Fashion prize: The incredibly talented shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood has won the British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund prize, which includes 200,000 British pounds (more than $315,000) to help grow his business. The London-based Kirkwood is one of a new generation of creators pushing shoe design to new extremes. He isn't inspired in the traditional fashion-designer sense by a place or person. Instead, he's more of an architect of shoes. "Usually, it's about finding an interesting organic shape, or just playing around and doodling," he told Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore in 2011.
Fashion and philanthropy: Michael Kors announced Wednesday a long-term partnership with the United Nations World Food Program. The cause will be the cornerstone of Kors’ philanthropic platform. He hopes to raise awareness and funds that will help to eradicate what WFP has deemed “the world’s most solvable problem,” according to a press release. The designer will be launching a combination of awareness-focused campaigns, including a celebrity-studded PSA, special events and limited-edition fundraising products. He will release two “Watch Hunger Stop” watch styles. The proceeds from each sale will feed 100 children through the WFP.
Ecologically responsible luxury: The Green Carpet Challenge has teamed up with Gucci and the National Wildlife Federation to launch a collection of luxury, ecologically responsible handbags. The challenge is a project founded by Livia Firth (wife of Colin) and British journalist Lucy Siegle, that works with celebrities and fashion houses to raise the profile of sustainable style at global red carpet events, while working on the supply chain to help educate the fashion industry about reform.
The Gucci x Green Carpet Challenge Handbag Collection is made from leather from the Brazilian Amazon that has caused zero deforestation and is traceable from source to finished product. The collection, which will be sold at Gucci boutiques and at Gucci.com in February, includes a hobo, top-handle tote and Gucci’s iconic Jackie bag, all in a warm wine-colored calfskin originating in Brazil. Each bag comes with a Gucci GCC passport documenting the production process. As part of the deal, Gucci is also making a sizable donation to the National Wildlife Federation.
Retail expansion: Los Angeles-based brand Halston Heritage is going into retail, with plans to open boutiques in New York and L.A. in March. Built on the legacy of legendary Studio 54-era, celeb magnet designer Roy Halston Frowick, the label includes contemporary evening gowns, sportswear and accessories priced in the $195 to $1,095 range. The L.A. store is slated to open in the Beverly Center.
Burgers and bikinis: What do you do if you're Carl's Jr. (or sister brand Hardee's) and you want to let the world know about your new charbroiled Atlantic cod filet sandwich? You put a beautiful woman in a skimpy bikini of course.
Our compatriots in the Food section have more details about the sandwich -- and the obligtory bikini shot of model Nina Agdal who, in TV ads airing during the Super Bowl, can be seen posing in the sand holding aloft one of the sandwiches. Since we're sure this will be the first question that pops into your head, we'll go ahead and tell you that the bikini is by ViX. [L.A. Times]
Collaboration redux: Diane Von Furstenberg is once again teaming with GapKids and babyGap on a spring collection, which will be available in April. And if the second collection is half as cute as the first, shoppers are in for a treat.