In a shock announcement made this morning, Luella Bartley has revealed that her Luella fashion label has ceased trading. Club 21, the London-based global licensee has pulled out of the brand, which it has backed since 2003. In a joint statement, VSQ Limited, the subsidiary of Club 21, had reluctantly ‘taken the decision not to invest further in its relationship with Luella Bartley Limited.’ Bartley added: 'This is a very disappointing situation for everyone involved with the brand… I very much appreciate the support that VSQ has given me, but it is upsetting not to be able to protect jobs in this difficult economic climate. We have a number of options open to us, and are considering these over the coming months.' Bartley won the British Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards last year, and has a large fan base including Alexa Chung and Daisy Lowe, while she is best friends with Katie Grand and Giles Deacon. In a double blow that signifies how tough the current climate is for designers, Luella's key ready-to-wear producer was also hit by the recession and the factory closed unexpectedly last month, which has meant that Bartley's spring 2010 orders will not be fulfilled. Last night we met Luella at Liberty, where she and her team have designed the Christmas windows, but, ever the professional, she gave no inkling that they were making an announcement of this size this morning.