LONDON — Christopher Suarez, cofounder of the Nicholas Kirkwood brand, now majority owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has stepped down as chief executive officer, WWD has learned.
An announcement from LVMH is expected today.
The hunt for a new ceo has begun, and Sophie Brocart, senior vice president fashion ventures at LVMH Fashion Group, will take over management of the brand on an interim basis until a new ceo is found.
Suarez had worked closely with Nicholas Kirkwood after the two met at a trade show in 2005. The partners sold a majority stake to LVMH in 2013.
“I can’t thank Christopher enough for the unequivocal support, energy and passion he invested in Nicholas Kirkwood Ltd. over the last 10 years,” Kirkwood said. “It has been an incredible journey. I wish him all the success he deserves for his future endeavors.”
Suarez’s move was on the cards: After the company was acquired by LVMH Fashion Group in 2013, a two-year plan was put into place to prepare the company for the next stage of development.
Suarez, a graduate of New York University who began working with Kirkwood as a consultant, had planned to depart after the two years were up.
“My time at Nicholas Kirkwood has been an incredible experience and an unforgettable stage in my life. I am grateful to Nicholas for his commitment to the brand and to me personally, throughout the years,” Suarez said.
A serial fashion business entrepreneur, Suarez also set up London designer Sophia Webster’s business, along with Kirkwood’s, in 2012, and has consulted for a variety of fashion and retail brands.
This year has been a landmark one for Kirkwood, who is celebrating 10 years in business alongside fellow London designers Roksanda Ilincic and Erdem Moralioglu.
Last month, Kirkwood told WWD the investment from LVMH allowed him to focus on product and invest in growth. He said the future will be about expansion into new categories such as jewelry, bags, sunglasses and leather goods. Jewelry will launch within the next few seasons.
The brand has two flagships, in London and New York, while wholesale clients include Harrods, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.