Lighting Industry

After 40 years solo, lighting character wants to share

A man with an orange t-shirt standing in the doorway of a shop with lights
Shiu-Kay, as he’s known in the trade, says he wants wants an investment partner to take over the business side of the operation with a possibility of a handover sometime in the future.

ONE OF the lighting business’s most distinctive and long-serving characters, Shiu-Kay Kan, is looking for a partner to share the running of his unique business which combines product design and manufacture, a lighting design consultancy service for corporate and celebrity clients, an online design school and a lighting shop in London.

Shiu-Kay, as he’s known in the trade, says he wants an investment partner to take over the business side of the operation with a possibility of a handover sometime in the future.

The retail outlet, dubbed SKK (Lighting) Limited, was based for many years in Lexington Street in Soho, and moved in 2016 to Kentish Town in north London.

Much of what it sells are Shiu Kay’s own designs, many of which have been recognised in design books and magazines such as Vogue. Many date from a creatively fertile period in the 1980s and 1990s.

His is an exceptional contacts book, and clients of his lighting design service include celebrities such as George Michael, Alexander McQueen, Tim Burton, Annie Lennox and Thomas Heatherwick.

Corporate clients include Vivien Westwood, Next, Monsoon, Jasper Conran, Sony Music and Land Securities.

Currently SKK is working on a project to light up one of central London’s most fashionable streets for the Christmas season.

The ‘love’-themed lighting installation is designed to attract shoppers back into the city centre after the pandemic-induced hiatus.

Product designs include the acclaimed Spider light as well as OLED bedside lamps, pendants and a successful range of rotational bedside lamps in the shapes of dogs and other animals. 

Many former employees who started at the Soho shop have gone to high-flying careers in lighting and product design. 

Shiu-Kay, who recently turned 71, was born in Hong Kong. He started as an architect In the 1970s, working for Sir Norman Foster on the Hong Kong headquarters of HSBC. 

He also worked for leading architects Nicholas Grimshaw and Terry Farrell on public housing.

He then went to Milan to pursue a career as a designer and had a brief stint as a 3D designer for the fashion house Fiorucci.

Turned down for a job for Flos Lighting, so he went back to London and started SKK Lighting in 1979.

He designed lights in the early days for House of Fraser, Habitat and IKEA.He has also consulted and designed for the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (he also lit her birthday parties).

He designed the lighting scheme at the Memorial Gate on Constitutional Hill in London which was erected in honour of the Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives in World War II.

Contact Shiu-Kay Kan HERE.