And the luxury conglomerate shopping spree continues. This morning, LVMH announced that it would take a majority stake in the British shoe brand Nicholas Kirkwood. "Nicholas’ talent for shoe design is exceptional and I am especially impressed with his commitment to innovation and craftsmanship," LVMH's Delphine Arnault said in a statement. "Throughout our meetings, I was particularly struck by his entrepreneurship and we discovered rapidly that we shared the same vision and beliefs. We want to allow him to further explore the boundaries of his creativity while the brand will benefit from LVMH’s expertise."
The news is exciting, but not surprising. Over the past year, Kering has invested in both Christopher Kane and Joseph Altuzurra, while LVMH took a financial interest in the French brand Maxime Simoens. Most recently, LVMH was rumored to be in talks with J.W. Anderson. As the industry's current superstars reach middle age—both Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane are 45, Riccardo Tisci is 39—it has become increasingly important for these big companies to foster emerging talent. Is Nicholas Kirkwood the next Christian Louboutin? He could be, with LVMH's help. "From my first meeting with Delphine Arnault and Pierre-Yves Roussel of LVMH, it was clear that LVMH would be the best partner for our brand as we have the same values of design, creativity, and craftsmanship," Kirkwood said. "I look forward to us working together to achieve our long term vision for the brand."