Nicholas Kirkwood debuts in China

British footwear brand Nicholas Kirkwood has opened its first China store in partnership with Beijing department store Shin Kong Place.

The brand is commencing global expansion after LVMH took a controlling interest in the business last September. This is its first store outside the US and Europe and its fourth own-brand boutique after London, New York and Las Vegas.

Nicholas Kirkwood designer and CEO Christopher Suarez told Business of Fashion that the company had not rushed into the China market, despite Asian wholesale volume representing 21 per cent of the brand’s global sales.

“We’re only entering into the Chinese market when we feel like we have the product range and the brand development necessary to enter.” Suarez said.

“As a shoe brand without advertising and without a runway show as such, a shop is a really important tool to be able to put across an experience or image for the brand,” says designer Nicholas Kirkwood. “It’s really the one time that you can come and experience the brand by being in the environment. Being able to have visibility in a market like that can really do wonders for the perception of the brand and brand awareness.”

The Beijing store will stock Kirkwood’s Autumn/Winter offering, ‘Arcs of Orbit’, which includes stilettoes with silver heels in the shape of half moons and loafers with metallic triangular block heels.

With LVMH’s support, Nicholas Kirkwood plans to double its number of permanent points of sale by the end of 2015 and double it again a year later.

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