software engineer Mike Knapp.

The business idea was enticing: allow women to order customised footwear at a cheaper price than typical bespoke shoes.

The shoes were high quality using Italian materials, but were hand-made to order in China and retailed for around $200-300.

By 2011, it had offices in Japan, China, the UK, Russia and Sydney, and employed 19 staff, mainly in Sydney and China, where the manufacturing was done.

On Sunday, co-founder Michael Fox broke the bad news in a post on a blog bearing the title The Shoes of Prey journey Ends.

In it, he cited the company's failure to gain traction in the mass market as well as its difficulty in competing with cheap Chinese manufacturers as two driving reasons behind the collapse.

"It's a sad end for a company which was once "prepped to scale into the $100m's revenue,” he said.

FTI Consulting Senior Managing Director, Kelly Trenfield, said that the Directors of Shoes of Prey had been pursuing a number of options to restart the business under a revamped operating model since ceasing trading in August 2018.

"Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the Directors, a way forward to recapitalise the business and reach agreement with the stakeholders was not found.”

"As a result, the Shoes of Prey business, which spans several global entities, will now go through an orderly liquidation process. In Australia, we will commence a Members' Voluntary Liquidation of Shoes of Prey Pty Ltd on a solvent basis and ensure the maximum return of funds to the US head entity as its sole shareholder. This will also involve a process to dispose of any remaining assets of the company including any available IP.

"At this stage, we do not expect any creditors of the Australian entity to be out of pocket. This includes holders of unredeemed gift certificates, who are expected to receive a full refund and will be contacted within the coming week,” Ms Trenfield said.