Nicholas Kirkwood wins BFC award main.jpgNicholas Kirkwood has won the 2013 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.

The footwear designer will take home a cash prize of £200,000 and receive mentoring from some of the industry’s finest as his prize.

British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman made the announcement in London last night and explained why the decision was taken.

“I am delighted Nicholas Kirkwood is the winner of this year’s award,” she said. “Nicholas has created a real business in an impressively short amount of time and has become one of the world’s most influential shoe designers. I very much look forward to seeing what he does next.”

The designer has been nominated for the award twice in the past and faced competition this time around from the likes of Roksanda Ilincic, Peter Pilotto, Emilia Wickstead and Mary Katrantzou.

A panel made the decision that Nicholas should triumph after interviewing him and his business partner and looking over his business plan.

“The calibre of applications in the shortlist was second to none, all of the designers proved that they are at a very crucial stage in their business when the fund could deliver a real opportunity to accelerate growth,” BFC chief executive Caroline Rush told vogue.co.uk. “However, Nicholas’ application provided a clear and compelling case for how both funding and targeted mentoring would be used to assist him in taking the next steps in developing a global brand.”

Nicholas has already carved out a niche in the fashion industry and won some A-list fans, among them Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Speaking to British newspaper The Telegraph before he knew about his win, Nicholas explained he placed his shoes on models’ heads when presenting to the Fashion Fund panel.

“The other finalists are all dress designers, so they all get to use models. I wanted to use them, too, but in a way that drew the judges’ eyes to the shoes,” he said. – COVER MEDIA