New Management at Kirk Originals; Original Founders Introduce New Venture

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BRIGHTON, U.K.— Kirk Originals Ltd. has undergone significant change in the last six months. New investors, who joined the company’s board in late 2012 from backgrounds including advertising, the fast-moving consumer goods market, investment and international retailing, were secured to provide new development funding. In May 2013, David Wilkinson, who helped lead the funding process, was appointed CEO of the company, and in late June, Karen and Jason Kirk, who founded the company in 1992, resigned. Wilkinson remains CEO.

In an interview with VMail, Wilkinson said the new investors were brought in “to develop the Kirk Originals brand with sales and profit, as well as improve the relevance of the product offering and gather intelligence from their international customer base.”

“We are committed to developing our relationship with manufacturing heritage excellence,” added Wilkinson. “We would like to develop Kirk Originals internationally as a British eyewear brand of choice.”

For now, Wilkinson said it is “business as usual.” He stated, “We are focused upon meeting customer and client needs and orders with improved standards of supply from initial order. We have communicated these developments unilaterally to accounts. The team has been outstanding in stabilizing our relationship in our major markets and our customers have supported us accordingly.”

Kirk Originals Ltd. will continue to operate from a head office located here and will continue to manufacture in the Jura region of France. Additionally, Wilkinson said the company is “currently securing new agency and distribution contracts in all major territories and investing in a fully transactional website which will debut in January 2014.”

Jason and Karen Kirk no longer work with Kirk Originals Ltd. in any capacity and recently announced the launch of their new venture, Kirk & Kirk.

“Twenty years in eyewear has taught us a great deal,” said Jason Kirk, in a separate discussion with VMail. “We are extremely excited about Kirk & Kirk

and cannot wait to channel the best of our experience into a brand new concept.”

Kirk & Kirk’s first product launch is anticipated in Spring 2014. “It is too soon for Kirk & Kirk to exhibit this Silmo but you will spot Karen and I wandering the aisles,” he added. “Naturally we will maintain our personality in the new collections but with added ingredients gleaned from our many years’ experience.”

More information on the Kirk’s new venture is available on the Kirk & Kirk website, www.kirkandkirk.com, which launched on Sept. 18.