Brides nervous as top designer goes bust

Johanna Johnson pictured at her studio in Sydney Image copyright Getty Images

A celebrity fashion designer’s business in Australia has collapsed, leaving brides-to-be anxious they will not receive their wedding dresses.

Johanna Johnson’s red-carpet gowns for Hollywood stars such as Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks established her as a go-to designer for upscale weddings.

But a large tax debt and unpaid entitlements to workers has led a court to order in liquidators.

Ms Johnson has said she is shifting her company’s operations to the US.

She also provided assurances on her Facebook page that worried brides-to-be would receive their wedding gowns.

One Facebook user called on Ms Johnson to be clear if brides would not receive the dresses they had paid for, saying them were “setting them up for even more disappointment”.

A comment attributed to JJ & Team said: “As previously stated the business is still operating under the US company and of course everyone will receive their gowns.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Ms Johnson has allegedly failed to pay her employees thousands of dollars in superannuation (pension payments), back pay and other entitlements.

Alana Teasal, former head of production at Ms Johnson’s company, gained an order from the Federal Circuit Court in November for payment of A$35,000 (£18,300; $26,700) in entitlements and penalties.

When Ms Johnson failed to comply with the court’s order, Ms Teasal instigated proceedings in the New South Wales Supreme Court to have the company wound up.

On 14 April Ms Johnson placed her company into voluntary administration in a bid to avoid liquidation.

The administrator later provided an affidavit to the court stating that the company owed more than A$1m to the Australian Tax Office, including A$300,000 in unpaid superannuation.

Ms Johnson and her lawyers have been contacted for comment.

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