LVMH and Nicholas Kirkwood split

LVMH and Nicholas Kirkwood split

There’s about to be one less brand in LVMH’s portfolio. Business of Fashion has reported that LVMH and Nicholas Kirkwood are parting ways. Nicholas Kirkwood is taking back control of his brand after a seven year partnership between the British label and the French-owned luxury conglomerate.

LVMH told Business of Fashion that “the decision was mutual and amicable.” The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. LVMH said it will still be supporting Kirkwood through the rest of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

Throughout LVMH’s entire history, it has only ever sold two brands, Christian Lacroix in 2005 and Donna Karan International in 2016. Having a hefty portfolio of brands does not appear to be LVMH’s main focus right now though. The company recently made headline news for calling off its planned multi-billion dollar transaction with Tiffany & Co. where LVMH was set to acquire the iconic brand.

Unfortunately for Nicholas Kirkwood, it wasn’t one of the better performing brands in LVMH’s portfolio. Although LVMH doesn’t report individual financial figures for each brand, a UK filing showed that the company was suffering from years of continuous losses that were beginning to widen. In 2019, the company saw an operating loss of 3.3 million pounds.

Nicholas Kirkwood originally developed a strong following of top fashion editors and buyers. The brand has been featured in notable fashion publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. Nicholas Kirkwood’s new focus is now going more direct-to-consumer and cutting out wholesale. As wholesalers continue to slash budgets this approach might be the most beneficial to the brand’s survival.

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