LONDON — Nicholas Kirkwood is the winner of the fourth BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund prize.
The shoe designer beat a short list of fellow designers including Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Emilia Wickstead and Roksanda Ilincic to win the award, which will see him receive 200,000 pounds (about $315,860 at current exchange) of funding to grow his business.
Kirkwood will also receive mentoring from key senior-level mentors and benefit from a bespoke program tailored specifically to assist him reach his business goals over the next 18 months, and take him from a developing label to a global fashion brand.
British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and British Fashion Council chairman Natalie Massenet cohosted the event at Nobu Berkeley in London’s Mayfair. “It’s particularly exciting to be here tonight knowing that the recipient of the second BFC/Vogue designer fund award, Christopher Kane, has now got the support of the big international PPR conglomerate,” said Shulman in her speech. “The winner we ultimately chose was because we were impressed by how they had developed their business along with turning beautiful designs into a brand identity that is already admired worldwide and which has potential for growth.”
Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, added, “The caliber of applications in the short list were second to none, all of the designers proved that they are at a very crucial stage in their business when the fund could deliver a real opportunity to accelerate growth. However, Nicholas’ application provided a clear and compelling case for how both funding and targeted mentoring would be used to assist him in taking the next steps in developing a global brand.”
The judging panel included Shulman, Rush, Browns’ Joan Burstein, the Daily Telegraph’s Lisa Armstrong, Harrods’ Marigay McKee, Topshop’s Mary Homer, Samantha Cameron and Burberry’s Sarah Manley, as well as representatives from the companies that support the fund.
Kirkwood, who trained at Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers, launched his collection in 2005. His shoes are regulars on the red carpet and he provided the heels for Philip Treacy’s show during the last London Fashion Week, as well as for the 2012 Victoria’s Secret catwalk show. He opened his first London store in May 2011, a New York shop opened a year later and he launched his first men’s collection in January this year.
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)