"I'm thrilled. It was a great honour to be part of such a strong shortlist of talent. Being awarded the fund will enable us to realise our plans to develop the brand globally." - Nicholas Kirkwood
Nicholas Kirkwood is the winner of the 2013 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. The prize, which is now in its fourth year, was established to further enhance the reputation of London’s rising stars and assist in the development of their businesses. It comprises of £200,000 and access to key senior level mentors across the UK fashion industry.
The BFC will develop a bespoke mentoring programme tailored specifically to assist Nicholas to achieve his business goals for the next 18 months, with the aspiration that the network developed during this mentoring year will endure throughout his career as he makes the transition from a developing creative business into a global fashion brand.
The choice to award Nicholas was based on his and business partner Christopher Suarez’s extremely professional 3 year plan and presentation at interview. Nicholas has demonstrated exceptional skill in building a modern, individual and recognisable accessories line and was very clear on his business growth strategy and the key challenges he would like to address with the support of the Fund and its advisors.
The five shortlisted designers Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Emilia Wickstead were chosen by a panel of representatives of Fund sponsors. All designers shortlisted demonstrated incredible creativity combined with entrepreneurship encouraging a dynamic debate to agree on a single winner. All of the shortlisted will be invited to participate in the Fashion Trust mentoring programme for a 24 month period.
An alumnus of prestigious design schools Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers, Kirkwood’s collection launched in spring 2005 challenged the conventions of women’s luxury footwear. This inaugural collection of architecturally inspired pieces blended genres subverting the relationship between femininity and modernity winning the attention of Grace Jones, Daphne Guinness and Cecilia Dean of celebrated art-house publication Visionaire as well as rave reviews from the fashion industry.
Kirkwood’s stockist list includes many of the world luxury retailers such as 10 Corso Como, Milan; Barneys, New York and Lane Crawford, Hong Kong and has two recently opened flagship stores in London and New York.
Beyond his eponymous label, Nicholas has worked alongside established and emerging Ready-to-Wear designers to create shoes for their runway shows and over the past eight years since he launched his collection, Kirkwood has won much critical acclaim for his unique craftsmanship and perspective.
"I am delighted Nicholas Kirkwood is the winner of this year's award. Nicholas has created a real business in an impressively short amount of time and has become one of the world's most influential shoe designers. I very much look forward to seeing what he does next." - Alexandra Shulman (Editor, British Vogue)