Designer Index

Nicholas Kirkwood



Name: Nicholas Kirkwood

First Collection Launched: Spring 2005

Known For: His very unconventional, modern shoe silhouettes.

Awards: 2006: Conde Nast/Footwear News Vivian Infantino Award for Emerging Talent | 2007: Vogue Italia Award for Accessory Designer | 2008: Conde Nast/Footwear News Designer of the Year | 2008: British Fashion Award Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent – Accessories | 2010: British Fashion Awards Accessories Award | 2010: WGSN Global Fashion Awards Most Influential Designer – Accessories | 2011: Conde Nast/Footwear News Designer of the Year | 2012: Elle UK Style Awards Accessories Designer of the Year | 2012 British Fashion Awards Accessories Award.

Bio: London-based designer Nicholas Kirkwood received his education from Central Saint Martins and studied shoe making at London’s Cordwainer’s College of Fashion (2001). He went on to apprentice for milliner Philip Treacy for five years, fine-tuning Treacy’s ideal aesthetic of extravagant hat and head pieces. After creating catwalk shoes for Ghost and John Rocha, he raised enough money to launch an eponymous label at the start of 2005. Immediately he was noticed by the industry professionals, garnering a Vivian Infantino Award for Emerging Talent from Conde Nast Footwear News. Eventually with his own extravagant designs, in this case the silhouettes of his shoes, he later beat out his former mentor Treacy for the coveted “Accessories Award,” handed out by the British Fashion Awards in 2012.

Since then it seems Kirkwood always has some sort of collaboration under his belt. The list of his partnerships are endless; beginning with Rodarte then eventually spanning out to Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Preen, Roksanda Illinic – and currently, Keith Haring.

He opened his first stand alone store in 2009 in London. Today, his shoes are handmade in two factories, both in Italy.

His shoe designs are true works of art – from his collections it’s hard to find more than a couple of shoes that don’t make a statement. Recently, his shoes were worn by all of the models who walked for the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. With a store opening (the third worldwide) on 807 Washington Street (found in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District), an upcoming men’s line, and a possible foray into handbags, Nicholas Kirkwood isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Memorable Quotes: “I design for a sophisticated woman with an implicit understanding of luxury who has a strong defined vision of herself and personal style.”

Notable Clientele: Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung, who recently wore them to the British Fashion Awards

Fun Facts: He only owns three pairs of shoes. (Source)


Sold At: Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus. Flagship boutiques at: 807 Washington Street, New York NY | 5 Mount Street, W1K 3NE London.

Image source tmagazine by Richard Stow.

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