If you have ever been so lucky as to slip your feet into a pair of Nicholas Kirkwoods you’ll understand why the footwear designer, who creates stunning, architecturally sculpted shoes, is the recipient of this year’s British Fashion Council/ Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
In just a matter of years, Kirkwood, who studied at London’s Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers has launched a successful accessory brand and a business which sells internationally whilst also garnering a cult celebrity following thanks to his hugely wearable and highly covetable styles.
The footwear designer, battling a shortlist of five designers including Roksanda Illincic, Mary Katrantzou, Emilia Wickstead and Peter Pilotto, was announced as the winning recipient last night at Nobu in London. He will receive a £200,000 cash price as well as mentoring from some of the country’s leading industry figureheads all in the hope of bolstering his brand and achieving his business goals over the next year and a half.
Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman said, “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.”
“The calibre of applications in the shortlist was 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,” said British Fashion Council’s chief executive Caroline Rush. “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.”