LONDON, United Kingdom — After five years of showing his presentations in Paris, English luxury footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood is moving his seasonal collections for his namesake brand to the London Fashion Week schedule. The label will present its debut “immersive and experiential” runway collection in September.
“I felt that it was time to do something in London. It’s where my design studio is, where I live and what I’m exposed to for my inspirations, so it makes sense,” says Nicholas Kirkwood, a Central Saint Martins alumnus who founded his company in 2005. “I’m not going to do it in a traditional runway format, there will be other elements that make it far more of an experience. It’s something I will continue to do.”
The footwear label, which is renowned for its sculpted, architectural shoe designs, quickly rose to prominence for its use of unique materials such as shaved stingray, laser-cut mirrored leather and rubberised suede, as well as its catwalk collaborations with the likes of Erdem, Rodarte and Phillip Lim. A number of awards followed, including Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2010 and the designer was awarded the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2013.
The critical and commercial success of the brand garnered the attention of LVMH, which took a majority stake in Nicholas Kirkwood in September 2013. The deal, which is characterised as a “long-term partnership,” has enabled the brand to scale its retail partner to 175 retailers around the world.
While Kirkwood remained focussed on footwear — with the exception of a line of handbags the brand launched in collaboration with Italian fine jewellery house Bulgari in August 2017 — the designer has expressed his desire to expand beyond the footwear category.
“Bags will be one of the categories. Then I would also love to tackle jewellery and sunglasses, and potentially also furniture. It’s about supplying my aesthetic to a product,” says Kirkwood. “To have the show [in London] is a first step forward. I want to remind people of the type of shoes that I do, and this is the right opportunity to show that.