IF THE SHOE FITS?: Could Nicholas Kirkwood be the next hot London talent to attract an investment from a powerful luxury group? According to sources in Paris, the shoe designer is meeting with potential backers, including LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The likelihood of a deal, and the identity of other potential suitors, could not immediately be learned. Kirkwood and LVMH had no comment.

Last January, Kirkwood walked away with the fourth BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund prize, netting him 200,000 pounds (about $298,580 at current exchange) of funding to grow his business, along with mentoring.

This story first appeared in the March 15, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The designer, 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.

The same month, PPR bought a 51 percent stake in Christopher Kane, prompting other small designer labels to sit up and think about their own potential to attract investment from fashion’s big conglomerates.

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