Carven, Piaf dresser in its heyday, seeks bankruptcy protection

PARIS, May 23 (Reuters) - French fashion house Carven, which dressed cabaret queen Edith Piaf, is filing for bankruptcy protection, a spokesman for the company, which employs 100 people, said on Wednesday.

Carven, founded in 1945 by Carmen de Tommaso, took the world of fashion by storm in the 1950s with pink chequer dresses, counting among its most illustrious clients Parisian singer Piaf.

"Carven is in default on payments and will on Wednesday be asking to be placed under bankruptcy protection of the Paris commercial court via receivership procedures," a Carven spokesman said.

The fashion house dressed Air France flight attendants in the 1970s before falling on hard times the following decade, only to rise from the ashes in the first decade of the 21st century.

Annual sales plunged to 20 million euros $23.4 million)in 2017, half of the level in 2014, when the firm's artistic director left and its fortunes took a new turn for the worse.

($1 = 0.8543 euros) (Reporting by Pascale Denis; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Richard Lough)