LVMH has acquired a majority stake in Nicholas Kirkwood, the brand of luxury shoes named after its British designer, who was born in Germany 33 years ago. He launched it in 2004 together with a business partner, Christopher Suarez, and he has won numerous awards. Suarez will continue to act has chief executive of the fashion company, which will now be part of LVMH's fashion division.

Kirkwood's dressy and sculptural women's shoes are sold in about 150 leading department stores and specialty stores around the world and in three mono-brand stores in London, New York and Las Vegas. LVMH plans to internationalize the brand further.

Delphine Arnault, who was recently appointed executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, was reportedly involved in the acquisition. She released a statement saying that she was particularly impressed by Kirkwood's commitment to innovation and craftsmanship.

Delphine Arnault is the eldest child of Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, and she knows the footwear industry well, as she supervised the group's takeover of Rossimoda in Italy ten years ago. She and her brother Antoine Arnault, who runs Berluti, are said to be both in line to succeed their father at the helm of LVMH.

Meanwhile, Marc Jacobs is leaving in a few weeks' time as creative director of Louis Vuitton after 16 years in the position to introduce his own brand on the stock exchange. The Marc Jacobs brand, which is now generating nearly $1 billion in sales, is more or less equally owned by the 50-year-old designer, his partner Robert Duffy and LVMH. Its footwear line has been produced for a long time by Rossimoda.