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SHOE-INS: Six months after selling his company to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Nicholas Kirkwood is launching about half a dozen pop-up shops this year.
“We are focusing on all our big markets — the U.S., Middle and Far East, as well as Europe,” the shoe designer told WWD at the recent opening of his first pop-up, in French department store Printemps. It is slated to operate there until mid-April.
The shop carries Kirkwood’s spring-summer collection for women, which is built on two narratives: a Moroccan theme playing with sharp laser cuttings and jacquards on sexy heels, and “a Seventies sports feel” — as Kirkwood put it — featuring flats with a thicker sole and bolder palette of primary colors.
Next in the line is a temporary venue in Miami’s Bal Harbour, at the end of March.
Following the deal with LVMH, Kirkwood said he has hired new staff and undergone “a big learning experience.”
“There is lots of planning, restructuring and setting up going on so that we can grow,” he said, lauding the group’s advisors. “They really know what they are doing, and for a small brand like ours to get advice on what’s going to happen next is very helpful.”
With the shoe label posting “exponential growth in 2013,” Kirkwood said he plans to expand its one-year-old men’s line: “We only have six styles really, but there is huge opportunity in men’s. We will be putting more focus on it as it is gaining momentum. It’s good timing.”
He was thrilled to see Oscar winner Jared Leto sport one of his men’s styles — a black-and-white zigzagged loafer — at the London premiere of “Dallas Buyers Club” last January.
Still to come is a bag collection. “I want to start developing [it] this year, find the right manufacturer and define the image,” Kirkwood said. As for the style, expect “some crossovers” with his shoes, boasting a mix of textiles with other materials.