nicholas kirkwood cara delevingne photo

Champagne bottles are popping this morning for Nicholas Kirkwood, who has win the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund for 2013! The footwear designer pipped his four fellow finalists to the post and will now pocket a cool £200,000 to help propel his business forward for the next 18 months. He follows in the footsteps of Jonathan Saunders who was awarded the Fashion Fund last year.

Kirkwood's win was announced by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman last night at London's swanky Nobu. In addition to the sponsorship money, backed by Tesco, Marks & Spencer and others, the 32-year-old will also receive two years of business mentoring from some of the industry's most successful folks.

"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," said Shulman.

Kirkwood, who has been a finalist twice before, beat out Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Emilia Wickstead for the lucrative prize. This time instead of showing judges his designs on plinths, he instead chose to present them on the heads of models. 

"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 explained to the Telegraph.

Cr-azy!

So what made him stand out above his fellow designers? According to Shulman, it was a combination of him sticking to his signature style and managing to open not one but two stores located in Mayfair and in New York's Meatpacking District.

"He is achieving as a designer and as a business, and he deserves to win," she said.

Hear, hear!

[Sources: Vogue UK | Telegraph]