Ladies' fashion retailer L Wear, the company behind the Elle fashion brand, has gone into administration with the loss of around 170 jobs.
 
The London-based company, which was set up by fashion entrepreneurs Mark and Christina Bunce, bought the Elle business less than a year ago.

The company traded from 20 stores and 20 smaller outlets inside House of Fraser sites, ran out of cash after a major investor pulled out.

Administrator Geoff Carton-Kelly from Baker Tilly said: "In our role as administrators, Baker Tilly will be doing all we can over the next couple of months to sell the remaining stocks and will be putting the leasehold interests up for sale in due course."

Most outlets will be closed immediately, and will only re-open if a buyer is found.
 
The Bunces used to run the Country Casuals ladies' wear business and made a fortune from backing the successful Oasis fashion chain.

They bought DB Actif Limited and Actif Retail Limited, which owned the UK rights to the Elle brand, after the companies went into administration in April 2006.