Fashion and homewares chain Life & Style has been bought out of administration by Sue Townsend, former director of academic bookseller Blackwell.

Life & Style, the homewares and fashion business created last year following the administration of womenswear chain Ethel Austin, collapsed into administration in June after its banks appointed RSM Tenon as administrators.

Townsend has now bought the business out of administration for £1.5m.

Townsend was recently commercial director of academic bookseller Blackwell. She has also worked at maternity specialist Mothercare and department store chain Bhs. She also holds non-executive directorships with the Edward De Bono Foundation UK and Global Thinking Systems.

Under its new ownership the business will retain 62 shops predominately in the North West and will see the retention of over 470 employees with a streamlined head office.

Life & Style was formed in March 2010 after company director Elaine McPherson acquired the trade name and assets of Ethel Austin and homewares chain Au Naturale. It was the second time that she had rescued Ethel Austin from administration after it collapsed for the first time in May 2008.