British luxury fashion chain LK Bennett is going into administration as it desperately seeks the funding it needs to stay afloat.
According to reports, EY will oversee the insolvency if no new investment can be found.
The luxury label, which counts the Duchess of Cambridge and former Home Secretary Amber Rudd among its customers, has 41 shops and 480 staff in the UK with more shops and concessions globally, including in Spain, the Netherlands and the UAE.
Famed for its kitten-heel shoes, it was founded by Linda Bennett in 1990.
Ms Bennett – who was awarded an OBE in 2006 – said her aim was to bring "a bit of Bond Street luxury to the High Street".
She sold her majority stake in the chain to private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners in 2008, but in 2017 returned to advise the business after the retailer started to struggle, and a short time later bought the company back.
The chain reported an operating loss of nearly £6 million in the year to the end of July 2017, the most recent results available for the firm.
The accounts show that on her return, Ms Bennett invested about £11.2 million into the business.
In an email to staff, Ms Bennett said she had "fought as hard as I can, with all your help to turn the business into the success that I know it deserves to be".
"These are difficult and unstable times, and we are doing everything we can to identify the best way forward," she added.