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|Industry||Fashion design and retail|
Number of locations
|United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States|
|Owner||Phoenix Equity Partners/Sirius Equity (70%)
Linda Bennett (30%)
L.K.Bennett is an international luxury fashion brand, based in London, England. Reflecting its modern British heritage, it has established itself as a leading British brand, offering collections of shoes, clothing, handbags and accessories.
Linda K Bennett
Linda Kristin Bennett (born 8 September 1964) is an English-Icelandic clothing designer and entrepreneur. The daughter of a London-based fashion retail entrepreneur, and an Icelandic sculptor mother, she grew up in North London, and was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls, Elstree and Reading University, where she read Land Management. She then trained as a cordwainer at Hackney's Cordwainers College (now part of the London College of Fashion), and then working for French designer Robert Clergerie, before working on the sales floor of retailers Whistles and Joseph.
Bennett has been the recipient of several awards since founding the store chain, including: Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Consumer Product category) in 2002; Best Women's Footwear Retailer (UK Footwear Award) in 2003; Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year in 2004; Entrepreneurs' Entrepreneur award in 2009. In 2004, Bennett was made an honorary fellow of the London College of Fashion, her alma mater, and she sits on the development council of the University of the Arts London, of which the London College of Fashion is a part. In 2006, Bennett was awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the New Year Honours list.
Bennett set up the first L.K.Bennett shop in Wimbledon Village in 1990, with a goal to produce "something in-between the designer footwear you find in Bond Street and those on the high street". Because of her equal emphasis on comfort and glamour, Bennett earned the nickname "Queen of the Kitten Heel".
Since the opening of the original store, L.K.Bennett has expanded to become a renowned chain of shops, with 99 outlets in the UK. A boutique in Paris opened in 2000, and since stores and concessions have opened in Spain, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and the United States. There are currently 146 L.K.Bennett outlets globally, including in-store concessions in chians including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, John Lewis, Fenwick, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
In November 2004, Bennett appointed BDO Stoy Hayward to find strategic investors. She wanted to concentrate on design, handing over the daily management to someone else, while investment would also enable L.K.Bennett to expand abroad quicker. Bennett sold a 70% stake in the business in 2007 to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity, a retail and branded luxury goods investment company, in a deal believed to have netted her around £70m. Bennett remains on the board of the company as a non-executive director, and retains a stake of about 30 per cent.
In April 2017 the brand announced that Linda Bennett would be returning to its helm with a focus on product and brand development. Today, Bennett continues to work across the business, creating collections and inspiring the seasonal campaigns that celebrate L.K.Bennett's core brands values and rich heritage.
In April 2018 British Home Secretary Amber Rudd declared that Britain's application system for EU nationals who want to remain in the UK after Brexit should be “as easy as setting up an online account at LK Bennett”.
- New Year Honours, Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2006
- "The House of L.K.Bennett". Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Linda Bennett, queen of the kitten heel, walks tall among Britain's business leaders, The Independent, 30 April 2004
- Sole trader takes a step back, The Guardian, 21 November 2004
- "Rudd says online EU registration will be 'as easy as shopping at LK Bennett'". Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2018.