Irish menswear designer Daniel Kearns has been appointed creative director of the British heritage brand Kent & Curwen in a five year partnership deal with David Beckham.
The sportswear company founded in Britain in 1926 and famous for its cricket sweaters is now owned by Hong Kong-based Trinity International Ltd which controls other high end European menswear brands like Cerruti and Savile Row’s Gieves & Hawkes.
The new appointment means that Kearns will be working closely with Beckham in all aspects of the business including product development, market expansion, advertising, store design and location with a London flagship due to open within the year.
"David is very amicable, easy to get along with and very excited about the collaboration which will be his first menswear apparel brand. To build a wardrobe around him as a leading figure of style is a great challenge to take on," Mr Kearns told The Irish Times.
From Rathgar and son of Nicholas Kearns, recently retired president of the High Court, the 40 year old designer described by Beckham as "a talented and accomplished creative" has had an impressive career in menswear since his graduation from NCAD and the RCA in London in 2000.
After college he moved to France, where he worked successively with Ungaro and with John Galliano for 10 menswear shows with the designer.
In 2005, he became design director of menswear at Alexander McQueen in London where he remained for five years.
Back in Paris he joined the outerwear division of Louis Vuitton before being headhunted by Stefano Pilati at Yves St Laurent. He also consulted on Pilati's first collection for Zegna. Working for premium brands at such a level, "you learn something different from each", he says.
His most recent appointment was as artistic director of Facconable, a prominent French lifestyle company founded on the Riviera in the 1950s where he masterminded its international revival and development commuting between Nice and his home in Paris.
His new position will mean a move back to London with his wife Andi and their two children Bailey (10) and Beatrice (8) this week.
“Kent & Curwen has a great heritage from dressing the Duke of Windsor to Cary Grant and Mick Jagger. It is well known in China but has faded from the vocabulary of menswear of the past. The challenge will be to tap into that, reinvigorate it and bring it to a wider audience globally.”