Note: The contents of this article are the author's opinion and have not been approved as a financial promotion.
We are delighted to have closed a fundraise for high-fashion boutique glasses and sunglasses brand Kirk & Kirk.
Brighton-based Kirk & Kirk produces a distinctive range of luxury frames, with Chief Designer Karen Kirk’s glasses and sunglasses having been worn by Elton John, Julia Roberts, U2 and Oasis, amongst others. The glasses worn by Gary Oldman in the Batman films were also designed by her and Prue Leith wore a number of Kirk & Kirk frames on The Great British Bake Off.
Kirk & Kirk’s frames are handmade in France using a specialist high-grade acrylic sourced from Italy, which is lightweight and has a distinct colour palette.
The business has grown organically since it was founded in 2013 and this funding will be used to launch an online-only retail collection, design a new collection for 2020, and will also help with updating the company’s IT infrastructure.
The global eyewear market amounted to $117bn in 2017 and is expected to reach $182.4bn by 2023, reflecting the growing demand for premium products. This is part of a broader trend as consumers increasingly move towards innovative fashion styles as opposed to traditional ones.
Kirk & Kirk has increased sales by 43% over the year to £752,800 (year-end July 31st), from £525,400 in 2016/17.
Our CEO, Ian Zant-Boer, says:
“Kirk & Kirk is building up a substantial following and has proved its ability to achieve premium pricing for its products.”
At present, wholesale sales to a network of high-end independent opticians account for 90% of turnover. Online sales account for a small proportion of turnover but volumes are expected to rise following investment in the e-commerce platform.
Kirk & Kirk was founded by:
- Karen Kirk, who is an award-winning designer responsible for the design of all ranges. Karen has been designing since co-founding Kirk Originals with Jason in 1992. Prior to this, Karen held design roles at Saatchi & Saatchi.
- Jason Kirk, who oversees operations and is responsible for the manufacturing and sales functions of the business. Jason co-founded Kirk Originals with Karen in 1992. Prior to this, Jason was a marketing consultant at L’Oreal UK.
“Turnover is built on sales to an extremely solid network of independent opticians who are increasingly seeking eyewear ranges that stand out to consumers. There is also significant capacity for growth in online sales which management is looking to develop.”
“The exit for this investment could be a trade sale to a competitor or to a private equity house, with any buyer likely to be attracted by the strong brand and global sales profile of Kirk & Kirk.”
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