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April 20 2014

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69 posts tagged "Nicholas Kirkwood"

Marco de Vincenzo Talks LVMH, Independence, and Commercial Success

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Marco de Vincenzo

Marco de Vincenzo: If you don’t know his name, you’d better learn it fast. The Italian up-and-comer, who has worked with Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi on the Fendi collection since 2000, recently secured financial backing from LVMH. LVMH has proven to be a strong supporter of fashion’s new guard—what with the creation its Young Fashion Designer Prize as well as its investment in Nicholas Kirkwood and J.W. Anderson—and bought a minority stake of De Vincenzo’s eponymous brand last month. Ever quick to the draw, Moda Operandi’s Indre Rockefeller has already scooped up the designer’s tactile, kaleidoscopic Fall ’14, and is offering it for pre-sale via an online trunk show, which runs through March 20. “I think he is an innovator,” Rockefeller told Style.com. “There are a number of designers who are doing beautiful things, but whenever I see Marco’s collections, it feels like he’s marching to the beat of his own drum,” she explained. “When you look at his use of color, texture, and print, it almost feels like he’s operating in another dimension. His Fall collection popped right off the runway, and for our purposes, it will pop right off the page as well.” That’s some high praise from a major retailer. “This was a very special season for me,” relayed De Vincenzo, who describes his woman as daring, classical, and hypnotic. “The timetable for a trunk show of this level is perfect because it’s so close to the show—the energy is still there,” he said of the Moda Operandi event. Here, De Vincenzo speaks with Style.com about LVMH, working with Silvia and Karl, and his plans for the future.

How has your role at Fendi influenced your design aesthetic? And what have you learned from Silvia and Karl?

When I started working at Fendi, I was a young boy. I owe all I know about this job to the opportunity I’ve had to observe and work with those two very important people—Silvia and Karl. I learned what it means to be free and to constantly want to reach my own goals and to create new ones. Working on bags together with Silvia gave me the opportunity to completely understand the balance that transforms a beautiful object into a big commercial success. I consider myself very lucky to have built my knowledge in such a context.

Did your role as a consultant at Fendi help facilitate LVMH’s investment in your brand?

Of course. Through Fendi, LVMH has had the time and opportunity to get to know me both as a creative and as a person. I love my job more than anything, and because of that, I dedicate most of my time to it. I believe that this dedication has been understood and appreciated.

Why did you feel it was the right move to sell a minority stake of your business to LVMH?

Being an independent designer is not easy. You can be noticed and arouse interest in people, but there’s a moment when you can’t satisfy what the fashion industry expects from season to season by yourself. You need to create and experiment, and you need money to do so. Furthermore, if you don’t have enough resources and a good team working with you, it’s hard to guarantee high quality concerning production and distribution. LVMH is giving me the possibility to grow.

Marco de Vincenzo

We’ve seen big fashion companies investing in several emerging and independent designers in the last couple of years. What are your thoughts on this? And how do you think it will affect the fashion industry and help it evolve?

I think that all this can facilitate a real generational turnover—not only via hiring talented designers to reshape established brands, but also by helping new names. It’s very natural to invest in the future of fashion because nothing lasts forever, and innovation is essential in every creative field.

What are your plans now that LVMH has invested?

From now on the game will become more serious. This does not mean that my last years of work were a game, but it’s true that more resources, together with a strong, pure, and creative vision, can make miracles. My business is becoming more definite.

Can you tell us about your aesthetic? What excites and inspires you?

I leave instinct to guide me without any limits. My aesthetic varies—it’s a harmony between very different themes. Optical illusions, kinetic art, and visual and tactile 3-D concepts are some of my starting points, together with the idea of being well dressed, and typically Italian.

What would you like to see change in the fashion industry?

Unfortunately, I know a lot of very talented designers who had to give up their projects because they were alone and were not accepted by the fashion industry. This must be avoided. A substantial project always needs a group of different [supporters and creatives] to be built. In my opinion, it’s very important to have a good team working together.

Photo: Getty Images; Courtesy of Moda Operandi

Nicholas Kirkwood Steps to It

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Nicholas Kirkwood Fall '14

Now that he’s had a few months to settle into his new home at LVMH, Nicholas Kirkwood is poised to rocket into new directions with a fresh range of silhouettes and categories. Despite an irresistible jewel-tone palette, Fall ’14 is less about whimsical color combinations (like we saw last season) than it is about shape, structure, and updated signatures.

One of Kirkwood’s latest obsessions, furniture by Constructivist artist Naum Gabo, provided ample fodder for a sculptural metal heel, a motif the designer magnifies and works in negative space as cutouts on black leather boots.

Not only is he bringing extra flourishes to his cocktail shoes with buckles or a slice of metal at the base of a heel, Kirkwood is also ramping up his red-carpet fare. “We’re thinking about metallics—they go with everything—crystals, and more true evening shoes as separate from cocktail shoes,” he explained. As for that much-awaited bag, Kirkwood offered, “A truly iconic bag will run for fifty years, but it takes time to find The One.”

Sophia Webster’s Got Girl Power

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Sophia Webster

The Sophia Webster secret is out. The shoe designer who apprenticed under Nicholas Kirkwood and is now mentored by him and his business partner, Christopher Suarez, has exploded in popularity. This is largely due to her love of mismatched zigzags, stripes, flamingos, candy colors, and plain old girly charm—never mind her signature speech-bubble clutches that became last season’s must-have. More evidence of her success came in the form of the 2013 British Fashion Council win for Emerging Accessory Designer, then in January she was one of three talents to scoop up the Mayor of London and BFC’s Fashion Forward prize.

Webster’s Fall ’14 presentation at her Covent Garden pop-up shop proved that she’s continuing her ascent. The setup was “Heartbreak Hotel” via the bedroom of a turbo princess—think the film Clueless. Props included tiny handbag dogs, fluff, frippery, and general spoilt brat, daddy’s girl-esque excesses. Models lounged around in some statement looks, including knee-high-heeled sandals, which, crafted from shearling and garnished with crayon-colored accents, had a caged-calf dominatrix effect. We doubt daddy would approve. That vixen look was tempered by a lot of soft, fluffy wares, including a darling blush pink velvet pump and stilettos adorned with fur, pompoms, gold ball bearings, and chunky details.

Webster has no doubt been busy since we saw her in September—she got married, designed a collaboration with J.Crew, and released a line of adorable baby shoes. But if Fall ’14 is any indication, this designer isn’t slowing down. You can expect to be hearing a lot more about this bright young spark going forward.

Photos: Courtesy Photo

Shop The Look: Block Party

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Shop the look

Spring may not be right around the corner, but we’re hoping our shopping habits will send out some warm weather vibes. Color blocking was all over the Spring ’14 runways, seen on whisper-thin layers at Theyskens’ Theory to splashy neoprene at Tommy Hilfiger, and we can’t wait to wear it this season. Clashing, ultra-bright hues feel sculptural on simple shapes, and there’s no denying the effortless, throw-on-and-go possibilities of a color block sweatshirt or skirt. Even if you opt for a subtler approach–say, blingy earrings or a pair of standout shoes–the result is undoubtedly fun. Shop our favorite color block pieces from Nicholas Kirkwood, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, and more, below.

1. Stella McCartney color-block cashmere sweater, $1,040, available at net-a-porter.com

2. Kenzo “Kalifornia” color-block leather clutch, $250, available at modaoperandi.com

3. Nicholas Kirkwood snakeskin, suede, and patent leather platform sandals, $955, available at modaoperandi.com

4. Dannijo “Cruz” earrings, $260, available at shopbop.com

5. Ostwald Helgason green and mint double-face skirt, $735, available at ssense.com

Photo: Courtesy photo

Peter Pilotto’s Big Win

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peter pilottoPeter Pilotto is having quite a year—and it’s only February. Today, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, the digital-print masters behind the brand, have won the 2014 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, which includes a yearlong mentoring program and hefty £200,000 grant. Pilotto and De Vos were up against ready-to-wear designers Emilia Wickstead, Mary Katrantzou, Osman, Zoë Jordan, and House of Holland, and join the ranks of previous winners like Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, and 2013 champ Nicholas Kirkwood, who sold a majority stake of his brand to LVMH less than a year after his victory. With a hotly anticipated Target collaboration hitting stores on February 9, Peter Pilotto’s potential for total world domination is looking good. If Target’s website crashes, they’ll know they’ve really made it.

Photos: Courtesy Photos
Photo:Indigitalimages.com