LONDON, United Kingdom — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has taken a majority stake in London-based luxury footwear brand Nicholas Kirkwood. The exact size of the stake and financial terms were not disclosed, though LVMH characterised the deal as a “long-term partnership.”
Kirkwood has designed footwear for the likes of Rodarte, Erdem, Roksanda Ilincic and Peter Pilotto. His shoes are carried at about 150 stores across the world, including directional retailers like Dover Street Market and 10 Corso Como, and his own flagship stores in London, New York and Las Vegas.
According to market sources, Delphine Arnault, daughter of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, was closely involved in the acquisition. “I am especially impressed with [Kirkwood's] commitment to innovation and craftsmanship,” she told WWD, where the news was first reported. “Throughout our meetings, I was particularly struck by his entrepreneurship and we discovered rapidly that we shared the same vision and beliefs. We want to allow him to further explore the boundaries of his creativity while the brand will benefit from LVMH’s expertise.”
Nicholas Kirkwood will join LVMH’s fashion division, which is led by Pierre-Yves Roussel and currently comprises brands like Céline, Givenchy, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and Emilio Pucci. Kirkwood’s longtime business partner, Christopher Suarez, is to continue as CEO.
In January, Nicolas Kirkwood won the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund award — earning him £200,000 (about $320,000) in funding, along with business mentoring. Earlier this year, he also launched a men’s range. “The next step will probably be handbags, but I have no timelines to do that,” Kirkwood told WWD.