Designer Nicholas Kirkwood is closing his brand. Less than 2 and a half years after parting ways with LVMH, the award-winning British designer has decided to discontinue his brand after 18 years in business. He announced it on his Instagram profile. Known for making sculptural heels out of unusual materials, Kirkwood had embarked on a journey to produce the first luxury biodegradable (leather) shoe.
The split from LVMH
“I think, in many ways, the brand has run its course,” says Nicholas Kirkwood, adding, however, a sibylline “for now” in conclusion. The decision was reportedly influenced by “the relentless quest to find viable and positive solutions for the planet in the footwear industry” (source: Footwear News). Founded in 2005, from 2013 to 2020 the Nicholas Kirkwood brand was under the LVMH umbrella. Then, in September 2020, the designer bought back the French giant’s shares, thus becoming the sole owner of the brand.
Nicholas Kirkwood and innovative leathers
The designer is known for using unconventional materials and techniques, and for combining traditional methods with cutting-edge technology. For example, the use of laser-cut mirrored leather and rubberised suede. Over the years, he has won awards such as British Fashion Awards, Footwear News Awards, Vogue Fund Awards and many others.
The metaverse and the biodegradable shoe
This latest projects have seen Kirkwood committed to “incorporating sustainability, even at the production level”. The latest mission was to create the first biodegradable luxury shoe. The spring summer 2021 collection was 60 per cent biodegradable. In addition, one of the footwear highlights at 2022 Metaverse Fashion Week in Decentraland was Kirkwood’s collaboration with White Rabbit.