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Great British Brands 2020

Contents Regulars 8 10 376


Features 18








GLASS HALF FULL Nicholas Foulkes surveys the luxury landscape and finds plenty to feel optimistic about BUY LESS, DRESS UP! Never has Vivienne Westwood’s mantra been more important. Alice B-B talks to her granddaughter, Cora Corré, and creative director/husband, Andreas Kronthaler, about their part in a fashion revolution IS THE HOUSE OF WINDSOR OUR GREATEST BRITISH BRAND? Despite recent ructions, the Royal Family still exerts a powerful influence, says Roya Nikkhah THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD The British brands that will flourish in the future will be the risk takers, says Michael Hayman HOW TO BE GOOD In a world that is spinning towards an uncertain future, Lucia van der Post recommends behavioural changes GREEN GROWTH GURUS Lisa Grainger profiles six green heroes that put purpose over profit BREATH OF LIFE Bill Prince salutes the saviours of brands that would otherwise have disappeared from the luxury landscape BEAUTIFUL, HAPPY CITY There’s a host of entrepreneurs who are making London property both beautiful and affordable About time, says Charlotte Metcalf

BEST OF BRITISH Hackett London, HRH the Queen, Hattingley Valley, Land Rover

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Shoes & Accessories


Jewellery & Watches


Beauty & Wellbeing


Iconic Destinations




House & Home




Land, Sea & Sky


Hotels & Travel


Food & Drink


Property & Investment

ON THE COVER Cora Corré wears a specially made dress by Vivienne Westwood Couture and bolero by Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. Photography by Rachell Smith. Fashion direction by Nicole Smallwood. Hair by Davide Barbieri using Balmain Paris Hair Couture. Make-up by Isamaya Ffrench

Editor Lucia van der Post Editorial Director Lucy Cleland Managing Editor Anastasia Bernhardt Chief Copy Editor Charlotte Metcalf Copy Editors Kate Patrick, Maggie O’Sullivan, Matt Forbes-Dale, Richard Hopton Fashion Director Nicole Smallwood Retail Editor Mariella Tandy Sub Editor Belinda Bamber Features Assistant Sofia Tindall Creative Direction & Production Parm Bhamra Junior Production Designer Samuel Thomas Production Coordinator Alex Bloom-Davis Online Editor Rebecca Cox Online Writer Ellie Smith Online Assistant Daniella Saunders Digital Intern Dina Nagapetyant Technical Manager Hannah Johnson Property & Marketing Associate Director Gemma Cowley Luxury Lifestyle Advertising Manager Ellie Rix Advertising Sales Manager Eleanor Selby Account Managers Shanna Whaley and Bianca Maraney Digital Manager Adam Dean Director of Digital Strategy Wil Harris Finance Controller Lauren Hartley Sales & Offi ce Manager Daisy Orr-Ewing Finance Director Jill Newey Group Publishing Director Tia Graham Managing Director Jeremy Isaac

Copyright © 2020 Country & Town House Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All prices are correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change. While every care is taken to ensure all information is correct at the time of going to press, it is subject to change, and Country & Town House Ltd. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. Country & Town House, Studio 2, 115 Harwood Road, London SW6 4QL, +44 (0)20 7384 9011


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Great British Brands 2020

Editor’s Letter


ivienne Westwood has been banging the activist drum about our buying habits for decades, so at a time when her mantra ‘Buy Less, Dress Up!’ has never been more pertinent, we asked her to design the dress for the cover of this year’s Optimism edition of Great British Brands. The bespoke creation (made with offcuts), worn here by her granddaughter Cora Corré, exemplifies how we all now need to reflect on what we buy and how we buy it. Luckily, within these pages, all the fabulous British brands we profile put quality and integrity at the heart of their businesses – a throwaway culture is just not part of their DNA. Climate change and the ethics that underpin our consumer society are obviously two of the most important issues of the day, so to reflect this, we charged Lisa Grainger with finding six heroes of our age, who show us that profit and principles are not enemies (p50). And since most of us still wish to eat good food and be surrounded by lovely things, I examine all the many ways in which we can adapt our behaviour so that when we do buy or consume things we are doing as little damage to the planet – and its people – as possible (p45). You may be asking what there is to be optimistic about as our politics (at time of press we do not yet know the outcome of the third election in five years) and Brexit still wreak such havoc that objective observers might think there were all sorts of reasons for Britain PLC to be shrouded with gloom. However, I can scarcely remember a time of such vivid political debate, important issues being discussed with immense fervour and passion, coupled with a growing sense of optimism that somehow this great country will pull through to better times in the coming year. We have made it our mission to find out what is happening on the ground with

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Cora Corré and Andreas Kronthaler; Alexander McQueen; Oyster Yachts; Stephen Webster

all the many enterprising endeavours that still make the British luxury industry a force to be reckoned with. Bill Prince looks at some of the heritage brands that were once in slow decline but which gutsy business owners have rescued thus proving that, with great products and a clear strategy, there is a thriving future for them (p56). While most people throw their hands up in despair when contemplating entering the London property market, Charlotte Metcalf shows us that a handful of clever entrepreneurs is leading a quiet revolution to transform our capital into a happier, healthier and more beautiful place. Read it and be immensely cheered (p61). Nicholas Foulkes examines how new technology has come to the aid of some grand British heritage brands, giving them a new lease of life as traditional skills are allied to cutting-edge technology (p18). Roya Nikkhah assesses the contribution that the greatest of all British brands – the House of Windsor (the unfortunate Duke of York aside) – makes to our national life (p33), while Michael Hayman looks thoughtfully at some of the determinedly British characteristics that lie behind our best successes (p40). As you can see, the world is not a perfect place. However, if you look around there are many things to be celebrated, and in the year to come it is up to all of us to do our best to support those companies whose values we share and whose contribution to society is as good as it can be.


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Great British Brands 2020













Great British brand: My wife’s handbag brand, Innis. Great British hero: The obvious ones are Wellington and Churchill. For ‘Britons got talent’, real talent, just think Newton, Turner or Shakespeare, among many others. Great British weekend: In London I have a circuit that takes me from Davidoff to Meyrowitz, followed by Connolly and the Royal Academy.

Great British brand: The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, for its unique operational and ceremonial roles projecting the best of British on home turf and the world stage. Great British hero: The Queen, for her longevity, discretion, patience and wit. Great British weekend: Hunting, followed by a long bath and a longer dinner. Great British dish: Roast chicken, naturally.

Great British brand: Holland & Holland for its brilliantly understated yet modern take on country luxe. Great British hero: Sir Tim Berners-Lee for giving us the World Wide Web. Great British dish: Shepherd’s pie – there’s no more comforting food in the world. Great British read: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens.

Great British brand: Barbour takes some beating, both figuratively and literally. Great British hero: Nick Jones is a hospitality genius. Great British weekend: The Devon coastline, preferably in a squall. Great British dish: Steak and kidney pudding. Great British undiscovered gem: The breakfast buffet at Gleneagles.

Great British brand: The Pig. Robin Hutson understands what people want from hotels. Great British weekend: Any of the restored Scottish homes given new life by the brilliant Danish duo, Anders and Anne Povlsen. Great British undiscovered gem: Amandip Uppal: a funny, beautiful and talented chef whose Indian Made Easy cookbook I use every time I have friends round.

Great British hero: Keith Floyd – I think I’ve seen every single episode of his Far Flung adventures at least five times! Great British weekend: A hike up Scafell Pike and a pint on the way down. Great British dish: Sausages and mustard. Great British read: Which? magazine. Great British undiscovered gem: Hampstead Ponds – a mini paradise in a busy city.

Great British brand: Financial Times – integrity and purpose in a time of change. Great British hero: Sir Winston Churchill. Great British weekend: Beaverbrook – not only was Churchill a regular guest then, now it is a spectacular country-house hotel. Great British undiscovered gem: Penally Abbey Hotel in Pembrokeshire – a dog-friendly gem in a staggeringly beautiful part of Wales.

Great British brand: Anya Hindmarch. This year, Anya bought back the business she founded as an 18-year-old. Great British hero: Prince Harry; he takes on the tabloids, champions his wife and does amazing work for conservation and mental health. Great British weekend: Heading to Yeotown in Devon with a bunch of girlfriends for yoga, delicious food, hikes and a lot of laughs.

Great British brand: Alexander McQueen. Each year I fall a little bit more in love with this brand, the craftsmanship and sheer detail up close from the runway collection is exceptional. Great British hero: Katarina Johnson-Thompson for her determination to win gold at this year’s World Championships. Great British weekend: The Scarlet in Cornwall, an eco-hotel overlooking the sea.

Great British brand: Favourbrook for being flamboyantly edgy as well as exquisite. Great British hero: Srictly speaking he’s Irish but Graham Norton for cheering us all up by finding absolutely everything hilarious. Great British weekend: Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall. Great British read: Anything by Graham Greene or Evelyn Waugh – again and again and again.

Great British brand: I can’t live without my Barbour winter jacket for walking the dogs. Great British weekend: A traditional country pub with a log fire. Great British dish: Definitely a roast dinner with Yorkshire pudding and thick tasty gravy. Great British undiscovered gem: Tunnels Beaches in Devon, they have Victorian sea pools that you can swim in, recommend for the summertime.

Great British brand: Vivienne Westwood: from her punk roots to her relentless campaigning for political, environmental and charitable causes. Great British hero: Boudica, a valiant warrior. Great British weekend: A tour of the ancient, mystical, secret, hidden side of London. Great British dish: Fat chips on a bench overlooking the London skyline. Great British read: Anything by Agatha Christie.


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Historically, Asprey has been known for jewellery collections featuring naturalistic forms. The coveted Woodland Collection is a contemporary reflection of this, inspired by the natural beauty of British Woodland flora. The Oak Leaf in particular is a recurring motif, meticulously highlighted with diamonds in 18ct white and yellow gold.

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london st.moritz zurich new york beverly hills miami tokyo osaka

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GLASS HALF FULL Despite NICHOLAS FOULKES’ predisposition to pessimism, when he surveys the British luxury landscape, he finds plenty to keep his spirits high, in no small part thanks to technology Photography by ALEXANDRA DAO

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Great British Brands 2020

Despite gloomy headlines and political pain, there’s plenty to be optimistic about when it comes to British brands


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Great British Brands 2020



y no stretch of the most elastic imagination could you call me a glass half empty sort of person. It is the image of a glass spilled on the floor and crushed underfoot that is generally more illustrative of my mood. When it comes to that much abused word ‘luxury’ I am a Cassandra figure: warning of the corrosive effect of clever marketing people, who deprive their goods of character by making them more bland in the hope of selling more; decrying the commodification of luxury and the reduction of a brand’s rich journey through history to mere ‘storytelling’ in the pursuit of sales. And when it comes to the internet… But even I can at least be allowed to hope, and for help in hope I find few philosophers of more assistance than William Morris. Morris is himself a great British brand, the archetypal bearded, tweedy, intellectual eccentric, a cultural giant and a very British sort of Marxist. Morris was influenced by Marx but his was a lyrical rather than a violent interpretation, because he believed in the power of beauty, and its ability to do good. And if there is one thing that the brands mentioned in the following pages believe in, it’s the power of beauty. The mirror-like gloss on a pair of Northampton-made shoes by Edward Green or Crockett & Jones; the exquisite rose and scroll engraving on a Royal shotgun from the workshops of Holland & Holland; the 22 seconds of flawless engineering in action as the roof of a Rolls-Royce Dawn sweeps back and conceals itself invisibly beneath the coachwork… no one needs them. But the optimist that exists somewhere deep inside me believes few would disagree with the proposition that life is better for having such things in it – not just for the wearers of shoes, users of shotguns or drivers of cars, but also for those who make them (and yes, those who have the chance to admire them). To add fuel to the fire of optimism, it’s the pleasure that makers take in the manufacture of beautiful objects that transmits to their customers. Specialist brands such as shirtmakers Budd and Emma Willis or shoemakers Gaziano & Girling and George Cleverley, have successfully managed to delight both bespoke and prêt-á-porter customers, while maintaining a personal, intimate and enjoyable retail experience. Brands can transform one’s experience of life – take Meyrowitz opticians. Over the last couple of years I have had fairly extensive eye surgery that has necessitated the wearing of spectacles, but what could have been simply a prosthetic necessity has become an active pleasure. I really do feel better about life when I am surveying it through a new pair of Meyrowtiz frames. And when designers and engineers look at life, they have the gift of seeing things that are not there… but should be. In 1975 Andrew Ritchie felt the world could do with a bicycle that folded down to the

size of a chunky briefcase. Forty-five years later his idea is a brand and the Brompton is a cherished part of the urban landscape. Tangible engineering is also something at which Britain excels – for over a decade I have watched, impressed, as British watchmaker Bremont has striven to make good on its ambition to reintroduce watch manufacturing to the UK – as its bustling facility in the Thames Valley testifies. When it comes to engineering on a different scale, JCB is a brand of which the country can be proud: found almost everywhere on the planet, each of its familiar canary-coloured diggers is an ambassador for Britain. Scions of that same industrial dynasty have gone on to create other great British brands. Lady Bamford’s Daylesford Organic is a household name and has done much to advance the national debate on nutrition. Meanwhile the Hon. George Bamford founded Bamford Watch Department, a hi-tech watch-customising business, around 15 years ago, which has the distinction of now being so highly regarded it works for storied Swiss brands such as TAG Heuer and Zenith. The likes of Brompton and Bamford aren’t sterile businesses born out of focus groups and marketing surveys, but were brought into being because, to quote Morris’s words, their creators wanted their ‘days to be happy and eventful’. What these brands – and many others – share is what Morris called ‘the hope of product’, a uniquely human endeavour. ‘It remains for us to look to it that we do really produce something, and not nothing, or at least nothing that we want or are allowed to use. If we look to this and use our wills we shall, so far, be better than machines’. So far so optimistic but the pessimist in me sees the hidden warning of a dystopian vision that is on the brink of becoming true: if we are better than machines we cannot be replaced by them. But what if we are not? The full implications of the rise of AI and information technology is beyond the powers of my meagre brain, but already it has brought about a re-evaluation of what is worthwhile, as Johann Rupert, of luxury group Richemont told me. ‘I hate to tell you the things your parents didn’t want you to become are what’s going to survive: hairdresser, gardener and chef.’ Rupert and I were discussing his Homo Faber initiative, a biennale of craft and handwork that will be taking place in Venice again in 2020, an event whose ultimate aim is to connect 21st-century creators working in the William Morris spirit with connoisseurs and patrons capable of affording and appreciating their work, using the very technology that has done so much to commodify what we call luxury. Rupert was inspired to start Homo Faber by the closure of one of his favourite shops, Lorenzi in Milan. ‘There were not enough people in Milan, or near it, who could frequent it. However there are enough people in the world that love that quality,’ he said. ‘Somebody in Sydney or in Buenos Aires or in Shanghai can say, “I want that”. And with proper e-commerce you can deliver it. So instead of thinking demographically, we’ve got to think psychographically.’


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‘I hate to tell you the things your parents didn’t want you to become are what’s going to survive: hairdresser, gardener and chef’


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: RollsRoyce; Edward Green shoes; Holland & Holland’s ‘Royal’ gun; George Cleverley shoes (featured in Kingsman, with Colin Firth); Bremont watchmakers; Brompton bicycles; shirts by Budd; shirts and ties by Emma Willis. All exemplify brands that elevate ‘product’ beyond the merely useful


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Great British Brands 2020

OPTIMISM FROM THE TOP: Marc Newson used algorithms to generate natural patterns on this hand-enamelled ‘Cloisonné Black Blossom Lounge’; George Bamford set up his watch customisation business in 2004; Huntsman’s Campbell Carey uses a computer programme to help you design the perfect tweed, but traditional techniques to make it

It’s not a question of changing technology but of changing the way we think about it, and Rupert is not the only visionary doing that. In preparing a show of his work for Gagosian New York, Marc Newson used a sophisticated algorithm to expand the horizons of one of mankind’s oldest decorative craft techniques. The most arresting objects he exhibited were huge enamel loungers. Normally enamelling is a jewel-like alchemical art intended for small objects and yet here it covered large pieces of furniture with bright enamel patterns that seemed almost to have occurred naturally. ‘It’s essentially getting the computer to generate something that would happen in nature,’ he explained, adding gnomically that he had used a computer ‘because I didn’t want it to look

like it was made with a computer’. The patterns were then taken to a workshop in China where there were enough craftspeople, mostly women, able to make the cloisons and apply the enamel to vast pieces of furniture and then fire them in a kiln of dimensions heretofore unseen in enamel work. It turned conventional wisdom upside down. This is the turning of the sword of technology into a ploughshare to be used in cultivating a renewed appreciation of beauty, quality and craftsmanship – as opposed to stimulating the meretricious, Pavlovian, bulimic appetite for acquisition of trophy possessions. It heartens me and yes, allows me to feel optimistic. A little over a year ago I made a tweed with the Savile Row tailor, Huntsman. I commissioned a tweed 25 years ago and it was a protracted procedure, samples were sent back and forth in the post, there was a trip or two to Scotland, and other consumers of time that would dissuade most people from embarking on such an enterprise. This time I sat in the comfort of 11 Savile Row and with a few pattern books and the talented Campbell Carey, Huntsman’s creative director, operating a computer programme, we set about creating a checked tweed. If I wanted a different colour here or a wider stripe there, it was done in a mouse click rather than by return post. Best of all I was able to see what the finished tweed would look like when made into a garment, thanks to computer modelling on a virtual mannequin… and all before a single thread had been spun, let alone put on the loom. Thus I was able to commission work from a distant island mill that had been an important part of its community for generations. I’m delighted to find that what I still regard, in my old-fashioned way, as the technology of the future, is also a means of preserving the past. But not in a museum – it’s for enjoyment in the present. n


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Great British Brands 2020


Vivienne Westwood’s mantra is something we all need to get on board with. For this exclusive shoot, her creative director, design partner and husband, Andreas Kronthaler, and her granddaughter, Cora Corré, model the latest creations, and talk to ALICE B-B about fashion, family and why we should be up for change Fashion direction by NICOLE SMALLWOOD Photography by RACHELL SMITH


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Andreas wears scarf and dress, both from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood S/S’20. Cora wears dress and accessories from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood S/S’20

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Great British Brands 2020


Birthday presents for Cora were often a couture dress to match that of her grandmother. Photograph by Kevin Mackintosh

my name as if I was one of any of the other models. I was so scared, the amazing model Veruschka had to pick me up. You’ve walked in shows recently – does it still frighten you?

Cora: No. I think I’ve grown into myself in the past few years. I’m a lot more confident. Tell me about the dress Cora’s wearing for the cover?

Andreas: It’s a classic Vivienne Westwood gown – the Cocotte silhouette – Cora wore it for her 21st birthday. Cora: But I wanted it less drapey and slightly tighter. Andreas: So we made a new pattern especially for Cora. It’s called the Cora Cocotte. This particular dress is made from ‘deadstock’ fabric, offcuts left over in the mills. Using fabric that has already been produced is probably the least harmful to the environment. I’ve been trying to do this for a while in the collections. It’s much less convenient, because it restricts you… but restriction excites me! You have to find a solution out of necessity. How do you feel when you wear couture?

Cora: Amazing. Westwood dresses fit in such a way they make you feel fabulous – it changes one’s mood. And they work for everyone. They’re flattering on all sizes and it’s amazing how sexy they are. Andreas, what’s your first memory of Vivienne?

Andreas: I always like to answer this question; it was 1988 and she was my teacher in the Vienna academy where I was studying. I was sitting on the windowsill in the classroom, I didn’t really know who she was. She came in and looked so incredible; she was wearing a kilt, a knitted catsuit and a big Scottish plaid scarf. As soon as she started talking a whole new world opened up to me.

What does Vivienne Westwood being a Great British Brand mean to you?

Cora: I see it as iconic. Vivienne Westwood

‘I’m really happy that Cora is dressed in Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. I think she’s lovely, I want to support her in every way. She’s an activist’

What does punk mean today?

Andreas: It’s a way of looking at life.

Vivienne is a punk. She has a real punk mind, turning things upside has longevity. It was as relevant politically down and inside out. And not caring during the ’70s punk era as it is now when what people think, following her she’s working on her activism. And I’m not Vivienne Westwood instinct, speaking her mind. just saying that because she’s my grandma! Of all the people I’ve met over What’s your earliest memory the years, I can truly say, ‘God! She’s a real punk’. of Vivienne? Cora: I was an only child so I was taken out everywhere and When was the last time you went out together? I always used to fall asleep under the table or on my mum Andreas: In Vienna a couple of weeks ago – Vivienne was and dad’s laps. There’s a photo of me and Vivienne in Paris collecting the European Cultural Award. She wore a skirt in under a blanket, snuggled up at a party after one of the shows. white taffeta pulled up to her décolleté, a big cardigan and her hair up. She looked sensational and exquisite, like a strange Andreas: For every birthday we would make Cora a little 19th-century doll. Wherever I am in the whole globe – whatever couture dress – she wasn’t very fond of them! room or ball or party I go to with her – to me she is the best-looking (Cora laughs and pulls out her phone – to show a black and person in the room. She still gives me all the energy I need. white picture of her and Vivienne in matching toile de jouy dresses.) Andreas: That was the Robe de la Reine, like Marie Antoinette. What’s the most enjoyable part of being a designer? And then Cora had to perform for us wearing it – she didn’t Andreas: I like putting on shows. I like the castings, meeting really want to… BUT there was no way round it. Because if young girls and boys. Of course I cast them because of the way Vivienne wanted something – she’d get it! they look but I really cast them because of who they are – if they’re nice people, if (he clicks his fingers) something’s happening between Do you remember walking in your first show? us. It’s like a big family and we always have a good time. Cora: I was four. I remember being this tiny girl and someone saying 26 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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Cora wears Vivienne Westwood Unisex S/S’20 bikini and jumpsuit. Andreas wears Vivienne Westwood Unisex S/S’20 cardigan and Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood S/S’20 trunks

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Suit jacket and corset trousers from Vivienne Westwood S/S’20

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Andreas wears knit and trousers from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood S/S’20. Cora, as cover

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Great British Brands 2020


Corset dress and accessories from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood S/S’20 RIGHT: Sketch of the dress worn by Cora on the cover

Cora: Last year I was working for The Agency for Radical Optimists, a workshop at the UN for 22 amazing women. I’m also working part-time for my mum [Serena Rees] on her label Les Girls Les Boys, from brand communication to accounts or giving my opinion on design. What’s your life dream?

Cora: In all honesty, I would love to say that I have it all worked out, but don’t. I want to try out lots of different things – trial and error. It’s scary trying to work out what you want to do. Andreas: Strong families can be overpowering and dominating – but it’s good that you’re doing your own thing. I think you’re doing really well. You couldn’t be better, really. What do you like about England?

Andreas: Beans on toast. And I love going to the pub. Though the first time I went, I thought, ‘They’re completely bonkers!’ They filled the beer right to the top and it slopped over onto the carpet. But I got used to it quickly – nowadays if it’s not filled up I complain! How do you feel about Brexit?

Cora: It’s given my generation a kick up the arse and shown how important voting is. Unfortunately you only learn when bad things happen. Is there anywhere else in the world you’d like to live?

Cora: No! I love London. What are you feeling most optimistic about in the coming year?

Cora: I guess I’m optimistic because, What was the scene like at the height of the ’90s supermodel era?

Andreas: At the shows, it was like the models were about to jump from a plane. Linda Evangelista was a terribly amazing catwalk model, she would always check herself in the mirrors, shout for Sam the hairdresser. He would do a little thing to her hair. Then she stood for a split second and would say, ‘I. Am. The. Most. Beautiful. Woman. In. The. World.’ And then she shot out [onto the catwalk], posed at the end. But it was when she walked back that she was even more magnificent.

like with Vivienne working through the whole punk era, this is a time when change is needed. And change will come via the whole population – not just the 650 people in parliament. We’re a lot bigger than that.

How has the fashion world changed?

Andreas: I don’t want to sound nostalgic, but it was ‘la famiglia della moda’, a time when designers and models all knew each other. It was smaller. It was before the internet, which has made everything more random and displaced and torn apart. Are catwalk shows still relevant?

Andreas: I think about it a lot – but I have not come up with any other way yet. Pictures and video are great – but there is this magic of a fashion show, especially for people who are able to see the show live. Cora, besides modelling, what other work are you doing?

Photographers assistants: Daniel Knott and Karolina Burlikowska. Hair: Davide Barbieri at Caren using Balmain Paris Hair Couture Make-up: Isamaya Ffrench Stockists: Vivienne Westwood London 6 Davies Street, London W1 +44 (0)20 7629 3757 Vivienne Westwood Flagship 44 Conduit Street, London W1S 2YL n


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HIDDEN REEF COLLECTION 10-11 Burlington Arcade 1 South Molton Street 41 Cadogan Gardens Harrods • Harvey Nichols Liberty • Selfridges

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Great British Brands 2020

Is the






Whether you’re behind the monarchy or not, The Firm’s influence is rising exponentially, says ROYA NIKKHAH


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‘For the first time since the reign of Queen Victoria, there are three generations of the royal family at work together in support of the Queen,’ says Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, who oversees the royal coffers. ‘Each generation brings its own style and personality.’ The royal family has pulled off the ultimate public marketing coup, according to a recent YouGov survey, which listed the words that royal fans associate with each member of the monarchy. The Queen is perceived as ‘admirable, hard-working, respected, dignified and dedicated’, while Prince Charles is seen as an ‘environmentalist’ who’s ‘genuine, committed, intelligent, knowledgeable’. The Duke of Cambridge is ‘genuine, responsible, likeable’ and ‘a good role model’, with the Duchess of Cambridge seen as ‘admirable, beautiful’ and ‘a good role model’. While Prince Harry was once known as ‘the playboy prince’ for all the wrong reasons, according to the survey, he is now seen as ‘humorous, confident’ and ‘fun-loving’, while the Duchess of Sussex is ‘charming, beautiful’ and ‘admirable’. Meghan has breathed new life into the institution since she married Prince Harry last year. Their Windsor wedding combined tradition, pomp and ceremony with all the modern twists – a gospel choir,



indsor, Wales, Cambridge, Sussex. Like rock stars or supermodels, they are instantly identifiable by just one name. The monarchy ‘brand’ subtly and successfully blends tradition and innovation, since the royal family is both making history and breaking records with its longevity and modernity. The Queen, 93, is the longest-reigning British monarch in history and her image, famously immortalised by Andy Warhol, is arguably the most familiar brand in the world, having graced currency and postage stamps across the globe for 67 years. And while Her Majesty may represent the steady traditions and solid public work long associated with the monarchy, younger members of the family are now taking their modern interpretation of the royal brand to millennials. From the Prince of Wales’ lifelong passion and campaigning for the environment and sustainability to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s focus on mental health or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s emphasis on conservation, youth education and female empowerment, the royal message has never felt more on-brand. Members of the royal family carry out more than 3,200 engagements a year across the UK and overseas, and from the nonagenarians at the top to the younger ‘woke’ dukes and duchesses, the royal generational span is having a bit of a moment. 34 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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an American preacher and a poised bride walking down the aisle of St George’s Chapel. The ‘Sussex brand’ was born on that pictureperfect spring day. The union of an American, mixed-race, former actress with a successful career under her belt, and a prince of the realm in his military uniform – a mark of his support for the armed forces and his own service on the front line – was the match of a truly modern royal couple. Watched by an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, the spectacle projected an overwhelmingly positive vision of ‘UK plc’. Theirs has continued to be a powerful brand, particularly popular with young people who tune into royal news on social media. Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan broke a Guinness world record with the launch of their Instagram account, Sussex Royal, amassing one million followers in the record time of five hours and 45 minutes. With 9.9 million followers at the last count, the Sussexes are an appealing brand for the Instagram generation. Penny Junor, the royal biographer, believes Meghan’s arrival into the royal fold has helped bring the royals ‘right up to date’ with the wider public. ‘We live in a multicultural and multiracial society, and now our monarchy reflects that and a broader section of society [is able to] see someone within the royal family who represents them,’ she says. ‘Together with the younger royals being more relaxed and open in their approach to the public, and talking about their feelings, the royal family feels more relevant – they have refreshed the brand.’

It’s a family affair: the House of Windsor (including HM The Queen, above left, Prince Charles, left, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, above) exert their soft power globally to huge effect

Great British Brands 2020

The Queen may be in her nineties, but she remains as intuitive as ever on how best to harness the appeal of the royal family and she is acutely aware that the Sussexes’ youthful, diverse and modern image has a global appeal. Earlier this year, she appointed Harry and Meghan as president and vice president respectively of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, an organisation connecting young people across the Commonwealth and championing young global leaders. This autumn, the Sussexes undertook a hugely successful tour of Africa on behalf of the government, and earlier in the year they travelled to Morocco on official business. Last year, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga were on their itinerary. That ‘soft power’, as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office calls the non-political but diplomatically significant role of the royal family overseas, helps boost bilateral and trade relationships, and is seen as an essential deployment of the brand. David Haigh, chief executive of business consultancy firm Brand Finance, says: ‘They are like a giant PR campaign for the UK. The monarchy is Britain’s national treasure, both symbolically and economically. Especially in the age of Brexit, Britain can rely on royal diplomacy to facilitate trade relations with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Today, its universal appeal translates to the attraction of Brand Monarchy, offering considerable commercial COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 35

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benefits to all businesses and institutions associated with it.’ The Sovereign Grant accounts published in June recorded that the royal family cost each UK taxpayer £1.24 last year. Not bad going, considering a Brand Finance report estimated the monarchy’s annual contribution to the UK economy at around £1.7 billion. According to the report: ‘the appeal of pomp and circumstance set in living royal residences draws millions of tourists; the mystique surrounding the monarchy adds to the popularity of shows like The Crown and Victoria that offer a glimpse of the private lives of the royal family.’ The boost that royals bring to the fashion industry is often instant. When the Duchess of Cambridge wears an outfit, it can sell out within hours and the ‘Kate effect’ alone is estimated to be worth more than £200 million a year to the industry. Daniella Helayel, the founder of Issa London, was among the first to experience it when the then Kate Middleton wore an Issa dress for her engagement photocall with Prince William in 2010. ‘We didn’t have a TV at the studio and this was pre-Instagram, but we soon knew Kate was wearing Issa because at four o’clock the phones began ringing and didn’t stop. It was bonkers.’ According to fashion website Lyst, the ‘Meghan effect’ is pretty punchy too; a designer whose clothing is worn by the Duchess of Sussex typically sees a 200 per cent spike in internet search volume the following week. When Meghan recently launched a capsule collection for the Smart Works charity, which helps women back into employment, the tote bag from the range sold out within hours. Brand Finance’s report also assesses the monarchy’s impact on other brands, noting that ‘respect for the institution boosts the price and volume premium of brands boasting a Royal Warrant’. According to Forbes, the ‘royal effect’ earns warrant holders – companies that supply goods or services to the royal family – around

£190 million a year. While the Duke of York’s image has been badly damaged by the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, with some organisations choosing to distance themselves from Prince Andrew who has stepped down from public duties for ‘the foreseeable future’, royal patronage by other members of the royal family remains a much sought-after prize. Nick Crean, the director of Prestat chocolates, which holds a warrant as a purveyor of chocolates to the Queen, says: ‘The Royal Warrant means quality, but it often signifies excellent sustainability credentials too, which young people particularly care about now.’ Crean is also the vice president of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, and not only sees the royal family at work, but also their impact. ‘The royal family is a brilliant brand, because what they understand is the importance of generational handover. ‘The Queen is a constant and Prince Charles is much more in tune with the younger generation than many have given him credit for. Just look at his ability to foresee the importance of environmental concern about plastics and the ocean and the importance of food sourcing. ‘A Royal Warrant is a great honour and the monarchy is a potent brand. But just as the royal family always despairs when people overcommercialise that link, what the younger members need to beware of is not over-commercialising the royal brand. It doesn’t need it.’ Put simply, ‘the royal family is huge’, says Junor. ‘They are our biggest brand, outstripping any other company or institution. There have been hiccups along the way, but they overcome them with a strength and integrity built up over generations. The world is a maelstrom of uncertainty, but amidst it is the House of Windsor, standing for decency and stability. The best of British.’ n Roya Nikkhah is the Royal Correspondent for The Sunday Times. @royanikkhah


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompany Prince George and Princess Charlotte on their first day back at school


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C E L E B R AT I N G 27 5 Y E A R S


1 0 P I C C A D I L LY A R C A D E , L O N D O N S W1 Y 6 N H T: 0 2 0 74 9 9 76 4 4


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The test of time That’s what thoughtful design means to us. Furniture that will always look good, that will wear well, that will endure. Visit us online or in person to discover just what we mean.

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THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD The future of luxury will be ruled by entrepreneurs who are fearless enough to rip up the rulebook and create companies that deliver both profit and purpose. MICHAEL HAYMAN reports


Illustrations by LIZ ROWLAND

love of luxury is one of the often overlooked hallmarks of Britain’s greatest ever leader, Sir Winston Churchill. Take champagne. His prodigious love of Pol Roger was fortified by a whopping 42,000 bottles imbibed during the course of his life – quite a rate of consumption considering he was only introduced to the brand at the age of 34. Indeed, Pol Roger was to go on to name its top cuvée after the great man, and his daughter Mary Soames said of his tremendous thirst for it: ‘I saw him many times the better for it, but never the worse’. Nor did his love of luxury stop with champagne. From clothes to cigars, paintings to Provence, he was a leader who knew a thing or two about the finer things in life. ‘Winston is a man of simple tastes – he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything,’ was the conclusion of Churchill’s political ally and close friend, Lord Birkenhead. Fast forward and you have to wonder how Britain’s wartime hero and fully paid-up bon viveur might live if he was making his way in the UK today. For one, his love of Pol Roger would most likely have been surpassed by Britain’s new wave of sparkling superstars: Nyetimber, Gusbourne and Hattingley Valley, to name but three. Would he have been a Remainer or a Brexiteer? Both sides claim him Sir Winston as one of their own. This is a man who Churchill shows the spoke as convincingly about a ‘United traits of our most States of Europe’ as he did about a future successful where Britain and the Continent trod entrepreneurs very different paths. Enigmatic, contrary, creative and a disruptor, ever impatient with the ‘just about do’ brigade, he may well have found

his calling not in the grey mist of today’s political climate but in the vibrant world of business. For as well as a passion for Brand Britain he also knew much about belief, guts and what it takes to win – all traits of our most successful entrepreneurs. Observing how today’s firms can create positive change he would have enthused about the 650,000 business registrations that take place in our country every year. Each one is a vote of confidence in the future and a finest hour for founders and teams with the guts to go for it. He would no doubt have revelled in how inventive and inspiring our greatest businesses have become. But he might also have stood aghast at the power some have accumulated in a world where two-thirds of the planet’s top 100 economies are now corporations. ‘Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference,’ was his clarion call to those looking to summon up the right stuff in themselves and face a world of change head on. Now as then, that propensity to a positive attitude speaks volumes about the character of the people and businesses alike that win through. Character is much on display in the pages of this year’s Great British Brands: enduring and iconic, creative and innovative, it’s an attitude that makes the UK’s top brands some of the most successful in the world – from household names like Aston Martin through to bespoke artisans like Sabina Savage, who transforms her beautiful handdrawn prints into wonderful scarves. If you’re looking for the feel-good factor then the British success stories in these pages should provide you with an injection of positivity about what it takes to be the very best in business. But even when you’re the best you face challenges. Take the B-word: Brexit. It has become the all-pervasive metaphor of our national story. At worst, it has reduced us to a single-issue nation that has sucked the joy and optimism out of much of national life. And whether you originally saw Brexit as a shot in the foot or a shot in goal, maintaining a positive mindset has proven to be a Herculean task in the bruising period since the 2016 vote.


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If you’re looking for the feel-good factor, the British success stories in these pages should provide you with an injection of positivity It’s an issue that bemuses many who live away from these shores. Why would we want to go it alone? Why wouldn’t we seek safety in the pack? Why not make life easier for ourselves? Irrespective of your view on the decision, these are questions that speak to how we face the future. Central to that is the confidence to create a new chapter in our national story and with it a new generation of opportunity. No one can say with utmost confidence just what the effect of Brexit will be on British brands. But one thing for sure is that things will change for a part of the economy that has been a proven winner: as exporters to the world. And change is not just the result of political headwinds. It’s social, technological and generational. For those seeking to navigate through, this is no breeze, it’s a transformational typhoon. Right now, that can make for gloomy reading. Survey after survey shows that the leaders of our strongest companies are concerned about dwindling demand ‘Made in Britain’ is a global and plunging profits. standard of quality Domestically, the UK high street is struggling through a painful

Great British Brands 2020

realignment. From Mothercare and House of Fraser to Thomas Cook, stalwart names of our past are being cast aside to make way for a digital future that has no room for nostalgia. And it’s not just a change of method that is on the move, it’s also a change in attitudes about who we shop with and why. We want to know what a business stands for. More than ever, in a world of doubt, we want to believe before we buy. And with this come not only new obligations but also new opportunity. In its latest Global Powers of Luxury Goods report, Deloitte asserts that: ‘affluent millennial consumers want their preferred luxury brands to be involved and provide a positive contribution to their ecosystem with practical actions and are willing to pay a premium price for those products that come from a conscious brand.’ Witness the rise of the HENRYs (High-EarnersNot–Rich-Yet), a younger demographic of customer, highly motivated by issues like climate change and the purpose of the brands with which they do business. These are the customers of the future and our brands need to be ready for them. For businesses born in the cloud – digitally native and uninhibited by old legacies – this is the environment in which they were born to thrive. I spent some time with the Whole Foods founder John Mackey, who spoke of ‘unleashing the heroic spirit of business’. For him that meant finding a purpose beyond profit and using that to motivate employees and customers alike. The former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 41

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provided a new twist on this with a recent call-out to leaders when he said that what we need is ‘heroic chief executives willing to step up and move outside of the comfort zone and take personal risks’. That bravery speaks to businesses at the top of their game and to how the very best in business not only survive but thrive. This emerging imperative has provided fertile territory for a generation of businesses that understands the power of purpose and how you can use that belief to build businesses that behave as much like NGO as they do commercial entities. And it’s a theme that has caught the attention of capital, which is following the idea that the markets of the future will depend on delivering profit with purpose. Heed the words of Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock. He wrote to some of the globe’s most admired brands that: ‘To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.’ Carers, sharers and darers are the businesses of the new era. The carers seek to nurture (think Ella’s Kitchen), the sharers seek to connect (think Zipcar), and the darers seek to rip up the rule book and change the future (think DeepMind). ‘It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy’ were the words of legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs. These businesses have taken heed, unleashing the swashbuckling spirit of the entrepreneur: adventurer, challenger and disruptor. It is among our entrepreneurs that you will find the most optimistic outlook about our readiness for what happens next. I chair the entrepreneurs team at the private bank Coutts, which has just completed a major new survey among entrepreneur clients. It showed that

Brands that succeed need to be brave and step out of their comfort zones

The high street is changing as big brands fail to keep up with digital progress

two-thirds were optimistic about the UK continuing to be a favourable environment for business. More than 60 per cent said they were positive about the UK economy’s future. And 75 per cent thought that businesses should play a larger role in tackling society’s biggest challenges. Positivity in mindset and an activist mentality may well be the watchwords for today’s entrepreneurs but they also find roots in a long tradition among great British brands: a country with creativity bursting out of its seams, with style and humour that lifts souls the world over. This attitude is a gentle gift, making people feel special. And in a world full of woes there is opportunity here. But to do this justice we have to rediscover selfconfidence. Believing that we have what it takes to master change is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. And at the moment we need to find that inner resolve to prosper through this immense chapter of change. ‘Made in Britain’ is a global standard of quality and it stands for integrity, ingenuity and innovation. That hallmark has been built by generations of brilliant businesses and it is a birthright for a new generation. It’s why whatever happens with Brexit, it cannot be retrospective. It has to be our most forward-looking, open-minded moment as a people. Because there is a bigger challenge at play here than our relationship with the European Union. It is one that speaks to ever more people finding prosperity from change, and ever more businesses rising to the challenge of what it means to be a good business in a troubled world. If you ever get a chance to visit Chartwell, the historic home of Churchill, you can see the desk where he penned the greatest political prose ever written. At its centre is an unlikely inspiration: a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte. Churchill often celebrated these words of Napoleon, whose biography he had hoped to write: ‘I cannot live without champagne. In victory I deserve it; in defeat I need it.’ Business too is about victory and defeats. But it’s not the fact these things happen, it’s how you deal with them that matters. It’s why this edition of Great British Brands celebrates positivity – and to that it’s well worth raising a glass. n


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Being good used to mean going to church, minding your ps and qs and having a pension. Now, it’s about saving the world. Join the movement now, says LUCIA VAN DER POST

Domestic catastrophe Nº3: Laboratory Planet, 2012, by HeHe can be seen at the Royal Academy’s Eco-Visionaries exhibition running until 23 February 2020


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ow to be good? A simple question to pose but much harder to answer. But let’s start with the good news. More and more citizens and consumers really want to be good. Gen Z (born mid to late 1990s), in particular, mind to a commercially embarrassing extent about the impact of their life choices on the planet, on other workers and on the wider society around them. They have forced companies around the globe to form ethical and eco-sustainable policy committees and set up proper protocols and they’re vigilant enough to try and check whether they actually do what they say they’ll do. All this has happened comparatively recently. Diana Verde Nieto, who runs Positive Luxury (which aims to identify companies that comply with a whole host of ethical and sustainable standards;, says that as recently as the early 2000s it was hard to convince companies to take sustainability seriously. Today Positive Luxury is just one of many resources designed to help those who really mind about the impact their life choices make on the planet. Many of us love beautiful things. We still want to buy a gorgeous new dress, a fine piece of jewellery, visit great restaurants and have a wellearned holiday, but we’d like to do it without feeling we’re destroying our grandchildren’s futures. The problem for the consumer is that while most companies issue large numbers of pious statements

about their practices, it’s almost impossible to know which really live up to the standards we increasingly demand and are not just ‘greenwashing’. All this means a new way of thinking. We need to consider more deeply what we buy, what we eat and where and how we travel. Happily, there is now a number of companies that are trying hard to make a difference, adopting sustainable practices, looking after their workforces and generally minding about being a force for good. There are also increasing numbers of organisations, apps and guides that will direct us to them. Here are just a few that can help us all be a little bit (or hopefully a lot) better.

FROM TOP: How we grow our food and farm our animals is a huge part of the conversation; Diana Verde Nieto, founder of Positive Luxury which rubberstamps brands leading the ethical charge such as McQueens Flowers


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FROM TOP: The Soil Association is an invaluable resource for everyone from consumers to producers; Growing Underground is a pioneering food project beneath the streets of Clapham; Loop is coming to the UK in spring 2020 with the aim of reducing packaging by offering a service that collects the reusable packaging, cleaning it and reusing it

FOOD The key here is to buy as locally as we can manage and to eat with the seasons. It’s also about soil and bio ethical farming. The Soil Association ( is a fund of information and though much of it is geared to farmers and growers there’s lots for the consumer to take on board. It makes it easy by certifying organic food and farming, textiles, health and beauty products, and works with butchers and bakers. They take into account everything from packaging to animal welfare and wildlife conservation, and all unnecessary and harmful food additives are banned. At they have pioneered a sustainable method of growing fresh micro greens and salad leaves 33 metres below the busy streets of Clapham in London. They use an up-to-the-minute hydroponic systems and LED technology and their crops are grown all-year-round in a perfect, pesticide-free environment. They’re all sold to local branches of shops such as Whole Foods, Ocado, Waitrose, Planet Organic and even M&S. When it comes to the restaurants we patronise more and more of them are buying locally and seasonally, as much as possible from small, independent producers, serving only hormone-free, grass-fed free range meat (note that veganism is not a catch-all solution, we need grazing animals to restore soil health) and wines with as few added sulphates as possible.

And if the restaurant doesn’t spell out its philosophy – ask. age-of-awareness brilliantly outlines the issues we should consider. Cutting down on our use of singleuse packaging is also imperative. Loop ( is an innovative initiative that partners with brands that use refillable packaging and then makes it easy for the consumer by collecting the packaging, cleaning and re-using it. It was launched in the US and France but it is starting a pilot scheme with Tesco in early 2020 and once it is fully up and running and it gets more brands on board it will offer a brilliantly affordable and easy way to cut down waste ( COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 47

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FROM TOP: The Newt in Somerset sources everything as locally as possible, including the staff; is driving the sustainability agenda in the travel industry

The world is a large and wondrous place and few of us want to give up on ever seeing it, but we all know that carbon emissions are one of the great polluters of the planet. So what to do? Consider holidaying more locally. Many of us have spent so much time travelling long-haul to exotic destinations that we have neglected the beauty on our own doorstep – England recently came second place after Bhutan in Lonely Planet’s Best Places to Visit 2020. Take, for instance, The Newt ( Newly opened in Somerset, it is a model of ethical, sustainable thinking and is divinely beautiful as well. Designed by the couple who founded Babylonstoren in South Africa, it is a huge working estate celebrating all things local; at its heart is a deep respect for the land, for everything on it and for the workers who work on it and the community around it. This is a new way of thinking for hoteliers, a way that acknowledges that where there is no ethical basis there is no true luxury. But The Newt is not alone. Many of the great hotel chains have realised that more and more of their customers want to know that when they stay, they are not destroying coral reefs, exploiting local communities, eating food that has been flown thousands of miles. If you must fly setting off your carbon emission helps – as Dr Susanne Becken, Professor of Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University, Australia, puts it: ‘Carbon offsetting is not a solution but only a band-aid that gains us time.

It is an improvement but will not get us to net zero. That will only be achieved if people fly less.’ ‘But,’ she goes on to say, ‘it is still my view that if we have to fly [or emit carbon for any other activity] it is better to offset than not.’ For those wanting to travel in a less polluting, more considered way, is a brilliant resource, spelling out how to offset your carbon emissions and connecting travellers with responsible places to stay.




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as Farfetch’s Second Life (secondlife., The RealReal (therealreal. com) and Cudoni (, which sell consigned clothing, fine jewellery, watches, fine art and home décor. Renting clothes is big business in the US (Rent the Runway is already worth billions of dollars) and is beginning to take off in the UK where Victoria Prew’s HURR Collective ( means customers can rent the sort of catwalk ‘It’ dress for a fraction of its retail selling price – and on top of that it reduces waste as it will be rented out dozens of times. Prew suggests a more mindful way of dressing would be to collect a high-quality capsule wardrobe and then to rent when you needed the more high fashion statement pieces that only ever get a few airings ( Then there is new app By Rotation, described as the ‘AirBnB of mid to high end fashion’, where you can both rent out your own clothes and in turn rent other people’s (a Ganni dress, for example, hires for £10 a day, whereas an Hermès Birkin is listed for £75). There is also The Restory ( which is another indication of a new way of thinking about the things we already own. Instead of throwing something out and buying a newer version The Restory will restore and remake shabby handbags, down-at-heel shoes and mend damaged clothing. The key word in all this, according to Positive Luxury’s Verde Nieto, is ‘respect’. We need to take more care to read the labels and not always to believe the hype. Few companies are perfect – as few individuals are – but by asking these questions it helps to keep them on their toes. What is certain is that that there is a new way of looking at luxury, a more thoughtful, better way, and we all have to play a part if it is to succeed. n


FASHION What we wear and how we buy it pose some of the biggest problems of all. A recent United Nations study found that the fashion and textile industry is the second largest polluter (after oil) of the planet, responsible for some 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions per year and 20 per cent of all waste water, and it consumes more energy than the airline and shipping businesses combined. On top of that, in the UK alone, we send about 300,000 tonnes of clothes to landfill. Yet what we wear is so intrinsically linked to who we are that the thought of never buying anything new would not only send many into a sartorial gloom but also cost the thousands of livelihoods that depend upon it. However, pressure from the consumer is pushing companies to rethink the way they operate, examining everything from the chemicals used in dyeing to making sure the natural materials they use come from sustainable sources, cutting waste in the supply chain. But really we should all buy less and buy better. Few of us can afford to do as The Business of Fashion’s Tim Blanks suggests when he points out that couture is highly sustainable because disposability isn’t written into its creation, but we probably can afford to rent couture or buy secondhand from time to time. Which goes to explain the growth of the good used clothing markets such

Great British Brands 2020

FROM TOP: Hire a piece of couture at the Hurr Collective, set up by Victoria Prew, and know that the piece will see plenty of wears; By Rotation lets you rent your wardrobe and rent other people’s in return; don’t throw out your Gucci trainers, get them looking as good as new at The Restory


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GREEN GROWTH GURUS Meet Britain’s leading eco warriors, who have built thriving businesses based on principles rather than profit. By LISA GRAINGER Photography by ALEXANDRA DAO


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A host of entrepreneurs is giving hope to future generations by pioneering businesses for purpose not projfit

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In the worlds of fashion and jewellery, trends and designers come and go. But when it comes to making gems imbued with values that extend beyond the Pippa Small material, one name comes Turquoise Mountain up again and again: Pippa Small. gold vermeil Gowharshad The Canadian-born, Wiltshirenecklace raised, London-based creative didn’t start out as a jeweller, but as an anthropologist, who wanted to find a way of helping indigenous people support themselves and showcase their culture. Today, she sells one-off pieces made by artisans who not only craft their jewellery using traditional methods but also often mine the gold and cut the gems. Small’s hope, she says, is that her customers will see her jewellery not merely as body adornments, but as talismans: ‘beautiful reminders of ancient skills that continue to survive, of jobs that are being created, of women who are being employed, of families that are being supported. Pieces that carry stories of other peoples’ lives with them that can be enjoyed and passed on.’ As well as working in Afghanistan with Turquoise Mountain – the crafts project created by the Afghan president Hamid Karzai, the Prince of Wales and ex-MP Rory Stewart – Small collaborates with ethnic groups all over the world, from refugees in Myanmar and Jordan to fair trade miners in Bolivia and Panama, both for her own lines and for designers such as Tom Ford and Bamford. She was awarded an MBE in 2013 and has had her work exhibited all over the world, from Davos to the Smithsonian in Washington. Her latest success? Winning the support of the Duchess of Sussex, who has worn Pippa Small jewellery on more than 12 high profile occasions. ‘The pride that gives the Afghan jewellers is just wonderful,’ Small says. ‘It is a very public affirmation that what they are doing is world class.’


Disenchanted with his advertising job and inspired by a nine-month camping trip through Africa, Justin Francis decided to work for the person who was, at that time, the most ethical businessperson in Britain: Anita Roddick. At The Body Shop, she taught him what he says was the most important lesson of his professional life: that it was possible to be an activist and to make money, while treating the weak and poor well. When Francis co-founded the Brighton-based Responsible Travel in 2001, his was not only the first travel business to use the term ‘responsible tourism’ but also the first to operate entirely online. Today, his company markets trips from more than 450 specialist companies, which are vetted to make sure they bring benefit to local people while minimising damage to the environment. Each is required to report back on the key issues they find in the destinations they sell – socially, environmentally and economically – and clients are also asked to report back on their trip. ‘Then there’s an honesty, and a loop,’ he says, ‘which means things can be changed, and improvements to peoples’ lives made, whether that’s contributing to poverty alleviation in Zimbabwe or water projects in the Sahara.’ Having founded the World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2004, and also campaigned to make big companies like Thomson publish policies for responsible tourism, his next aim is to reduce travellers’ carbon emissions. ‘What people have to realise is that the only thing that is going to reduce carbon – until we have electric planes – is to fly less,’ he says emphatically. ‘People are always going to travel, and it’s an important part of our global economy. But we need to do fewer, longer trips rather than lots of little ones – and to places that need tourism, unlike Venice or Barcelona, where tourists are part of the problem.’


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Lush was set up to make ‘good products in the right way’

Great British Brands 2020



The co-founder of the Lush cosmetics company – which he started with his wife, Mo, and four friends in Poole, Dorset, in 1994 – stands out not only because of his flamboyance (in dress and language), nor because Lush product are unlike any other (who else would have invented pungent bath bombs?), but because Lush is one of the rare companies that was set up, as Constantine puts it, ‘to make good products, in the right way, while doing good’. When he says ‘in the right way’, he means it – at every level. His teams go out to find the best ingredients, whether that’s essential oils or 100 per cent recycled packaging, which they do, ‘in a respectful way, taking into account the environment and the social impact’. They care about workers’ rights, emissions, water. The products are suitable for vegetarians and not tested on animals, and the ingredients are sourced from high quality, often small suppliers, (resin from tribes in northern Laos, roses picked by nomadic Roma, fair trade shea butter from Ghana). Plus, everything sold in Britain is made in Britain, he says, ‘and only one other big high-street company, Greggs the baker, can say that’. Last year, the company turned over £987m, through 928 shops in 48 countries worldwide, and has so far donated more than £50m to good causes, from hedgehog sanctuaries to anti-fracking campaigns. Unlike many cosmetic companies, Constantine adds, all the founders of Lush are still the people who formulate the products – including the one he’s most proud of, Dream Cream, ‘which is so pure that even kids with eczema can use it’. His latest aim? ‘To create the ultimate regenerative business that provides livelihoods while growing quality raw materials that restore biodiversity and absorb carbon.’ A remarkable goal for a business that began with Mo making bath bombs in the garden shed.

Named by LinkedIn as the most connected woman in fashion, Tamsin Lejeune has operated in this world at almost every level. Firstly as a designer of her own sustainable fashion label, Juste; then as a teacher, integrating sustainable fashion into the curricula of colleges; next as a campaigner and founder of the global Ethical Fashion Forum; and finally, last year, as the founding CEO of Common Objective (CO). CO was created with a straightforward aim, she says: to make it easy for brands that weren’t already sustainable to become more so. ‘It’s a bit like,’ she explains. ‘You join up online, and we help you connect with the right people, from suppliers to buyers, who will make your business a better one.’ Already, CO has signed up over 21,000 users across 130 countries, including the largest ten UK fashion businesses, ranging from Farfetch and Kering to Marks & Spencer. Through membership, each user is granted access to, and advice on, social and environmental aspects of their industry – so they understand exactly what terms mean – as well as practical information and connections to help their business operate more effectively. A fashion label, for instance, can browse photographs of fabrics and then be linked directly to sustainable manufacturers. Or a consumer can find out more about fashion labels, and how green they are. While Lejeune’s initial aim is to help the industry become more sustainable, ultimately she hopes to sell items too: ‘a bit like Alibaba, which began as a directory, and then became transactional. Our goal is to be the world’s biggest ethical marketplace in the world.’ Although she has been campaigning for decades, in the past three years the pace of change has been considerable, she says. Companies like Fashion Revolution (which started #whomademyclothes on social media), campaigners like Greta Thunberg and scientific reports in 2017 linking the fashion industry with water pollution worldwide have focused people’s minds. ‘When people are affected personally, when they start to drink and eat badly because of fashion, then they sit up and want to do things differently.’ As ever, Lejeune is aiming high: in the next five years she hopes to ‘transform the lives of over 15 million people through the way they do businesses… Then there’s just the throwaway culture to tackle,’ she says. ‘That’s the next elephant.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 53

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Great British Brands 2020



This London-based environmental lawyer isn’t just one of Britain’s most powerful legal advocates, he’s one of the world’s, and is regularly cited as being as influential as David Attenborough and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Having won several big cases in the US – including one, at the age of 26, that forced Reagan’s government to stop companies from polluting US rivers – Thornton moved to the UK and set up ClientEarth in 2008: a non-governmental law organisation representing the planet. Today there are about 120 legal staff working in more than 25 countries. It’s over 30 years since the US government was very publicly warned by scientist James Hansen that the earth’s climate was changing, but Thornton says very little has changed since then. Scientists produce papers, policy is made, the public protests – and then nothing happens, unless lawyers go to court to force governments and companies to act. ‘Money is the only language businesses understand – and using the law is the only way to stop governments,’ he says. THE COASTAL So influential has ClientEarth been in Europe, CAMPAIGNER Coastal activists help HUGO TAGHOLM it’s now considered one of the world’s leading clear Britain’s beaches environmental law agencies, with successes that When you’re someone who has grown up thinking include stopping the clearing of the ancient of shells and birds and sealife as wondrous Bialowieza Forest in Poland, blocking multiple planned coal treasures, seeing plastic and sewage on your beaches can be not plants, forcing the UK Government to address nationwide air just distressing, but life-changing. For Hugo Tagholm, the dire quality problems and making German cities impose diesel state of our beaches was all the motivation he needed to become restrictions to reduce air pollution. The NGO also endlessly CEO of Surfers Against Sewage. Since he took up the helm in takes energy companies and the fishing lobby to task, is involved 2008, he has become one of Britain’s leading coastal activists, and in teaching Chinese judges about environmental law, and has when he talks, the government, industry and environment agencies been influential in the plastic straw ban across Europe. Perhaps listen. The figures he rattles off are as horrifying as the substances most important of all, it is making corporations across the world spewed from 30,000 sewer overflows that seep muck into our coastal realise that management boards could eventually be made waterways. For instance, that more than eight million pieces of litter accountable if they’ve ignored climate risks in their strategies. are deposited into our oceans every day. That a few years ago, a ship While Thornton is clearly a legal powerhouse, he’s also lost five million pieces of Lego off our coast, which still land onto a Zen Buddhist, a poet our shores daily. That about a million sea birds and 100,000 marine and a violinist, with highly mammals die annually from ingestion of, and entanglement in, influential backers, including marine litter. And, most worrying of all, that many scientists believe the Pink Floyd guitarist that by 2030 more than 90 per cent of marine life will be gone. David Gilmour, who donated Luckily, as well as being a thinker, Tagholm is a doer, and every the multimillon proceeds day galvanises people, from legislators to schoolchildren, to play their of an auction of 123 of his part in the cleanup. Britain, he says, has been one of the poorest guitars to the organisation. nations at implementing a Marine Strategy Framework Directive As Gilmour said: ‘I hope created by the EU. Which is why he has worn a wetsuit to Westminster, that the sale of these guitars submitted reports to the Department of the Environment, done Ted will help ClientEarth to use Talks and organised hundreds of beach cleanups – all of which have the law to bring about real led to significantly cleaner coastal waters. change. We need a civilised What all of us can do now to reduce litter, he says, is to take simple world that goes on for all our steps, from refusing single-use plastics and taking part in beachgrandchildren and beyond cleaning activities, to not letting balloons go. ‘For many people the in which these guitars can first step is to be more aware,’ he says. ‘Once that’s happened, we could be played and songs can be create positive change. We don’t have to be like the frog that is slowly sung.’ n brought to the boil. We can stop it – if we want to.’ 54 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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Keeping a brand going or reviving it is an act of courage



ith the UK’s status as an EU partner currently up in the air, more patient heads than mine will navigate the next few years from an economic, environmental and human justice point of view. As to the shape and feel of British luxury, that will surely come down to what it will take to qualify. Should it be made in the UK, or can it be manufactured elsewhere while enshrining some form of British spirit? Or must it simply demonstrate the unique qualities of a British sense of style? Probably it will involve a mix of all three but one important element will be the provenance that lies at the heart of a product, a brand DNA that reflects the story of this island as well as the enterprising founders – and entrepreneurs – responsible for its survival. And in

an increasingly vibrant sector of the luxury market there is a clutch of hitherto unheralded businesses rich in this rarest of attributes. For all its 240-year history supplying fine opticals to the great and the good, CW Dixey & Son remains the great British success story you’ve probably never heard of. It’s not hard to see why: despite supplying optical goods to a wide range of luminaries such as Napoleon Bonaparte, the Duke of Wellington, Queen Victoria, Sir Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming, the company had started to lose its way long before the advent of luxury designer eyewear. Founded by William Fraser in 1777, the business initially flourished under the patronage of George III, who granted the first of 15 royal warrants in recognition of its excellence in optical and mathematical instruments. The Dixey family took over in 1824, serving seven more crowns of England, the royal households of nine nations and the emperors of China, France and India.


‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ Winston Churchill’s words are borne out by these heritage brands, who’ve made provenance the seed of survival. BILL PRINCE reports


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During two and a half centuries of highs and lows, the company remained a quintessential English family business, always passed between relatives and friends. By the millennium its glory days were gone, but that long tradition of familial support became the seed of its renaissance. In 2006 a saviour emerged in the shape of Simon Palmer, whose parents had bought out a friend’s interest in the business – but who sadly didn’t live to see the company taken right back to its roots. ‘It felt like a battlefield promotion,’ recalls their son, now managing director. A trained accountant, Palmer Jr could have sold the trademark to one of the ‘big three’ eyewear companies or chosen to license production to a bigger player. Instead, he opted to go it alone, undertaking a great deal of detective work (unearthing three ‘lost’ royal warrants along the way) and boning up on skills he’d never needed at Arthur Andersen in order to bring CW Dixey back to life. He started off with a small line of frames he dubbed Chartwell, after the country home of perhaps its greatest advocate, and ultimately patron, Sir Winston Churchill. Palmer’s success in rebooting CW Dixey


FROM ABOVE: Yard-OLed has been trading since 1934 but was brought back to life in 2015; Churchill wearing CW Dixey frames in 1943 and the model’s current incarnation

Great British Brands 2020

underlines the challenges many small independent companies face today, but also highlights the opportunities open to a brand with a story to tell in a crowded but provenance-starved marketplace. Beyond sourcing, developing and selling his beautifully packaged acetate frames (he leaves the opthalmic needs of his customers to a small coterie of specialists, including the equally storied Burnett Hodd & Tam of Devonshire Street, Marylebone), Palmer’s skill has been to harness the legacy of a brand that might otherwise have been lost to history. He’s not alone. Born out of the 18th-century business that invented the propelling pencil, Yard-O-Led has traded successfully since its founding in 1934, thanks to an enterprising jeweller from Pforzheim in Germany, Ludwig Brenner, who filed a patent for a pencil capable of carrying not one but 12 three-inch leads – hence Yard-O-Led. The Blitz forced it to relocate to the jewellery quarter of Birmingham, but the business continued to thrive, becoming a global concern when it was acquired by the group promoting that ’80s everyday essential, the Filofax. But as sales of personal organisers declined, so did Yard-O-Led’s fortunes, until in 2014 it was bought by turnaround specialist Robin Field of Imperial Yard. Today, Field’s daughter Emma is CEO, and brings her expertise as a watch specialist and branding consultant to bear on its 200-year-old technology. In line with high end watchmaking, Yard-O-Led’s propelling pencils, fountain pens and rollerballs are all made by hand and feature unique chasing on their sterling silver barrels. It’s necessarily a pricey product but Ms Field believes the future of the company lies in a more accessible line, perfect for presents: ‘It’s like a watch,’ she says, ‘in that of course it tells the time, but that’s not why you buy it. This is a luxury product, it’s completely unique, and there’s something very special that you pass down through the generations.’ But there is nothing like pure provenance COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 57

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to propel a brand into the nation’s affections. Take the revitalisation of another UK-based, globally renowned company, Connolly. Founded in 1878 as a saddler and shoemaker, it built its reputation supplying the coach-builders of pre-war luxury motor marques, and Connolly’s specially treated leathers have graced the benches of the Houses of Parliament and the Sir Terence Conran-designed seats aboard Concorde. Since 1997, however, it’s the closest the UK has come to producing the holy grail in terms of luxury retailing: an ‘English Hermès’. Connolly’s first foray into lifestyle design came after the late fashion retailer Joseph Ettedgui and his wife Isabel saw that the brand could move on from upscale upholstery into clothing. As creative director, Isabel sold leather blousons, belts, gloves and briefcases – alongside similarly rarefied staples by luxury brands such as Car Shoe and Charvet – from an Andrée Putman-designed former stable block in London’s Knightsbridge. In 2000 the Ettedguis bought the brand, opening a new, larger store on Conduit Street that swiftly became a magnet for an increasingly global group of taste-mongers in search of discreet luxury with a judicious hint of heritage. Sadly, Joseph’s death in 2010 led to its closure, but in 2016 Isabel opened a new Connolly at No. 4 Clifford Street. Here, the balance between past and present is finely tuned; alongside leather samples for the Ferrari owner in search of a finishing flourish for their supercharged steed, the Georgian townhouse offers objets d’art, a wide range of accessories, knitwear and small leather goods, together with a seasonal selection of gender-neutral tailored clothing designed by Marc Audibet. Autumn 2019 saw its first collaboration, a partnership with Charles March, the 11th Duke of Richmond and owner of Goodwood racing track, selling a clothing range inspired by his grandfather, racing driver Freddie Settrington, from a Connolly pop-up in Claridge’s hotel. It has built a faithful fan base, particularly among those who understand its design-focused, detail-obsessed approach. Isabel herself sums up her creed as, ‘Edit it better, make it smaller and make it more personal. Don’t lose the thread, don’t lose the narrative, don’t lose the customer.’ And then there’s Sunspel, founded in Nottinghamshire by the enterprising Thomas Hill in 1860. After the 1929 crash, this family

company focussed on producing cool, comfortable underwear using Sea Island Cotton. Sunspel brought the iconic boxer short to the UK in 1947, which took a starring role 40 years later in the equally iconic Levi’s ‘Launderette’ commercial featuring model Nick Kamen. The company had nevertheless failed to keep pace with changes in the marketplace by the end of the century and the Hill family sold it to former barrister Nicholas Brooke and his business partner Dominic Hazlehurst in 2005 – an opportunity, then, for two keen entrepreneurs to renew Sunspel’s status as a luxury underwear provider, with Sea Island Cotton again the key selling point. More recently, the new owners of menswear staple Kent & Curwen have achieved similar results by doubling down on a varsity heritage (rugby shirts, cricket jumpers and natty satin-trimmed blazers) to create a modern take on sportswear under the watchful eye of creative director, Daniel Kearns. They took advantage of some gritty styling opportunities in the hit TV series Peaky Blinders, assisted by brand partner David Beckham and his son Brooklyn. Tanner Krolle, the British-born case-maker to the stars (Cary Grant was a fan), was founded

FROM ABOVE: Cary Grant was often spotted toting a Tanner Krolle bag; Tanner Krolle has relaunched its beautiful leather collection; Connolly A/W’19 campaign and A/W’19 jacket


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in 1856 and has enjoyed one of the more topsyturvy rides in terms of luxury labels over the years, having seen its workshops in Islington sold to Dunhill in the 1990s and been relaunched as a full-line retail brand under the auspices of Chanel before being sold again in the early noughties. Now controlled by a small private investment group, the highly regarded luggage brand (Princes William and Harry hauled theirs to Eton) recently announced its rebirth with a bespoke trunk, created to display the collection of British jeweller Harry Fane, and now sold directly from its own London townhouse. It’s hard to underestimate the importance of the internet in developing brand stories in this way, but it also acts as a supportive ‘soft play’ environment for those wishing to incubate small businesses before launching into the mainstream. Watch hounds will be familiar with Vertex, a leading supplier of military-spec timepieces to an online audience that’s devoted to its derring-do design. Founded by Claude Lyons in 1916, Vertex developed its reputation for hardwearing, simple to use watches after the British military bought large numbers during WWII. The arrival of quartz in the ‘70s forced it to close, until Claude’s greatgrandson Don Cochrane reanimated Vertex as a business by launching an invitation-only sale of the all-new Vertex M100 (based on a wartime model) in 2016. Since then it’s launched two more timepieces, including a handsome, limited edition, all-black automatic chronograph in DLC (diamond-like coating). Today, though sourced and assembled in Switzerland, its appeal still lies in its historic connection with the British army and its British design. It’s not just meticulously assembled timepieces or oneof-a-kind propelling pencils that can ignite the public imagination. When Gleneagles, the century-old Scottish golf resort, was put up for sale in 2015 by its owner, Diageo, it fell to a frequent visitor with family

FROM ABOVE: Don Cochrane, the great-grandson of the founder of Vertex, revived the brand in 2016; Vertex’s workshop in Hatton Garden; Gleneagles once more attracts the bright young things from London and beyond

connections in the area to recognise the potential of the slumbering giant. Property developer Sharan Pasricha, of Ennismore, saw the one-time Ryder Cup and G8 Summit venue in a new light, building on its rakish reputation in the Roaring Twenties as the venue of some pretty spectacular house parties, while updating and improving on its natural assets: a globally renowned location, endless country pursuits and, of course, that world-class golf course. And instead of simply dialling up the conferencing and golfing weekends, Pasricha has re-envisaged Gleneagles’ interwar flowering as a playground for the Barbour-clad demi-monde, by creating a chic, contemporary take on country house living that’s busily attracting bright young things from the capital and beyond. Not so much dormant as quietly dozing, this grand dame of a destination underlines the case for reconsidering those brands that might not shout loudest but most definitely have something to say. n Bill Prince is the deputy editor of British GQ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 59

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Great British Brands 2020


London is one of the world’s most magnificent cities, but not many can afford to live there. These property entrepreneurs, however, are set to change the status quo. Roll up, says CHARLOTTE METCALF


ith the political and economic uncertainty that Britain has faced this year, it’s not surprising that conversation about property has turned despondent. Whether we’re grumbling about the value of our house plummeting or bemoaning our inability to gain a foothold on the property ladder, discussing London property prices quickly leads to gloom. But this issue is celebrating optimism and, while we might be glumly focussing on our own property problems, a handful of clever entrepreneurs is leading a quiet revolution to transform our capital into a happier, healthier and more beautiful place.

The London skyline from UNCLE’s Elephant & Castle property

Blazing a trail is Pocket Living (, based in Covent Garden and founded by Dutch-born Marc Vlessing. His mission is to build homes for people he calls the ‘city makers’ – teachers, nurses, chefs, engineers, designers and web wizards who make London tick. ‘Day and night these people are a dynamic force in our city, adding to its vitality and creativity. We exist to help them,’ says Vlessing. ‘In Holland we think about the middle but here prices are squeezing young professionals out to the edge.’ Vlessing believes that cities lose their sense of congregation and purpose if travelling around them becomes too difficult and prohibitively expensive. Pocket Living achieved a breakthrough when it persuaded planning regulators that 37 sq/m was an acceptable living space. Though extremely compact, Pocket Living’s flats are carefully designed to maximise space and can accommodate a couple, even with a small child, representing a big step beyond the typical matchbox-sized flats usually available to first-time buyers. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 61

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Plus, all are in areas near enough to central London to make the daily commute bearable. You can only sell on a Pocket Living flat to someone else in the area, preventing wealthy developers from muscling in and raising prices. These are homes for young professionals who want to put down roots and build a community. In June 2018, chiming with what Pocket Living was already doing, Policy Exchange, a Conservative think tank, published the report, Building More, Building Beautiful. It suggested that new houses should be more attractive and built within easy reach of greenery, shops, schools, health and sports centres, thus creating a sense of community. Jack Airey, Policy Exchange’s head of housing, co-authored the report and says, ‘London needs 300,000 new homes a year and we wanted to inject some optimism into the debate over what they should be like. Politicians usually talk about “units” not

Small but perfectly formed: Pocket Living’s accommodation maximises space


ABOVE & BELOW: Mason & Fifth launched The Italian Building – an eco-friendly development with 28 luxury studio apartments

“homes”, alienating real people who have to live in them. Houses used to be built round village greens, town squares, near churches or high streets and traditional purpose-built Victorian terraces were mostly quite beautiful. Philosopher Alain de Botton calls the majority of our new estates the “turkey twizzlers” of architecture. If we build ugly homes, how do we expect people to turn out when research proves that beauty lifts the spirits and makes people healthier and happier?’ Ben Prevezer would agree, as co-founder and CEO of Mason & Fifth, a company delivering a new ‘conscious communal living concept’ focused around wellbeing. Like Marc Vlessing, he spotted that a new housing model was needed for young professionals. ‘Rents swallow so much of our income so living spaces need to be better,’ says Prevezer. ‘There’s such a prevalent movement around health and wellbeing but it usually starts when you leave your front door and head for the juice bar or gym. Why can’t that start at home? Our ‘well-living’ concept is a combination of healthy, nourishing spaces, a buzzing creative community and a progressive cultural programme to spark radical ideas. Everyone has a hectic lifestyle and young people are resigned to being on the work treadmill, but they also want to rest, reset and engage with like-minded people. We’ve done lots of focus groups and believe our formula will allow London’s renters to live more joyfully.’ In October Mason & Fifth launched The Italian Building near Maltby Street Market and London Bridge. The eco-friendly, sustainable development contains 28 luxury studio apartments with a focus on communal areas. There are housekeepers to keep toiletries stocked and change the sheets, a gym with fitness trainers, a yoga and meditation studio, bike sharing scheme, cinema, cultural programme and planned excursions. Nutrition is key so there’s a kitchen garden, a resident chef cooking meals and packed lunches for residents and a fully-stocked communal larder. Of the hundreds that have applied, residents are ‘curated’ on the basis of what they’ll commit to the group. ‘You’re joining a community that is focused on living well, having fun and doing better, says Prevezer. ‘It’s about reclaiming the magic of city-life.’ Another company meeting the demand for convenience living is UNCLE, founded in 2017 by Ryan Prince. From his background in hotels and hospitality, Prince’s mission is to take the ‘lord’ attitude out of being a landlord. ‘Renters are tired of being treated like second-class citizens,’ he says. ‘I want to bring the industry into the 21st century.’ UNCLE offers design-savvy apartments in Stockwell,


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New Cross and Elephant & Castle (as well as Manchester). It also guarantees risk-free trials, routine repairs, flexibility to change flats, on-site property managers and great internet speeds. Then there is Londonewcastle, a design-led, Fitzrovia-based property developer of three decades’ standing, described by The Evening Standard as ‘the Soho House of the property world’. Recent projects include The Otto opposite Hackney Downs, The Makers in Shoreditch and the redevelopment of Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower in Poplar. Chapter House, a beautifully refurbished Victorian building in Covent Garden, represents Londonewcastle’s first venture into interior design, with 40 new apartments. They now have plans for more than 2,800 new homes over the next five years. ‘We feel really optimistic,’ says founder and COO Robert Soning. ‘It’s been great to see The Otto so well received among locals and it’s drawn new people into the area because there’s nothing like it there, with its views across the city and our attention to detail and the finishes. We’re really confident about The Makers and Chapter House too. Holding our nerve and keeping optimistic is the key to getting through this period of ambiguity and undoubtedly there’s more than enough to be optimistic about.’ Londonewcastle also prides itself on its Street Art Programme, which allows street artists to invigorate an area culturally by using its buildings during planning and development as vast canvases. So too Native Land, another top development company, breathed new energy into the Thames South Bank with its acclaimed NEO Bankside, comprising 217 apartments and penthouses in four

Great British Brands 2020

Londonewcastle recently launched The Otto in Hackney Downs and Chapter House (below) in Covent Garden with 40 new apartments

Native Land has contributed £50m towards affordable homes

pavilions near Tate Modern. Known for outstanding residences and mixed-use developments across the capital, from Bankside Yard to South Kensington Tube Station, Native Land has shown an inclusive, caring attitude to city residents by consistently providing affordable homes across the city. Since its formation in 2003 it has contributed £50 million towards affordable homes in several boroughs, many in areas where there is high demand and low supply, like at Cheyne Terrace in Chelsea. At the top end of the market, London also has much to look forward to. Chelsea Barracks, now Duke of York’s Square, was inaccessible for over 150 years but has been transformed into one of the world’s most desirable addresses, with its own club containing business suites, a spa, health club and cinema. PDP London has developed 13 townhouses within the development, carefully preserving London’s fine Georgian townhouse heritage while ensuring the spaces are attractive to contemporary buyers who are looking for lateral space, open plan living and five-star amenities. Cadogan, a property manager, investor and developer with a family history dating back 300 years, is committed to protecting and enhancing the entire area. ‘Seeing Duke of York Square transformed from a military base to a leisure destination, including the Saatchi Gallery and an architecturally awardwinning restaurant, is evidence of our ability to take a holistic approach to placemaking,’ says Cadogan CEO Hugh Seaborn. ‘By listening to the community and working closely with our retail partners, we’re creating outstanding experiences and places where people want to spend time, like recently completed COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 63

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Great British Brands 2020


Chelsea Barracks has been opened to the public for the first time in 150 years, giving high-end buyers the chance to invest in a PDP London-designed townhouse

Pavilion Road, which has become a hub for independent artisans, with a butcher, baker, cheesemonger and fishmonger, making it feel like the heart of a village and uplifting the spirits of neighbouring residents and visitors alike.’ As one of the landowners on the King’s Road, Cadogan has taken the lead on unifying the community. ‘Retail is facing a seismic shift with the challenge from online shopping,’ continues Seaborn, ‘so we want to ensure King’s Road’s heritage as the world’s most famous high street, while encouraging an open-mindedness, with a really good mix of retail and leisure, experiences and events.’ Aside from Chelsea Barracks, PDP London has remastered John Nash’s Regent’s Crescent, representing London’s only Grade I-listed new build. With its lofty ceilings and access to beautiful landscaped gardens, Regent’s Crescent demonstrates London’s superb ability to innovate and adapt its heritage creatively, resulting in world-class contemporary properties. Then there’s Number One Palace Street,

spanning over 28,000 sq/m opposite Buckingham Palace. It encompasses five different architectural styles: 1860s Grade II-listed Italian Renaissance, 1880s French Renaissance and French Beaux Arts, 1890s Queen Anne as well as contemporary design. The property will include 72 apartments, underground parking, a communal courtyard garden, restaurant, health centre with pool and spa, plus concierge. Various facades are being restored and remodelled, including a contemporary frontage onto Palace Street, designed with Squire and Partners. The design references the building’s heritage so the exterior translates seamlessly into the interior. After Policy Exchange produced its 2018 report, James Brokenshire, then Theresa May’s housing minister, set up the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, headed by Sir Roger Scruton. It cemented awareness among planners and policy makers that ugly houses are no longer acceptable. Jack Airey points to the aristocratic landowners who are building legacy developments all over Britain – such as the Duke and Duchess of Fife’s 8,000-home new town of Chapelton, being built on their Elsick estate in Aberdeenshire. A forerunner of these developments was Poundbury in Dorset, Prince Charles’ initiative. HRH is now championing Nansledan, an extension of Newquay in Cornwall, by a consortium of the region’s building companies in partnership with the Duchy of Cornwall. Prince Charles said the development should ‘enhance the quality of life, strengthen the bonds of community and place, and give people a sense of pride in where they live.’ This June, the government published Creating Space for Beauty and a final report is due by the end of the new year. ‘I’m optimistic because politicians from across the board now support this move towards beauty,’ says Airey. ‘People used to say you can’t talk about beauty but now people don’t want to shut up about it.’ And what could be firmer ground for optimism than that? n

ABOVE & BELOW: PDP London remastered John Nash’s Regent’s Crescent, London’s only Grade I-listed new-build


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Midi Mayfair Bag - £550




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TEL: + 44 (0) 1428 648180 REGENT ST





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Great British Brands 2020


ALEXANDER MCQUEEN The house that embodies both the history and future of fashion


his year is the tenth anniversary of award-winning designer Sarah Burton’s appointment as Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, where she has married the house design codes and heritage with her own sensibilities and lightness of touch, cementing its place in both fashion’s history and future. The past year has been a landmark for Burton; rooted in British culture, her collections have garnered increasing critical acclaim and her latest womenswear collection for Spring /Summer 2020 drew inspiration from Northern Irish linen, its farming, production and manufacture. Here clothing was designed with the spirit of community in mind – people taking the time to think, talk and make things together.

Founded in 1992 by the uncompromising and hugely talented designer Lee Alexander McQueen, in less than ten years the house became one of the most respected in the world

The collection’s embroideries were taken from sketches created by students from a Central Saint Martins MA Fashion life-drawing class, held in the new flagship store on Old Bond Street, which opened in 2019. The three-storey store introduces a new retail design concept and was conceived by Burton in collaboration with architect Smiljan Radic. The top floor is dedicated to inspiring emerging talent and has held archival pieces by Lee Alexander McQueen and Burton. Unlocking Stories, the first of a series of exhibitions curated by Burton, explores the creative process behind the garments, and opened in February. This was followed by a second exhibition, Roses, a beloved house symbol, at the end of 2019. Integral to the house’s culture is the juxtaposition of contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and innovation. The collections combine British tailoring with the finesse of French haute couture and the finish of Italian ready-to-wear. Founded in 1992 by the uncompromising and hugely talented designer Lee Alexander McQueen, in less than ten years the house became one of the most respected in the world. McQueen was as an apprentice for Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard and Gieves & Hawkes before moving to theatrical costumiers Angels and Berman’s and completing his MA Fashion Design course at Central Saint Martins. His graduate collection was bought in its entirety by British fashion editor Isabella Blow. Sarah Burton met McQueen in 1996, completed her degree at Central Saint Martins in 1997 and immediately joined the company. She became Head of Design, womenswear, in 2000. Sarah Burton was presented with the CFDA International Award in 2019 and named Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2012. That same year Time magazine listed her as one of its 100 most influential people and she was awarded an OBE for services to the British fashion industry. In 2011, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York organised the retrospective Savage Beauty to recognise Lee Alexander McQueen’s achievements. In 2015 the V&A hosted the exhibition, adding a brand new ‘London’ gallery as well of several of Sarah Burton’s designs. It was to become the most visited exhibition in the museum’s history.

Black Leather Story bag

Alexander McQueen 27 Old Bond Street London W1S 4QE +44 (0)20 7355 0088 alexandermcqueen


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Great British Brands 2020



Clothing, body and skincare, made from the finest natural ingredients


arole Bamford has been championing ways to live sustainably and mindfully for over 40 years. She is the owner and founder of Daylesford Organic, one of Britain’s most pioneering organic farms. In 2006 Carole launched Bamford, inspired by her belief that what we put on our body is as important as what we put into it. Bamford sells beautiful, consciously-created clothing and homewares crafted from natural fibres and materials, as well as body and skincare products made from organic and botanical ingredients. Ultimately, Bamford is a philosophy rather than a label, a way of life rather than a quick fix. ‘Bamford rejects the throwaway culture of modern living; we choose to respect nature’s resources and ensure they live on for the generations that follow us,’ says Carole. ‘We trace our footsteps: from the environmental impact of the ingredients, fibres, dyes and the water we use, right through to our social responsibility. Our products are beautifully considered, rich in meaning and quality, with a story we can be proud of.’ All of the brand’s luxury clothing is made with the highest attention to detail

Inspired by Carole Bamford’s belief that what we put on our body is as important as what we put into it... Bamford is a philosophy rather than a label 70 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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ABOVE: Geranium hand and body lotion; botanic body oil; B Silent night-time pillow mist; geranium bath oil; botanic nature balm; B Silent temple balm

and finish, with textiles brought to life through exceptional craftsmanship. Collections are a timeless combination of texture, form and tone, inspired by the desire to design clothes that transcend the concept of being bound to a season. The pieces celebrate the generosity of nature’s resources but are above all a reflection of the designers’ deep respect for them. Complementing Bamford’s clothing line are its body and bath collections, designed to nourish and nurture body and soul. Made from naturally sourced and, where possible, certified organic ingredients, the products are formulated using the brand’s signature blends of aromatic essential oils – geranium, chamomile, rose and rosemary

– chosen for their fragrance as well as their active properties. Many of the brand’s face and body care products are certified by the Soil Association, which assesses the entire manufacturing process, from the sourcing of ingredients, energy and water usage right through to environmental waste management plans, premises and packaging. The brand aims to have all products certified in the future. ‘Being sustainable is not a choice,’ says Carole, ‘it is a way of life. We make clothing and create products, and to do so we use the earth’s resources, but there are things we can do to lessen our environmental impact. This needs to start with a careful assessment of our entire supply chain – to trace it right back to the raw materials and to look at where those products may end up – and when.’ The brand is constantly pursuing new ways to prevent waste and lessen its environmental footprint to remain true to its ethos of treading lightly upon the earth. It believes in quality, not quantity – garments made slowly, in limited numbers, using sustainable, cruelty-free materials and dyes that won’t release any hazardous chemicals and will biodegrade and be returned to the soil at the end of their life.

Bamford bamford


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A global success story celebrates a milestone year

The story began in 1894 with founder John Barbour supplying weatherresistant oilskins to sailors and fishermen Barbour Simonside South Shields Tyne and Wear NE34 9PD +44 (0)1914 274210 barbour


019 has been a milestone year for Barbour as it celebrated its 125th birthday – a time to reflect on longevity, family and the endurance of British manufacturing. Barbour is still wholly family owned (now fifth generation), a global success story sold in over 40 countries worldwide and the proud holder of three Royal Warrants. The story began in 1894 in South Shields in the North East of England with founder John Barbour supplying weather-resistant oilskins and other garments designed to protect the growing community of sailors, fishermen and dockers. During the First and Second World Wars, the firm produced outdoor clothing for the military and Barbour’s superior Ursula suit became standard issue for members of the Submarine Service in World War Two. In 1936, Barbour created the wax cotton International Motorcycle suit, sported by almost every rider on the International Six Day Trials (ISDT) circuit from the 1930s to the 1970s and brought to fame by actor Steve McQueen as a member of the US team in the 1964 ISDT. In the 1980s, Dame Margaret Barbour was to design the famous three

wax jackets destined to make Barbour a household name – the Bedale, the Beaufort and the Border. As Barbour celebrates this year, the Bedale and the Beaufort remain bestsellers and are still made at the brand’s South Shields factory. As it continues to evolve, Barbour’s challenge is to ensure that customers are aware of the breadth of its offering, which spans classic apparel including shirts and knitwear through to accessories, footwear and even a range for dogs. To support this, it has launched #barbourwayoflife, connecting consumers worldwide with Barbour, inviting them to share their interpretation of the Barbour lifestyle and generating over 70 million social impressions to date. Sustainability is also increasingly important and Barbour is constantly looking at best practices and innovation in this area. A wax jacket is incredibly resilient and long-lasting if taken care of and Barbour offers a special service in which jackets can be returned at any time to customer services to be rewaxed or repaired. 2020 sees the continuation of fashionforward womenswear collaborations with ALEXACHUNG and Emma Bridgewater for women, and New York-based Engineered Garments for men. A country-inspired Wilderness Collection for both men and women has also been launched with presenters Ben and Marina Fogle. Inspired by Barbour’s motorcycle heritage dating back to 1936, Barbour International – now a standalone brand – is one of the fastest growing areas of the business, offering a bike-inspired alternative to the country look with minimalist designs for men and sophisticated athleisure for women. A key element is the Barbour International Steve McQueen collection, which will celebrate its 18th season in 2020. Childrenswear was also relaunched in Autumn Winter 2019 and the brand now offers ‘mini me’ Barbour and Barbour International collections for boys and girls, ideal for the playground or weekends outdoors. Displaying an unerring ability to move with the times but stay true to its heritage, this much-loved brand will surely be celebrating anniversaries way into the future.


Great British Brands 2020


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Dame Margaret Barbour; men’s and child’s Gabbie quilt and Mariner tee; women’s Barbour Subtropic jacket


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Great British Brands 2020



The cashmere label with Scottish roots


rora is one of Britain’s best-loved cashmere brands, producing luxury knitwear and beautiful clothing for the whole family. With a focus initially on Scottish cashmere, Brora has grown into a fully-fledged fashion label, producing exciting seasonal collections each year. However, the brand is not about fast fashion: instead it creates designs which are made to last, from the highest quality fabrics and yarns. All of Brora’s cashmere is sourced from the native goat of the Mongolian plateau and is of grade A quality with all coarse ‘guard hairs’ carefully removed. Up to seven shades are combined to create each of its cashmere colours, resulting in a vast depth of tones, which are unique to the industry. Regular investment in the latest technology, combined with skills passed down through generations of local families, ensure each piece can be enjoyed for years to come. Over 50 processes are involved in making a single cashmere jumper at one of the oldest mills in Scotland, where all of Brora’s cashmere is made by talented craftspeople. This level of attention to detail is what gives every

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Victoria Stapleton, founder and creative director at Brora; Brora’s A/W’19 collection; raw cashmere fibres; Erin O’Connor, Laura Bailey and Helena Bonham Carter collaborated with the brand in 2019

Brora +44 (0)3456 599944 broracashmere


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In 2019, Brora was proud to have supported Save the Children through a collaboration with Helena Bonham Carter, Erin O’Connor and Laura Bailey

garment a luxurious finish. In addition, a dedicated team of highly skilled hand-knitters produces much of Brora’s babies’ and children’s knitwear and accessories. Brora was founded in 1993 by Creative Director and sole owner, Victoria Stapleton. A History of Art graduate from the University of East Anglia, Victoria was chosen to oversee Hunters of Brora’s retail business when her family bought the 100-year-old tweed mill. This signalled the beginnings of what would become one of the most renowned cashmere brands. Just two years after Brora’s inception, its first boutique was opened in London’s Chelsea. Today there are a number of stores across the Capital: in Sloane Square, Marylebone High Street, Covent Garden and on the King’s Road, plus regionally in Edinburgh, Bath and Oxford, as well as Brora’s first US store, on New York’s Madison Avenue. Alongside Brora’s website, these shops offer luxury cashmere and beautiful clothing designs to be enjoyed by customers of all ages. London Fashion Week collaborations have been a regular feature of Brora’s Autumn/Winter collections since 2011 and have celebrated a whole host of talented designers including Teatum Jones, Louise Gray, Michael van der Ham, Sophie Dahl and Eudon Choi. In 2019, Brora was proud to have supported Save the Children through a collaboration with Helena Bonham Carter, Erin O’Connor and Laura Bailey, from which ten per cent of profits went to help children build a better future. The exclusive collaboration followed the success of a dream cashmere collection with Emma Thompson, Kirstie Allsopp and Daisy Lowe as part of the brand’s 25th anniversary celebrations. While Brora continues to grow and evolve as a brand, supporting British manufacturing and producing quality designs that are made to last, will always remain core values for the business. Victoria Stapleton says, ‘We are a quintessentially British brand and we’ll continue to remain true to our quirky, vintage-inspired self while moving with the turn of fashion’s wheel each season.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 75

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Great British Brands 2020


CLEMENTS AND CHURCH British tailoring’s best-kept secret


lements and Church is an independent British tailoring brand that provides bespoke wardrobe solutions for style savvy gentlemen. For formal occasions it offers custom-made suits, jackets, shirts and smart alternatives for business or casual wear, from chinos and jersey shirts to sneakers. Founded in Birmingham in 2007, the brand has a reputation not just for beautifully finished garments but for the quality of the cloth it uses, sourcing some of the finest fabrics in the world. Its particular expertise lies in delivering the all-important perfect fit and it does that as much for everyday clothes as for outfits for a special occasion, such as a groom’s wedding suit. Fans of the brand also love the ability to personalise their shirts or suits with flamboyant linings or monogrammed initials. Clements and Church has five stores in the UK; Beaconsfield, Oxford, Leamington Spa, Solihull and Birmingham. Many clients enjoy being part of the design process and can go into any of the boutiques to see a 3D render of a suit in the cloth they choose before a tailor measures them. After a bespoke pattern is accurately created using

To become fully sustainable, the brand has spent the last two years adapting to be a fully custommade operation


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technology, everything is done by hand, from the suit’s creation, sewing and finishing, to ensure the precise fit that the brand excels at. Clements and Church also offers its Travelling Tailor Service, comprising a tailor’s visit to home or work, also hosting trunk shows across the globe. Ever happy to go the extra mile for its clients, one head tailor recently travelled to Turkey for ex-footballer Rio Ferdinand’s wedding to ensure that the ties of his ten groomsmen were perfectly aligned. Some clients are so invested in their Clements and Church suits that they wish to understand more about the tailoring process, so Clements and Church took a group of clients on a road trip to Biella in Italy to visit some of the fabric mills

the brand works with, such as Delfino and family-run artisan mill Ferla. Clements and Church is deeply conscious that the detrimental impact of fast fashion on the environment is an increasing concern for many. To become fully sustainable, the brand has spent the last two years adapting to be a fully custom-made operation, thus avoiding the huge waste of textiles that occurs with a ready-to-wear manufacturing model. This represents the brand’s serious commitment to the environment and its ability to respond to its customers’ concerns. It’s this combination of adaptability with its artisan skills of which Clements and Church is particularly proud. For Clements and Church, this highly creative, flexible approach – that embraces both traditional craftsmanship and new technology – is what bring British is all about. Clements and Church is entering 2020 with great optimism. It is looking forward to developing and launching a new label, which will offer handmade tailoring to women in response to clients’ requests. Meanwhile, its bespoke shoe platform will continue evolving and the brand will offer custom-made casual shoes to sit alongside its formal shoes, boots and sneakers.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Navy check baby alpaca double breasted suit worn with navy merino wool roll neck knit; black wool single breasted suit worn with white shirt and polka dot tie; check wool jacket, grey jersey shirt, charcoal merino wool half-zip knit, grey washed jeans and grey leather Chelsea boots; plum velvet smoking jacket worn with black flannel trousers, white dress shirt and black velvet bow tie; black leather sneakers and navy suede high tops (all items are custom made)

Clements and Church clementsandchurch


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Great British Brands 2020



Curated selling service for stylish individuals with overflowing wardrobes


n an era in which the fashion industry’s environmental impact is under increasingly intense scrutiny, a user-friendly online concierge service that lengthens the lifetime of your once-cherished, finely-crafted designer pieces looks set to be onto a good thing. ‘Our mission,’ says founder James HarfordTyrer, ‘is to take the time and hassle out of selling pre-loved luxury. Selling high-quality items shouldn’t be a burden – it should be a rewarding experience that is both convenient and enjoyable.’ Founded in 2017, Cudoni recognises and celebrates the way in which luxury clothes, handbags, jewellery and shoes are, more often than not, crafted to last. To add weight to this, consumers are currently thinking more actively and responsibly about minimising waste. With time itself considered a luxury – particularly for successful people with busy lifestyles – an imaginative and seamless way to declutter their wardrobes and homes is an attractive proposition. Cudoni’s three-part promise encompasses convenience, simplicity and trust. The process – an effortless way, it says, for sellers to get started – begins online and is then backed up by a very human, 360-degree customer service that includes a brief phone consultation, home collections, item authentication, expert valuations and professional photography and packaging. It then utilises multiple selling channels, listing every item on a variety of international marketplaces, in the local languages where applicable. The rarest items are extended directly to its network of private buyers. In just two years, Cudoni has built a core community of sellers and buyers who love fashion and fine craftsmanship, appreciating and trusting the brand’s smooth and transparent client journey. Cudoni’s name in fact derives from one of its first customers and an avid fan of the service, Countess Antonella Cudone, who says, ‘I’m delighted to have seen the Cudoni brand flourish. For me, it’s the ultimate service; James and the team have made selling pre-owned luxury so enjoyably simple.’ The site carries an impressive roster of several hundred

brand names, including such luxury classics as Prada, Cartier and Hermès (and yes, you can sell or buy a vintage Birkin if you’re lucky). Welcoming 2020, Cudoni is underlining its credentials as a business that fosters awareness of environmental impact. ‘Enabling designer classics to pass through more than one pair of hands is rewarding for both the seller and the environment; continuing to be as sustainably progressive as possible is a goal we consistently pursue, and this will remain a focus for 2020,’ says Harford-Tyrer. With its insider knowledge and spirited dedication to fashion, the Cudoni team recognises that, historically, the start of a new decade is generally a defining moment for the industry’s design visionaries and skilled artisan-creators. So while the Cudoni service, by definition, celebrates the influential and revolutionary designers of the past, it is also looking forward to seeing new creations from those emerging designers who will play a prominent role in shaping the coming decade of fashion.

Its name derives from one of its first customers and an avid fan of the service, Countess Antonella Cudone, who says, ‘I’m delighted to have seen it flourish’

Cudoni 86-90 Paul Street London EC2A 4NE +44 (0)20 3823 6093 cudoniuk


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The iconic Hermès Birkin handbag & Louis Vuitton men’s wallet. From timeless to statement pieces, Cudoni takes care of selling your pre-loved luxury

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Kitty Cat, release the dream; Sadie boiler suit in Fawcett blue; Rizzo in grey and Baby Army in leopard

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Great British Brands 2020

DONNA IDA Jean Queen combining British tailoring with Australian wit


he founder of the denim-based fashion brand, Donna Ida, was born and raised in Sydney, but it was London that sparked the label’s launch in 2012. Having lived and worked there for over ten years, Donna Ida Thornton struggled to find truly comfortable jeans that could both fit and flatter. When a friend suggested she launch her own denim brand, she gutsily grasped the challenge and was subsequently hailed by Grazia magazine as the ‘jeans genius’. Donna Ida focuses on high-waisted jeans and statement allin-ones designed with women’s bodies in mind. Thornton was inspired by her grandmother, Ida, who was well known for her style in rural Australia and made her own patterns, dressing family and friends. The brand shaped its core collection around an imaginary group of close friends seen as Ida’s modern-day girl squad, playfully represented by jeans that suited their personalities. Leggy Ivy was a high-top skinny jean, the more conservative Jeanie was a cigarette leg and Rizzo, the fun girl about town, an ankle skinny. things, and keeping this In 2015 directional denim shapes entered connection as simple as the collection, with Sadie the boiler suit possible is key.’ causing a stir, followed by Dolly, a fitted Thornton sees all-in-one with a seductive centre zip. the biggest challenge Cassandra, a retro-style jumpsuit, was in fashion as moving launched in 2019 and modelled on forward in a more a vintage 1950s shape to create an considered and elongated hourglass figure. Thornton sustainable way. ‘I’ve discovered Cassandra’s distinct style when always thought it better borrowing a friend’s grandmother’s denim to buy less, but to buy jumpsuit, who bought it originally as an outfit investment pieces. We’re in which to watch the car races. ‘The jumpsuit, working closely with our or boiler suit, is genuinely versatile,’ says factories on ethical and Thornton. ‘It can take you from boardroom sustainable solutions and to bar, with just a simple shoe change. It is we are transparent about sexy, stylish and modern, and you don’t have how all of our items are to worry about finding items to complement it.’ made, the materials used and The past 12 months have seen the brand the people behind the products.’ focusing on its pop-up programme. ‘We’re very Thornton brings an optimistic about our pop-up stores – in the past approachability to the brand they have always been so well received. We love which has a refreshingly going on the road and meeting our customers, Australian spirit but she maintains who in turn love to meet the brand and get that the heart of the business is in a personal fitting. In 2019 we travelled to New London and the fit and quality are York, Hong Kong and all over Britain to fit women British. The crossover, she thinks, in their perfect pair of jeans,’ says Thornton. comes with the sense of humour: ‘Direct to consumer has always worked for us, as ‘The British and Australian sense our customers want to meet us. I am also able to of humours are so similar. I like focus on the two things that I really love – product to bring this to the brand.’ and people. All retail is, is connecting those two

Thornton was inspired by her grandmother, Ida, who was well known for her style in rural Australia and made her own patterns

Donna Ida +44 (0)7484 909150 donnaida donnaidadenim


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Waterloo coat in fern Copley silk velvet and Marie dress in acorn Connaught silk; marine velvet dinner jacket; double breasted waistcoat in Evering pink

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Great British Brands 2020


A perfect blend of tradition and flamboyance


ith the men’s and women’s stores both now well established on London’s Pall Mall, Favourbrook has much to be proud of and optimistic about. Doubtless we are living in an era of unprecedented uncertainty but, if history is anything to go by, one thing we can be sure of is a collective and intrinsically British sense of resilience and bravado. In hard times, people often turn to dressing up as a happy distraction. It’s this need to evade gloom, coupled with a renewed interest in expressing our individuality, which is leading so many new customers to Favourbrook’s upbeat, colourful clothes. Favourbrook creates superb outfits for formal occasions. Classic, well-made British clothing is more in vogue than ever but what distinguishes Favourbrook is its inspired embellishing touches that allow true selfexpression. Favourbrook’s customers respect the elegant constraints of the formal British dress code while having the confidence to bend the rules. They appreciate a hint of exuberance and panache, which is where Favourbrook shines, with its sumptuous fabrics, semi-precious buttons, swirls of elaborate embroidery and jewel-bright linings. It’s the educated and assured eye for detail that makes Favourbrook’s style bold but faultlessly elegant. As Favourbrook’s founder, Oliver Spencer says, ‘People come to us when they want an outfit to marry in, party in or simply to celebrate in. The rules for what to wear at work have become much more relaxed and I believe this has fuelled a desire to dress up more when going out. And when it comes to dressing up with an eccentric flourish, we Brits do it better than anyone else.’ The store itself is deliberately welcoming and exciting for clients. ‘We want our customers to walk into another world,’ says Spencer. ‘We offer great clothes with great service and it’s this combination of fun, beautiful clothing with a high level of care and attention that has customers returning time and time again.’ Favourbrook prides itself on seeking opportunities to spend valuable time with its customers to understand their individual needs and fulfil their wishes. Julian Brown,

menswear manager, remembers a customer so enamoured of a particular fabric that he ordered an entire outfit made from it – including the hat. ‘We simply didn’t have enough material so I had to break the news to him gently,’ says Brown, ‘but he wasn’t upset. He casually replied, “OK, I’ll have shorts instead of trousers.” I think this story says a lot about our customers – they are definitely individuals, confident in themselves but never pompous. Perhaps you could say that they bear all the hallmarks of the true gentleman.’ But it’s not just flamboyant or eccentric Brits who are flocking to the Favourbrook store. British style is admired and emulated around the world and today more than ever those individual touches that Favourbrook excels at are resonating globally. In fact, American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, ordered several waistcoats for her family to wear at this year’s Met Ball. No wonder Favourbrook feels excited about the year ahead.

‘People come to us when they want an outfit to marry in, party in or simply to celebrate in’

Favourbrook 16 & 17 Pall Mall London SW1Y 5LU +44 (0)20 7493 5060 favourbrook


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Great British Brands 2020



Accessible luxury menswear epitomising British style and wit


Hackett opened its new London store at No.14 Savile Row, giving it a presence on a street whose name is synonymous with fine tailoring the world over


ackett London traces its roots back 35 years to the hustle and bustle of the Portobello Road market in London’s Notting Hill. It was there that Jeremy Hackett met Ashley Lloyd-Jennings and started selling second-hand vintage British clothes and accessories. Demand soon outstripped supply so Hackett and Lloyd-Jennings began making their own clothes from natural fibres in traditional British styles. From these humble beginnings, via a shop at the wrong end of the King’s Road, Hackett now has over 1,000 points of sale in 65 countries across the world. Hackett prides itself on providing accessible luxury with the unique Hackett signature. ‘Hackett is a brand that dresses men of all ages,’ says founder and chairman Jeremy Hackett, ‘in a style that is classic but not old-fashioned.’ In June 2019, to mark the 150th anniversary of British Army Polo, Hackett – as its long-term brand partner – launched the SS19 British Army Polo range. To celebrate this milestone Hackett mounted an exhibition at Christie’s curated by Carrie Scott documenting 150 years of the sport. The highlight of the exhibition was a limited-edition collection of specially

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: S/S’20 Hackett London; Hackett London Regent Street flagship store; J.P. Hackett made-to-measure suit; Jaipur Polo Club, British Army Polo Tour, 2017; A/W’19 Hackett London


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commissioned photographs by Uli Weber. These images highlight, as Weber puts it, ‘The raw and powerful nature of equine power versus human strength, yet also show the beauty and grace of that relationship.’ The inspiration for the photographs was drawn from ‘the relationship between horse and rider and the mysterious, symbiotic, and ancient relationship between man and beast.’ In November Hackett opened its new London store at No.14 Savile Row. This address gives Hackett a presence on a street whose name is synonymous with fine tailoring the world over. No.14 is a building steeped in history as it was formerly the studio of Sir Hardy Amies, fashion designer and for many years the Queen’s couturier. Sir Hardy’s career

spanned almost seven decades, and No.14 was his professional home for most of his working life. Now, having been restored to its former glory, this Grade II-listed four-story Georgian townhouse is dedicated to bespoke and madeto-measure tailoring. Jeremy Hackett worked closely with British architect and interior designer, Ben Pentreath, on the restoration of No.14. Commenting on the renovation, Pentreath says: ‘It’s been an invigorating experience working with Jeremy and the Hackett team on breathing new life into the fabled interiors of No.14 Savile Row – one of the most beautiful early Georgian townhouses I’ve seen in London. We’ve all had a shared intuitive sense as to the right approach to the restoration and I feel we have created something timeless, quintessentially British and in places, hopefully, a little unexpected.’ No.14 Savile Row will become the headquarters of Hackett Bespoke Tailoring, overseen by a dedicated Head Cutter and a team of craftspeople, alongside the readyto-wear range and the new S/S’20 collection from February. This latest evolution of the Hackett brand demonstrates that it remains wedded to tradition but with its eyes firmly on the future.

Hackett London 193–197 Regent Street London W1B 4LY +44 (0)20 7494 4917 hackettlondon


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Great British Brands 2020



Makers of the world’s favourite Wellington boot


unter’s Original Tall, launched in 1956, is the best-selling, most recognised wellington boot in the world. Loved by royalty (HRH Prince Charles wore Hunter’s Argyll boots for his 70th birthday images in 2018), celebrities and everyone in between, Hunter continues to thrive despite the challenging retail environment. The brand enjoyed its most successful year ever in 2018, also launching an Original Tall-shaped 120ft hot air balloon which it has flown in more than 22 cities across the globe, recently setting sail over London’s most iconic landmarks. However, for Hunter, it’s no longer just about the boot. The brand has successfully introduced all-weather apparel, bags and accessories and saw a 50 per cent increase in sales of these products in 2018. The Original Topclip Rubberised Leather Backpack and the Lightweight Rubberised Jacket quickly became bestsellers all over the world. One of the biggest priorities for the company today is sustainability. With this in mind, it introduced the Hunter Reboot Recycling Programme, in partnership with First Mile, last summer and will be growing it globally in 2020. Under the new programme, British customers can either drop off their old

Hunter 83–85 Regent Street London W1B 4EN +44 (0)330 333 4290 hunterboots


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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Hunter Original Flying Boot – the 120ft hot air balloon took flight over iconic London landmarks; Hunter’s Field Balmoral boot is perfect for all outdoor pursuits; The Stella McCartney x Hunter collaboration, creating probably the most sustainable boot ever made; Hunter’s apparel and accessories are fast becoming bestsellers globally

One of the biggest priorities for the company today is sustainability. With this in mind, it introduced the Hunter Reboot Recycling Programme

Hunter boots at the Regent Street flagship store or arrange collection from their home. The service is free and anyone returning boots will be offered a 15 per cent discount off a future purchase. The boots are then ground down into playground surfacing, horse arenas, kickboxing bags and floor fillers. Compared with virgin rubber, recycled rubber saves three tonnes of CO2 for every tonne used. Raising its green credentials exponentially is Hunter’s recent collaboration with Stella McCartney. The boots, which may be the most sustainable ever made, are crafted rom a natural rubber procured from certified sustainable forests and Yulex, a plant-based neoprene that generates 80 per cent less climate-altering carbon dioxide. As a brand that is so linked to experiences, Hunter is using its three flagship stores in London, Tokyo and Toronto as a destination for engaged brand advocates and also to draw in new Hunter fans by storytelling around the brand. Events have already included live appearances from Peppa Pig, following the success of last year’s Peppa Pig limited edition collection, a Q&A with London-based rugby team, The Harlequins, and Pride guerrilla dance performances, with many more events in the pipeline. The aim is to always have something happening in-store, from festival survival kits to complimentary monogramming service at the Regent Street flagship, which allows customers to personalise their Original Tall or Short boots. Another Hunter partnership that continues to flourish is with the National Trust. Aimed at the brand’s Hunter Field audience, the collection includes men’s, women’s and kid’s boots, with the Gardener Clog proving a particular hit. It takes three days and 28 parts to make an Original boot. Applying this precision and craftsmanship to a wide range of apparel, footwear and accessories will allow Hunter to continue to grow its collection worldwide, proving that they are ‘more than just the boot’. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 87

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Great British Brands 2020


IFFLEY ROAD Seven years of making the running

Iffley Road 30 Orange Street London WC2H 7HF iffleyroadrunningwear


ll businesses face challenges but what differentiates one business from the next is how it responds. Iffley Road – producer of running wear that performs well, looks smart and lasts a lifetime – aims to remain positive whatever’s happening. ‘That’s why we love running,’ says founder Claire Kent. ‘Because it provides the mental headspace when the going gets tough.’ In 2020 Iffley Road celebrates its seventh year, coinciding with the 66th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s sub four-minute mile at Iffley Road, Oxford. The brand already partly manufactures in England, adhering to a look that is pared-back and classic. This year it plans to expand the range of Britishmade kit, including merino base layers and lighter socks, in collaboration with Hilly. ‘From a macro point of view,’ says Kent, ‘a weak consumer climate and the possible aftermath of Brexit are obvious challenges. We source the greatest proportion of our kit in Europe then sell a fair share to European consumers, so sterling weakness and any possible import or export tariffs are a hindrance for us. So we’re looking to source more in both Britain and Asia, provided we can find the quality we demand.’ Iffley Road customers will continue to receive the amazing combination of quality and functional style that garners rave reviews from runners: ‘The best running gear I’ve found in the ten plus years I’ve been hitting the roads, tracks and trails...’ Challenges aside, 2020 is set to be an exciting year for Iffley Road. Summer will see the launch of a new collaboration for which it will produce a special collection of co-branded running tops, caps and water bottles. The partnership will introduce Iffley Road to a completely new audience and the brand is planning some eye-catching activities, including a virtual running race and other competitions. Expansion into North America is also on the cards, as soon as details are finalised with a wellknown department store.


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In 2020 Iffley Road celebrates its seventh year, coinciding with the 66th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s sub fourminute mile at Iffley Road, Oxford

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Marlow II waterproof jacket in night sky white, Windsor II tights in gravel black; bracknell polo shirt in track white lichen, Hampton 8” shorts in marine blue; Thorpe merino top in forest green, Windsor II tights in night sky; Cambrian t-shirt in night sky, Hampton 8” shorts in pebble grey; Thorpe merino top in midnight black; Marlow II waterproof jacket in night sky white; Malvern merino base layer in pebble grey

The company has always shot its campaigns in and around London but, as part of the move to consolidate its Britishness, is carrying out shoots further afield – including in the Malverns – to highlight the beauty of the British countryside. The move will chime well with the brand’s ethos that running should be viewed as part of a broader, healthy lifestyle. But it’s this kind of story that underlines the brand’s true Brit appeal: one day a customer, a member of the RAF, was in Richmond, where the brand is based. ‘He was passing the office and stopped by before running a lap of the park. While running he was caught in a torrential downpour, so when he returned to the office to collect his bag we lent him an array of dry kit. He was so impressed that it wasn’t long before Iffley Road had signed a contract with the Armed Forces, giving members a special discount. We signed the covenant in the offices of Bomber Harris at RAF High Wycombe,’ says Kent, ‘and it was a real honour.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 89

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Great British Brands 2020


JOHN SMEDLEY Proudly British knitwear with a rich history and a sustainable future

John Smedley’s history is peppered with highlights, such as crafting long johns in vicuna for the Emperor of Japan and working closely with Florence Nightingale John Smedley Lea Mills, Lea Bridge Matlock Derbyshire DE4 5AG +44 (0)1629 534571 johnsmedleyknitwear


ustomer service that goes the extra mile is as important to John Smedley as making the best quality jumpers in the world. So says Ian Maclean, managing director and eighth generation member of the founding family, recalling the time he took a call from an Englishman based in New York. The client, who was running a sizable luxury goods business himself, was dismayed that he couldn’t purchase a limited-edition jumper from the John Smedley British website because it had sold out. Maclean quickly grabbed one from a London store and personally shipped it to him in the US: ‘It all ended well, and we remain in contact to this day.’ No surprise then that the Royal Warrantholding John Smedley business has survived for over 235 years. From its home in Lea Mills, Derbyshire, the oldest functioning factory in the world, it is proud of its claim to create ‘the world’s finest knitwear’ and its heritage of employing expert home-grown knitters, linkers, dyers and seamstresses. Its history is peppered with highlights, such as crafting long Johns in vicuña for the

Emperor of Japan, working closely with Florence Nightingale who signed the original company deeds, knitting pint-sized gifts for Prince Charles when he was a child and dressing screen stars from Marilyn Monroe to Eddie Redmayne. Despite being distributed all over the world, today’s brand is evolving and innovating to ensure it stays on track for generations to come. Taking action to become more sustainable, the company has signed the UN’s Fashion Industry Charter, committing to reductions in CO2 emissions. In 2020 it will focus on homegrown luxury British fibres, such as undyed sheep wool and natural alpaca, to create ‘herd to here’ garments that are completely traceable, and achieved within a low-carbon-footprint 90-mile radius. The brand is looking ahead to the season with curious optimism, with several projects on the move, including working with natural plant dye experts, launching new childrenswear and producing leather accessories, handcrafted by specialist artisans in London and Derbyshire. It maintains a watchful eye over a possible slowdown in consumer spending, and continues to stress the quality/value proposition that will give EU-based customers the confidence to buy. ‘There’s a lot to contend with and we can only rise to these challenges by working together as the best team, making the most of our strengths,’ says Maclean. John Smedley’s biggest single export market is Japan, where it has been doing business for over 100 years. For the past three, it has worked closely with Mitsui, which is now investing to take the brand to the next level through both product and retail innovation. ‘It is great to see our teams working closely together on different facets of this complex challenge – good communication is everything, and we are learning from each other every day,’ says Maclean. ‘I am most looking forward to the potential of a new John Smedley store in Kyoto, an historic city that, in many ways, is the home of Japan’s finest crafts. A great home from home for John Smedley.’


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Alpaca scarf; Bradwell polo shirt; Jetta jacket and Blossom trouser

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Floral hand intarsia sweater, white wide-leg trousers and floral herringbone tissue print scarf

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Great British Brands 2020

Timeless clothing, such as elegant coats in cashmere and wool, body-skimming layering pieces in fine merino wool and elevated loungewear and athluxe styles, makes this a brand for all seasons. Johnstons of Elgin’s accessories combine luxury, warmth and style, ranging from chic neutrals in the softest cashmere to vibrant patterns in superfine merino wool. Scarves and stoles are continually reimagined in beautiful blends of cashmere and silk and tissue weight cashmere. These new weights offer Interiors fabrics from its collections: Sonnet sateen jacquard, Tivoli Melange sateen, Aria versatility, while innovative flannel herringbone and Seren flannel check technology allows even the most intricate of patterns to be woven into the most delicate fabrics. The brand’s signature cashmere stole remains one of its most coveted pieces. The same principles apply to the interior fabric collections, which are made with longevity in mind. Taking inspiration from around the world, the unique and innovative collections for upholstery, drapery and soft furnishings have a durable but incredibly soft finish, with sleek, tonal colour palettes. From traditional checks to this here is no doubt that the sheer quality year’s herringbones and geometric designs, of its cashmere is what gives Johnstons exquisite craftsmanship remains at the core of Elgin the edge on its competitors. of everything it does. Still family-owned, the brand has Johnstons of Elgin’s elegant throws and bed a worldwide reputation for excellence, throws, crafted from super soft merino wool working with the finest sustainable, natural fibres. and lambswool, also bring texture, interest The company has stockists across the globe with and colour to any space. These generously five retails outlets in Britain, including Bond sized investment pieces are also made to last. Street, London and Edinburgh’s Multrees Walk. The brand’s logo, depicting a ‘J’, a thistle Johnstons of Elgin is the only vertical mill in and a bee, encapsulates the Johnstons of Elgin Scotland, taking raw fibre through every stage story. The J references the company’s founding of the manufacturing process to perfectly family, who brought cashmere to 18th-century finished products on-site, using skills and Britain, while the thistle represents the brand’s techniques passed down through generations. commitment to manufacturing in Scotland. The brand’s rich heritage and traditions are The bee reflects the skill and hard work of balanced with contemporary design and its workforce. Johnstons of Elgin embodies innovation, the experience gleaned from both slow luxury and effortless style. The more than two centuries of craftsmanship brand understands that time itself is a luxury, meeting state-of-the-art technology. so doesn’t rush its processes to guarantee Perfectly showcasing this happy marriage distinctive design and exceptional quality. It’s between past and present is the brand’s iconic clear that over 200 years of skill, craftsmanship knitwear. From classic cashmere sweaters to and authenticity are not just part of Johnstons chunky cashmere cardigans, the knits offer of Elgin’s DNA; they are woven into every knit, grace and style, referencing artisan techniques throw and fabric it creates. and contemporary, archive-inspired patterns.


Two-hundred years of the finest cashmere knitwear, accessories, home accessories and furnishing fabrics

From traditional checks to this year’s herringbones and geometric designs, exquisite craftsmanship remains at the core of everything it does Johnstons of Elgin Newmill, Elgin, Moray Scotland IV30 4AF +44 (0)1343 554000 johnstonsofelgin johnstonsofelgininteriors



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Leading leather, accessories and lifestyle brand globally acclaimed for its quality and design

‘At Mulberry we are always celebrating our status as a British brand, starting from our Somerset factories that employ over 500 craftsmen and women’ Mulberry 100 Regent Street London W1B 5SR +44 (0)20 7042 3770 mulberryengland


ike many of today’s top luxury brands, Mulberry began life at a kitchen table, its instantly recognisable logo inspired by the local mulberry trees. It went on to become Britain’s largest manufacturer of luxury leather goods, with more than 120 stores worldwide, as well as a digital flagship. But, as its Creative Director Johnny Coca says, the soul of this truly global company will always be British. ‘At Mulberry we are always celebrating our status as a British brand, from our Somerset factories that employ 500 craftsmen and women to the way we interact with our customers through events and social media. Britain is, of course, the inspiration behind each collection. For me, Britain is a combination of what

Great British Brands 2020

I see on the streets today and movements from the past. It’s about the people who make up Britain, and that’s something I am always inspired by.’ Johnny joined Mulberry in 2015 to oversee Mulberry’s ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories collections. His aim was to preserve the company’s core values, while progressing and evolving certain areas. This he did by building a strong lifestyle element into the brand, introducing sunglasses, sneakers and jewellery. The brand is also building a dedicated fan base outside Britain and Europe, bringing the best of Mulberry’s distinct style to a global audience. Mulberry’s Global Marketing Director, Charlotte O’Sullivan, says, ‘Our digital and omnichannel approach means we are always engaging with our customers in a variety of ways. Last summer we launched our My Local series: a programme of free live music gigs held in pubs across London that we then took global, with My Local inspired nights popping up in Tokyo, Seoul, New York and Sydney.’ Collaboration has been another way to surprise and delight customers. Last year’s Mulberry & Acne Studios friendship collaboration brought together the best of British and Swedish design. As Mulberry approaches its 50th anniversary, it is reimagining signature silhouettes like the bestselling Bayswater design, playing with the DNA for modern audiences. S/S’20 sees the launch of the Belted Bayswater, a soft, deconstructed version of the original, and the Belted Bayswater Satchel, a youthful crossbody variation on this shape. As a ‘Made to Last’ brand, Mulberry has always created products that genuinely last a lifetime, with dedication to quality and a worldclass repairs department to make sure it does. While all leather used in its collections is a by-product of the meat industry, the brand has also committed to remove exotic skins from S/S’20 and is a fur-free retailer. It recently launched a new collection with ECONY L®, a sustainable regenerated nylon, and its first 100 per cent sustainable leather bag. Says Coca, ‘Being at the helm of a British brand is a huge honour, being able to update our iconic product as well as overseeing new product launches like this year’s Iris and Millie families. Moving towards 2021 and our 50th anniversary, we are committed to doing this responsibly and creating a truly sustainable legacy.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 95

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Great British Brands 2020


NEW & LINGWOOD Creating clothing with character

New & Lingwood is best known for its luxurious silk jacquard dressing gowns, which are both woven and made in England

New & Lingwood 53 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6LX +44 (0)20 7493 9621 newandlingwood


or more than 150 years, New & Lingwood has been making stylish clothes for stylish men. Combining traditional, classic menswear with a contemporary twist, the brand is a one-stop shop for the sartorially minded, offering British ready-to-wear, madeto-measure tailoring, accessories and shoes. Founded in 1865 to clothe the pupils of Eton College, the company was established by husbandand-wife partnership Elisabeth New and Samuel Lingwood. Today, it has three addresses: its historic home on Eton High Street, a shop on Jermyn Street in London’s West End and a shop on Lexington Avenue in New York. While the house is known for making everything from over-the-calf socks to velvet smoking hats, New & Lingwood is best known for its luxurious silk jacquard dressing gowns, which are both woven and made in England. The silk itself is produced by Vanners in Sudbury, Suffolk, a 270-year-old weaver that can trace its origins back to Huguenot craftspeople fleeing religious persecution in 18th-century France. Once woven, these silks are sent to a traditional

workshop in Nottingham, which cuts and stitches each gown to New & Lingwood’s own pattern by hand. Gowns aside, the house is known for its standout signature designs. Foremost is the peacock motif, which appears on everything from smoking jackets to pocket squares, and is inspired by a collection of 17th-century Russian textiles, whose appeal lay in its richness and opulent colours. Elsewhere, you’ll see New & Lingwood’s distinctive skull-andcrossbones motif appear. This design harks back to the company’s roots, when it was borrowed from the insignia of Villiers House at Eton. Today, motifs like these add a contemporary touch to the collection and allude to the brand’s irreverent identity. In 2020, New & Lingwood will celebrate the 155th anniversary of its foundation in Eton. The following year will mark the centenary of the Jermyn Street shop’s opening. It goes without saying, the house is proud of its distinguished history, but its success is founded on continuous evolution, retaining its loyal Old Etonian clients while attracting a new international clientele. New & Lingwood’s New York shop on Lexington Avenue, which launched last year, is now well established. The house’s madeto-measure tailoring service is also going from strength to strength, particularly in America. Likewise, New & Lingwood’s e-commerce business has grown apace. Recent seasons have seen younger customers engaging with and investing in the brand, thanks to a greater focus on content, brand photography and social media. Alongside retail, the company is now entering the wholesale market with a full collection for the first time. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection has been shown in the United States, Asia and mainland Europe, and has been very well received. Next year promises to be equally exciting for New & Lingwood, with a continued focus on content, digitalisation and e-commerce, including the marrying of the online and instore customer shopping experience. A contemporary British brand with a vibrant character, New & Lingwood looks to the future.


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Great British Brands 2020



The contemporary but timeless label crafted to make you feel amazing

Clothes that fit and flatter are a key motivation of the brand, together with the use of colour as a mood-enhancer

Paper paperlondon


aper was born in 2011 after corporate lawyer, Philippa Thackeray, and Temperley London knitwear designer, Kelly Townsend, met and bonded over their love of fashion (and gin and tonics). The pair began to discuss the idea of launching a new label that would transcend seasonal fads but always feel contemporary and modern. After settling on the direction in which they wanted to go, they then ditched their day jobs and set out on their creative journey.

They chose the name Paper because it was literally the blank canvas on which to express their vision; the very starting point for putting ideas down until they could be fully realised. The brand was to have a clean, clear and decisive aesthetic and where better to start than with a clean piece of paper? Kelly herself was raised in a family of architects and graphic designers which deeply influenced her own vision as a designer; the shapes and lines of these other design disciplines have then been translated into clothes that the label is now so renowned for. Paper stands for its statement graphic and architectural shapes in vibrant colours that are instantly recognisable. The use of bold silhouettes is also part of the brand’s DNA, as noted by Harper’s Bazaar: ‘The sculptural silhouettes, exquisite fabrics and technical skills are what we most love about Paper.’ They create shapes that make the clothes as flattering as possible by ensuring that the narrowest part of the body is always highlighted. For example, well-fitting shoulders or a leg which is just wide enough to flatter any waist size can completely change the way a woman looks and feels about herself. Clothes that fit and flatter are a key motivation of the brand together with the use of colour, as Kelly and Philippa feel strongly that loving the clothes you are in can make you feel like a new person, using colour as a mood enhancer. The journey so far has been an exciting one for the pair. In 2019, they were shortlisted for The British Fashion Trust awards and also received The British Fashion Council’s Contemporary Award two seasons in a row. Paper is now stocked in over 50 stores worldwide, including Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Intermix, Shopbop and Saks. Additionally, that all-important celebrity endorsement has never been far from Instagram, with gorgeous women such as a J Lo, Gigi Hadid, Margot Robbie and Taylor Swift, all being spotted wearing the British label. Paper also takes its commitment to the environment seriously, launching its sustainable swimwear range. But while it is made from recycled plastic ocean wasted including fishing net, it doesn’t compromise on style, quality and the happy vibe that’s at the heart of the label. From blank beginnings this brand is developing into one of the UK’s coolest ones to watch.


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From the S/S’20 collection

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Visibly validating luxury brands that are helping to save the planet

The Butterfly Mark promotes transparency and enables people to make a more informed choice

Positive Luxury 81 Leonard Street London EC2A 4QS +44 (0)20 3582 3212 positiveluxury


ositive Luxury was founded by Diana Verde Nieto and Karen Hanton MBE in 2012. Since then, the company has established itself as the go-to partner for brands in the luxury industry who want their commitment to sustainability to be visibly validated and recognised. Diana was already a globally recognised figure in the sustainability field – she founded the first international sustainability communications consultancy in 2002 and was subsequently named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Karen is a technology pioneer and founder of With their combined expertise, Diana and Karen set out to forge trust between people and brands, inspiring consumers to buy better and discover brands that are helping to save the planet. Positive Luxury awards its Butterfly Mark, a visible symbol of trust, to brands that have adopted sustainability as a business strategy. The Butterfly Mark promotes transparency and enables people to make a more informed choice about which brands to buy from. ‘A £65 T-shirt will give everyone in the supply chain more than a disposable cheap one,’ explains Diana. ‘Top quality raw materials are

expensive because they’re in limited supply, but spend money on them and everyone benefits, and your T-shirt will last.’ To be awarded a Butterfly Mark, brands are holistically assessed across governance, social and environmental frameworks, community and innovation by Positive Luxury. The assessment framework is set out by their Sustainability Council, comprising an independent panel of global experts, drawn from world-class institutions and NGOs. The assessment is updated every two years to help Positive Luxury member brands stay on top of innovation in sustainability as well as overall progression in sustainability legislation. When the interactive Butterfly Mark features on brands’ websites, it gives the consumer transparency in the brand’s sustainable actions by breaking them down into what are called ‘Positive Actions’. The interactions with the Mark and these actions are then translated into behavioural data, which helps to inform their sustainability strategy. Positive Luxury is at the forefront of the conversation around sustainability and is recognised as a global resource on this topic by businesses and consumers. This has been achieved through the issuing of daily editorial content on social media and weekly newsletters highlighting and encouraging brands’ efforts to be sustainable, as well as producing an annual Predictions Report, focusing on key industry sustainability trends and offering insights into companies that are innovating with great success. In 2019, it became ever clearer that action is needed across all industries to solve climate change and so the 2020 Report will focus on biodiversity and highlight the importance of working collectively. It will also cover topics like recycling, legislation change and the goals that have been collectively set for 2030. Along with its day-to-day mission to support brands on their sustainability journeys, Positive Luxury hosts two annual events. Positive Week is a global celebration of brands and individuals that show leadership in sustainability, while the Positive Luxury Awards celebrate those best-in-class companies or individuals working towards affecting positive change in business. ‘We understand the fragility of the natural world and the fact we can’t change things alone,’ says Diana, ‘but globally we are on a path to sustainability. Change might be slow, but it will happen.’


Great British Brands 2020


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Positive Luxury Butterfly mark; founders of Positive Luxury, Diana Verde Nieto and Karen Hanton; Positive Luxury member brand, McQueens Flowers; Stephen Webster gemology workshop at Positive Week, 2019


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Outback hat in camel, doublebreasted long coat in slate blue, classic roll neck in slate blue; Archer jacket in charcoal/ blue, cashmere V-neck in heather marl, classic check shirt in blue mocca

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Great British Brands 2020


Inspired by the countryside, designed for modern life


uestion: how do you go straight from the grouse moor to the King’s Road and still be appropriately dressed for both? Answer: layer a beautiful Scottish knit over a Liberty silk shirt and team with a tweed jacket and exquisitely crafted Spanish boots. At least, that’s what Natalie Lake would do. Natalie is the founder of Really Wild, a British fashion house launched in 2002 to bridge the style gap between town and country pursuits. Initially Natalie collaborated with the Royal Berkshire Shooting School to produce a collection that would have broad appeal both at home and abroad. Today, working with the finest Scottish tweeds, merino, cashmere and pure new wool, as well as Liberty silk fabrics and high quality leather, Natalie combines her love of the great British countryside with razor-sharp tailoring and attention to detail to create beautiful basics and statement pieces. Natalie, who trained as an interior designer, admits, ‘I am a frustrated artist at heart. I never feel better than when I am at my drawing board, celebrating the British landscape and using it as inspiration for our creative colours and designs.’ Natalie’s designs are a reflection of her own life, which constantly takes her from country to city and back again. ‘As with all our collections, current and historically, versatility is the key. I design with the customer at the forefront of my mind, always taking in to account the unreliability of our British weather.’ For the most part, Really Wild designs are sourced and produced in Britain and the company is proud to work with some of the finest historic mills. However, some products hail from a little further afield, such as the gorgeous Spanish boot collection made by a small, family-run workshop in southern Spain. ‘Everything is made with careful consideration and passion – something that you can really feel when you wear one of our pieces,’ says Natalie. ‘We craft each design to flatter

and celebrate the female silhouette.’ Of course, it isn’t only women who need versatile country-to-town clothing – last year Really Wild launched a menswear collection. As you would expect, the collection has classic tailoring at its core, complemented by cosy chunky knits and perfectly fitting fine cotton shirts: think working wardrobe meets country lifestyle. And since production runs are limited, taking home one of these pieces is akin to being a member of an exclusive club. Really Wild aims to expand its horizons in the coming year, developing collections to have greater appeal to its existing overseas markets and seeking new markets while paying homage to its heritage and its British fans. ‘We hope that the shop will become a destination store – a slice of countryside on Sloane Square, where customers will receive the full Really Wild shopping experience,’ says Natalie. She is optimistic about the future: ‘This will be the year that brands think more about what it means to be British and the possibilities of new opportunities for Really Wild.’

Natalie Lake combines her love of the great British countryside with razorsharp tailoring and attention to detail

Really Wild 53 Sloane Square London SW1W 8AX +44 (0)20 7119 1620 reallywildclothing


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Lambswool crew neck jumper in persimmon mouline; fine merino wool mock neck in persimmon; lambswool funnel neck jumper in argent

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Great British Brands 2020


Creating beautiful everyday clothing since 1860


n 2020 Sunspel celebrates its 160th anniversary. As the company reaches this notable milestone, its reputation for uncompromising quality, luxury fabrics and timeless design remains undiminished. The company was founded in Nottingham in 1860, moving its operations to the present site at Long Eaton in Derbyshire in 1937. Sunspel has always used its history and lessons of the past to shape its future. The idea of ‘no waste luxury’ originated during the Second World War when the exigencies of rationing meant that clothes had to be made to last. The company remains committed to the philosophy of ‘no waste luxury’ today, valuing timeless style over short-term trends. Sunspel creates clothes that will last and is constantly reviewing how it works to improve its environmental standards. ‘The way we approach sustainability is to create clothes that you want to wear and that will last for a long time,’ says CEO, Nick Brooke. ‘Lots of my own Sunspel T-shirts are over five years old and still going strong.’ Many of the factories Sunspel works with in Britain and worldwide are small, familyowned businesses, which share Sunspel’s belief in quality, ethical working practices and environmental responsibility. Sunspel has now been making its products at its factory in Long Eaton for more than 80 years. This long period of continuity has created a strong sense of community and loyalty amongst its dedicated team of craftspeople and seamstresses. This year one employee celebrated 50 years at Sunspel, while another rejoined after more than 40 years, having first worked at the company as a 16-year-old. The handmade quality of the clothes and the artisan nature of the manufacturing process are reinforced by the fact that every T-shirt contains a sticker bearing the name of the person who made it. In July 2019 Sunspel opened another London store on Chelsea’s Duke of York

Square. This brought the number of Sunspel’s stores in London to six. The first was in Shoreditch, followed by others in Soho, Marylebone, Jermyn Street and Notting Hill. Each area has been carefully chosen for its neighbourhood character and the new stores reflect the brand’s continuing and growing popularity in its home market. The brand’s popularity in Britain is more than matched by the popularity of British style in New York where Sunspel opened its first store in September 2018. Likewise, Sunspel has strong and long-established links with Japan, where it has five stores, based on a shared appreciation of craftsmanship and refined style, which has endured for more than 50 years. ‘In 2020, Sunspel will celebrate 160 years in business,’ says Nick Brooke. ‘Having survived the great depression and two world wars, we have evolved by adapting to the challenges of the time. In the 1940s we came up with the idea of “no waste luxury”; we remain committed to this philosophy today. Valuing timeless style over short-term trends makes us a brand that is relevant even as the world changes.’ The future looks bright indeed.

‘The way we approach sustainability is to create clothes that you want to wear and that will last a long time’

Sunspel 13–15 Chiltern Street London W1U 7PG +44 (0)20 7009 0650 sunspelclothing


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TURNBULL & ASSER The Jermyn Street shirtmaker

The shirts and ties are all made by its skilled and experienced staff in its workshops in Gloucester and Kent; truly, they are ‘Made in England’

Turnbull & Asser 71–72 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6PF +44 (0)20 7808 3000 turnbull_asser


urnbull & Asser is a name to conjure with, a name that embodies the world-renowned qualities of British shirts. The company has traded from its celebrated premises in Jermyn Street, the spiritual home of the British shirt, since they were built in 1903. Founded in 1885, Turnbull & Asser has held the Prince of Wales’s Royal Warrant since 1980; indeed, the company was one of the first to be awarded this honour by His Royal Highness. This year promises to be a momentous year following the recent appointment of Becky French as the brand’s new Creative Director. In the coming year, the brand aims to build on the progress made during 2019 in shifting its core focus back to the skill and attention to detail that goes into the making of each and every Turnbull & Asser shirt. Each shirt is made from 34 individual pieces of fine cloth, with at least ten iridescent motherof-pearl buttons. The ties each consist of three elements: the blade, the gusset and the under end, stitched together with a nigh

on indestructible bonded thread. The company is proud of the fact that the shirts and ties are all made by its skilled and experienced staff in its workshops in Gloucester and Kent; truly, they are ‘Made in England’. Becky French’s focus in the coming year will be on championing Turnbull & Asser’s history and archive, while keeping an eye on the present and future. The brand has gone back to the drawing board to redesign the silhouettes of its shirts. Small adjustments and revisions have been made in existing fits, as well as the introduction of contemporary and relaxed fits such as the Weekend and Holiday styles. Turnbull & Asser is focused on remaining relevant to its customers in changing times by acknowledging the culture and art that inspire all generations. At the same time it is moving towards a wardrobe beyond the world of work, to produce shirts that appeal to everyone, not just the businessman. With the seasonal ranges going from strength to strength, the forthcoming year will give Turnbull & Asser the opportunity to focus on its playful and creative side, through colour and fabric. Luxurious pyjama sets and separates, original summer shirts and sophisticated evening wear will take centre stage in the form of capsule collections, aiming to showcase the quality and individuality of the company’s British-made clothing. In the spring of 2020, the latest Kingsman film will be released, starring Ralph Fiennes. Turnbull & Asser, in conjunction with Mr Porter, will be marking the release of the film with a new collection of shirts. The company will also be launching some new Bond styles, directly inspired by pieces that Turnbull & Asser made for the original Bond films. The aim is to offer exciting new products and stories for the traditional Turnbull & Asser customer at the same time as broadening the brand’s appeal by engaging with a new audience, one which responds to well-made British products which will stand the test of time.


Great British Brands 2020


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Creative Director, Becky French, photographed in Turnbull & Asser’s Mayfair studio; with an archive spanning more than a century, Turnbull & Asser has a rich history to call upon, which is still referenced today; classic shirts crafted from the finest materials, proudly made in England


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Burwood Sandlewood; Pembrey Cognac

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Great British Brands 2020

CHURCH’S Continually evolving while referencing its rich heritage


hurch’s sees today’s luxury footwear market as one that is now in constant evolution, be this as a result of consumer product expectation, service requirements or of how consumers are exposed to a brand. It could also be the general geopolitical uncertainties that all luxury brands now face. However, these factors all represent a positive challenge to Church’s, giving it the opportunity to self-evaluate continually and improve in order to maintain its leadership position within the market. While its classic offer – with styles such as Oxfords and Brogues – transcends the fripperies of fashion, Church’s continues to innovate, providing the levels of newness, high quality and service expected by today’s exacting luxury consumer. Taking on board the trend for sports luxe, Church’s has recently launched a new sneaker, the CH873, its name derived from the year the brand was properly established by Thomas Church. His three sons, Alfred, William and Thomas Jr., later drove the brand forward, uniting its traditional production process within one factory in Northampton (before that, shoemaking was carried out individually by employees in their own homes). The new CH873 has a lightweight sole and is available in 15 colour and leather combinations, including classic leather styles alongside sportier models in suede and nylon. Colour options range from white, black, navy and brown for men and silver, pink, gold and light blue for women, with triple colour styles also available for those in search of a more retro feel. Ever the innovator, Church’s was the first footwear manufacturer to introduce fitted ‘left’ and ‘right’ shoes to a mass market, rather than the simple ‘straights’ produced by its competitors. It was also early to see the importance of international expansion and, in the early-20th century, began exporting

to eager new markets, including the United States, Canada, South America and China, as well as organising distribution in key European countries. In the coming year, the brand has significant expansion plans in key territories, including Japan and the USA. Today Church’s shoes are still manufactured in Northamptonshire, the heartland of luxury British shoe manufacturing. Here it continues to employ the time-honoured artisanal traditions and handcrafting techniques long associated with the brand, using processes that can take up to eight weeks and involve hundreds of precise manual operations to create a single pair of shoes. This dedication to traditional methods also enables Church’s to offer a full refurbishment service to its clients, using the same high-quality materials and craftsmanship as in original manufacturing process. Shoes are returned as good as new. In 2020, the brand will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of one of its most famous styles, plans for which are still currently under wraps. Whatever the plans comprise, they are bound to involve both an appreciation of heritage and a forward-thinking attitude – attributes which have continually assisted the brand to remain one step ahead.

It continues to employ the time-honoured artisanal traditions and handcrafting techniques long associated with the brand

Church’s St James Northampton NN5 5JB +44 (0)1604 751251 churchs


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: CONISTON in black rough-out suede from ‘The Black Editions’; CONNAUGHT 2 in black & dark brown burnished calf on the new 379 last; Mark, Pattern Cutter, working on our AW19 Collection

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Truly British and celebrating 140 years of fine shoemaking

The label ‘Made in Northampton, England’ continues to give consumers across the world confidence in traditional methods and a guarantee of superb quality

Crockett & Jones 92 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6JE +44 (0)20 7839 5239 crockettandjones_official


orthampton has long been the shoe manufacturing capital of England. Although the industry is a shadow of its former self (in 1950, the town boasted 50 shoemaking firms, whereas now there are five) its reputation for quality and for upholding the proud traditions of English footwear are undiminished. Nowhere are these traditions of timeless style and enduring substance more lovingly nurtured than at Crockett & Jones, whose Victorian factory looms over the town’s redbrick terraces. Crockett & Jones is a family-owned and run company. Managing director, Jonathan

Great British Brands 2020

Jones, has been in the saddle since 1980 and seven members of the family now help to run the business, dealing with everything from keeping the factory lifts working, to creating new patterns and lasts, to opening new retail stores. Family ownership and management encourages long-term thinking, releasing the company from the demands of short-term profit. Crockett & Jones is in the fortunate position of being completely in charge of its own destiny. Despite the political turmoil that faces the country, the challenges confronting Crockett & Jones in 2020 remain unchanged: the availability and rising cost of materials as well as skilled labour. The company will continue to focus on what makes it the respected manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer that it is today by providing high-quality footwear that represents value for money. This is largely dictated by the size and output of the factory, and also by the modest marketing and advertising budgets. The label ‘Made in Northampton, England’ continues to give consumers across the world confidence in traditional methods and a guarantee of superb quality and integrity. This is especially true of Japan, which remains the company’s top export market. To celebrate the impressive milestone of its 140th anniversary, this season (A/W’19) the company is launching the 140th Collection, inspired by the firm’s extensive archive of historic designs. Using a specially-developed last, the design is characterised by a hollowedout neck, narrow waist, soft outside wall and an elegantly English round toe profile. Each style features British racing green linings, black sole finishing, hand polished uppers, and a gold-embossed 140th Collection logo – a nod to the early days of branded production. In October 2019 Crockett & Jones opened a second retail store in New York City. The existing shop, which is on 55th Street opposite the famous St Regis Hotel, has been trading well for many years. The new shop is to be found in Manhattan’s trendy Soho, where it will attract new disciples to the Crockett & Jones brand. 2020 may also herald the start of Crockett & Jones’s venture into e-commerce. Surprising as it may seem in 2019, the company has not hitherto embraced online sales, as the factory has been at maximum capacity for ten years. With the factory in Northampton working more efficiently, offering a steady increase in output, Crockett & Jones is looking forward to offering a high quality e-commerce service for its growing and loyal customer base who might not be able to visit a Crockett & Jones retail store. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 113

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Great British Brands 2020


CUTLER AND GROSS Optical style and vision with a certain British eccentricity


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Classic Cutler and Gross silhouette 1353; Cutler and Gross’s flagship Knightsbridge store opened 50 years ago; the brand’s founders, Graham Cutler and Tony Gross; the 1355 in midnight rambler blue

Cutler and Gross 16 Knightsbridge Green London SW1X 7QN +44 (0)20 7581 2250 cutlerandgross

or 50 years Cutler and Gross has been at the heart of fashionable optics. Guided by its founder Tony Gross’s mantra of ‘style and vision’, it made wearing glasses desirable, through its use of exquisite materials, developing specific features and investing in its own research, development and production. ‘It’s nice if glasses can be sexy and mysterious,’ said Gross. ‘People who need glasses don’t have to feel separated from glamour.’ Renowned for contouring every moment of the process around the customer, from the conception of the glasses through to making and fitting them and providing an after-care service, it’s a business that wears its brand subtly. If you’re wearing Cutler and Gross glasses, you’re the only one who knows. Cutler and Gross has always designed products to last a lifetime, so a general shift among consumers towards understanding more about provenance, company philosophies and sustainable working methods is welcome. Owning its own factory allows a degree of control and creativity that would not be possible otherwise, enabling the brand to shape its own destiny. The factory has grown from five people to 40 over the past ten years, and is not only far more productive but delivers a better quality, more sophisticated product. These are strong foundations for the future of Cutler and Gross. Since its Knightsbridge flagship store opened exactly 50 years ago, it has only ever had three optometrists: Mr Cutler, Mr Gross and – their personal choice – Salvatore Scinaldi, who has carried the mantle for the past 20 years. Its famous Piers Gough eye examination room is now filled with the latest diagnostic equipment and offers one of the most comprehensive eye examinations in the industry. Essilor, inventor of the varifocal, is the brand’s lens partner – underlining the importance of synergy between the frame’s aesthetics and the prescription. The brand also now carries a license for Paul Smith eyewear and has developed a new L-shaped pin, which is becoming a stylistic hallmark. Talking of style, Cutler and Gross celebrated its style director Marie Wilkinson’s 30th anniversary at the brand with a party at the V&A for 250 guests, including many of her devoted clients. Originally employed for her ‘flair, taste and innate sense


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British style has a certain wit, lightness of touch and refined elegance

of style’, Wilkinson defines British style as having a certain wit, lightness of touch and refined elegance, embodied by the likes of Margaret Howell, David Hockney and Manolo Blahnik – all of whom, naturally, wear Cutler and Gross. Continuing to grow its capacity and international offering organically without diluting its core product is a challenge. However, this is a brand that understands the visual and stylistic needs of its well-heeled clientele, whether that be for reading the labels in Harrods’ food hall, driving to the countryside or choosing sunglasses for the season – wherever ‘the season’ may be. ‘If you buy a handcrafted pair of glasses or sunglasses, you want to see the tiny inaccuracies – they give character, make them unique to the wearer,’ says Graham Cutler. ‘The Cutler and Gross customer has always been an individual. Eccentric maybe, but a rare breed, certainly.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 115

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Earlham boot; The Shaggy suede boot; ‘Nice Shoes Grandpa’ brogue

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DUKE + DEXTER The fearless shoe brand designed in London, hand-made in England

A hugely successful collaboration with Snoop Dogg – a partnership born out of the American icon’s own love of the brand – saw the likes of Rihanna wearing its shoes

Duke + Dexter 16 Earlham Street London WC2H 9LN +44 (0)20 7096 1880 dukedexter


019 was an exceptional year for Duke + Dexter. A hugely successful collaboration with Snoop Dogg – a partnership born out of the American icon’s own love of the brand – saw the likes of David Beckham and Rihanna wearing its footwear, while in September the company was crowned Premium Footwear Brand of the Year by Drapers. Launched in 2014, Duke + Dexter sells its handmade styles in over 120 countries. The brand’s strength lies in being original and fearless. In this era of everyone shouting at once on digital marketing platforms, this

Great British Brands 2020

has helped it stand out from the crowd and build a truly loyal customer base. The brand now plans to focus more on direct customer interaction, from monthly store events to workshops. Duke + Dexter knows consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable and more emotionally invested in choosing which brands to buy from. This is a great opportunity to explain the ‘why’ behind its designs, through telling stories and creating collaborations that have genuine meaning and resonate with the fearless Duke + Dexter DNA. ‘Everyone loves to say it, but we truly believe that the customer comes first,’ says Archie Hewlett, founder of Duke + Dexter. ‘We send handwritten cards with every repeat order to show that we’re not a faceless business and that we genuinely care about our clients and how our products fit in with their lives. Ultimately that creates a brand that does more than just sell shoes.’ Customers are always welcome at the Duke + Dexter HQ, an immersive hub in London’s Victoria. Here they can explore all four floors, from retail to the design room, and meet some of the team behind the brand. There is a lounge area where anyone is welcome to relax, have coffee and put their feet up – no questions asked, just as long as they’re enjoying themselves. This is also where the brand holds its bespoke consultations, whether they’re with in-house artist, Jess, to discuss an entirely hand-painted shoe or with head of retail, Damien, to talk about classic embroidery work. Clients can also visit the factory where Duke + Dexter footwear is handmade. ‘We want to celebrate our British manufacturing and the masterful craft and expertise that goes into creating every single pair of Duke + Dexter’s,’ says Archie. Plans for 2020 include opening a ‘hub’ in New York – the first Duke + Dexter outside Britain – and building on the success of the collaboration with Snoop Dogg. The brand is rumoured to be joining forces with a legendary British racing driver for an upcoming collection. Duke + Dexter is also developing a number of new styles that will step in a slightly new direction from the classic Duke + Dexter loafer, but still uphold the brand’s core values of quality and fearlessness. Duke + Dexter plans to transfer some of that trademark fearlessness to its customers too: inspiring and enabling them to achieve something they’ve been putting off or been too scared to do – such as a sky dive or bungee jump – and making it happen. In a pair of Duke + Dexter’s, naturally. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 117

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Great British Brands 2020


EDWARD GREEN The luxury shoemaker with roots in two time-honoured traditions

Each pair of its shoes are made to the same principles that have guided Edward Green for over a century

Edward Green 75 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6NP +44 (0)20 7839 0202 edwardgreen1890


dward Green is not about following seasonal trends. Rather, it is in the business of making handsome, beautifully crafted shoes designed to last for years. The brand sees the core values of being a British shoemaker today as being fundamentally very similar to those of 50 or 100 years ago; being part of two traditions which both have deep roots. In Northampton, Edward Green creates shoes cut by hand from the world’s finest leathers, from the same global centre of excellence where Mr Green first established his workshop in 1890. Here each pair of its shoes are made to the same principles that have guided Edward Green for over a century, while Jermyn Street is embedded in the world of St James’s and of classic English style. These traditions are deeply appreciated both at home and abroad, and while both evolve, they are revered because they are constants in an ever-changing world. Edward Green is introducing some

of its classic models (the Dover, a splittoe derby, and the Piccadilly loafer) in a handsome tumbled calf leather, London Grain, which fits well with the move to softer textures in tailoring. The Cranleigh, with its ‘Norwegian Apron’, is inspired by the classic hand-sewn Dover and is a boot designed to appeal to a market increasingly hungry for practical and casual style. Honouring the brand’s tradition of using only the finest calfskins, it is available in a range of Utah calf leathers, made even more supple via extensive steeping in oils. The brand’s technical team has been hard at work developing women’s versions of its classic lasts and the Dover, Galway and Newmarket are all now available ready-to-wear for women, with a much wider selection available to be made-to-order, including a full range of sizes and widths. With the uncertainties of Brexit still in the air and question marks hanging over elements such as raw material costs and duty to key export markets, Edward Green sees that its systems will be a key focus for the coming year. It is looking at how it can better balance supply and demand and ensure that the shoes being made are those most desired by its customers. Edward Green’s focus continues to be on its factory workers, the lifeblood of the business, committed artisans who understand the company’s values and strive to bring these to life. As older employees retire, there is a constant quest for renewal in terms of sourcing and bringing in younger shoemakers with an eye for detail and a taste for learning all the intricacies of the craft. In Northampton, Edward Green is increasing the amount of time given over to staff training, for the skilled craftsperson, able to lend a hand in pretty much any area of the factory. Tradition and craftsmanship are still prized above all else, taking years of training to learn the skills that have been passed down over generations, just like the traditional shoes that are returned to be recrafted over and over again.


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Soul edging in the Edward Green workshop; Cranleigh 202 Last, dark brown Utah with dainite rubber soles; Piccadilly and Dover in London grain leather


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Great British Brands 2020



Rewriting the rulebook for fine and fashionable British footwear and accessories


Fairfax & Favor Narford Hall King’s Lynn Norfolk PE32 1JA +44 (0)1760 338199 fairfaxandfavor

brand that bridges country and town, Fairfax & Favor designs versatile footwear and accessories that intertwine classic country style with a modern city aesthetic. Co-founded by childhood friends Marcus Fairfax Fountaine and Felix Favor Parker, Fairfax & Favor celebrates fun and adventure with its spirited take on British culture and heritage. The brand appeals to both men and women, who love a good story just as they appreciate high-quality products that will last a lifetime. The past year has seen a number of significant milestones for the brand, including being a finalist in the Drapers Footwear Awards 2019 and winner of the Best Luxury/Prestigious Brand at the Direct Commerce Awards. Following a hugely successful campaign, the team raised a five-figure sum for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a limitededition line produced in collaboration with the charity Breast Cancer Care. The brand also reported unprecedented sales growth throughout its multichannel retail model, and remains optimistic about maintaining and even accelerating this in 2020, especially as Fairfax & Favor’s launched their first ever store in Holt, Nolfolk, this year. The present collection is the most comprehensive and ambitious that Fairfax & Favor has ever designed and produced. Womenswear lines have been extended, boundaries pushed within the accessories collection and the men’s offering completely relaunched, with refined shapes, elevated style and improved comfort and fit. The brand introduced its first ever spring/summer collection in 2019, adding sandals and deck shoes, which were phenomenally well received. The autumn/winter collection sees the introduction of new footwear and adaptations to customer favourites. With many similar qualities to its sister boot the Regina, the Burnham is the perfect example of this, complementing the house designs while representing a royal salute to modern military equestrian style. The Burnham flaunts a distinctive combination of contrasting leather spur-and-side straps, intricately stitched toe detailing and innovative stirrup hardware. Another addition is the Belgravia boot, which fits seamlessly into your year-round wardrobe. Delicately crafted from the softest stretch suede, this


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The brand appeals to both men and women, who love a good story just as they appreciate high-quality products that will last a lifetime

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Chelsea (men’s); heeled Regina, The Mini Windsor, The Bedingfeld II & The Oxburgh Travel Bag; The Belgravia; The Elizabeth gilet; The Burnham

gorgeous below-the-knee boot is likely to become a go-to outfit essential, featuring a contrasting leather pull tab and a subtle Cuban heel to give that all-important elegant lift. Available in three classic colours, this design will walk you from desk to drinks party. Fairfax & Favor will continue engaging with the equestrian sector, which provides strong inspiration for many of its products and is woven into a number of its current season hero pieces. The brand will partner with Rockingham International Horse Trials in May, as headline sponsor for the third consecutive year. A Fairfax & Favor pop-up will visit 28 shows throughout Britain, Europe and as far afield as the US, providing invaluable direct contact with the customer. The needs and desires of Fairfax & Favor’s loyal customer base have been – and always will be – the driving force behind this ambitious brand’s ever-evolving collections. The brand works with a young team. They are constantly exploring new avenues and ways of engaging with customers and are empowered to take informed risks and use their initiative to drive the brand forward – rewriting the rulebook to deliver a great British brand. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 121

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Fawley Semi Brogue Oxford; Montrose Edwardian boot

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Carrying the best of London’s craftsmanship and tradition into the future

Foster & Son celebrates its 180th year of making bespoke shoes in London’s St James’s, using the craft and skills passed down unchanged over the decades Foster & Son 83 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6JD +44 (0)20 7930 5385 foster_and_son


oster & Son recently made some of the boldest changes in its long history. It brought all its readyto-wear shoe and leather goods production in-house, creating two entirely new teams of craftsmen and women alongside its longstanding bespoke workshop on Jermyn Street. By attracting the very finest craftspeople to this growing team and giving them the finest natural materials to work with – mostly sourced from Britain – Foster & Son has reached new standards of quality and design and is now able to create new products without compromise. Though a long established brand – and the oldest of its kind in London – Foster & Son always operates with a fresh perspective and continues to look towards the future. It is now the sole London bespoke shoemaker to have its own ready-to-wear production and leather craft workshop. With all new products made in-house their challenge is ‘to create more awareness and communicate with our customers while staying true to our understated and discreet brand image’, according to

Great British Brands 2020

Managing Director, Simon Bolzoni. ‘Our strategy is to use new techniques and innovate with traditional ones to interact with clients in an entirely personal way. This challenge is not only exciting but it is allowing us to use our creativity in new ways’. This year sees Foster & Son celebrate its 180th year of making bespoke shoes in London’s St James’s, using the craft and skills passed down unchanged over the decades. ‘It is a great time to rejoice in being a British brand,’ says Bolzoni. ‘As we celebrate both our history and longterm future, we continue the traditions and crafts that make Britain great. Foster & Son could not exist anywhere else other than in London, in particular St James’s. West End style has a distinctive, understated elegance and we have a responsibility to keep that alive.’ Throughout the coming year Foster & Son is looking forward to releasing many new designs, including stunning classic shoes, cases, bags, wallets, belts and all manner of leather goods. Every item has been meticulously developed, respecting its rich history inspired by its archive. For the first time, customers will be able to purchase not just from the Jermyn Street store but also from the new Foster & Son website and carefully selected stockists around the world. When customers enter the Jermyn Street store and workshop, with the distinctive smell of leather and wooden lasts that cover the walls, they will discover that there is no sales team. Instead they will be interacting with the people involved in developing, creating and making the products, or perhaps planning the restoration of a treasured item. ‘Direct engagement is one of the most important aspects of our identity,’ says Bolzoni, ‘and this comes naturally to us as bespoke makers. Our customers enjoy engaging with our entire team and experiencing the whole process of our product development right from conception. Ultimately our customers are part of our identity and it is that which sets us apart.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 123

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Great British Brands 2020


GRACE HAN Contemporary craftsmanship in leather to last a lifetime

With its refined leather pleats, the design encapsulates the brand’s aim to bridge the gap between sleek minimalism and soft femininity

Grace Han 13 Beauchamp Place London SW3 1NQ +44 (0)20 8001 4621 gracehanglobal


race Han is a British handbag and leather goods brand based on Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge. It will be celebrating its first anniversary in 2020 following a successful launch in February 2019. Its eponymous designer and founder was raised in Taipei, Taiwan, where the Grace Han design atelier is based. London, however, has always been home – her parents met there while studying – and although Grace has been immersed in both Eastern and Western cultures all her life, she was determined to launch her brand in the city that has sparked so many extraordinary fashion stories. Values inherited from her prodigious parents have inspired the Grace Han journey. Her father is a successful entrepreneur and her mother a contemporary artist from Hong Kong, whose paintings take pride of place in the Beauchamp Place store. Every bag is considered to be a unique artistic creation, and for 2020 Grace plans to emphasise this with a series of artist collaborations at the store. 2019 was an exciting beginning, and there

is great optimism around the brand’s innovative signature design, the Ballet Lesson collection. With its refined leather pleats, the design encapsulates the brand’s aim to bridge the gap between sleek minimalism and soft femininity. Despite being at the top end of the range, it has also been the most successful, showing that customers appreciate the dedicated pursuit of perfection. The collection is named in homage to the tireless way in which ballet dancers train to build strength, form and grace. It seemed a perfect metaphor for the way in which Grace determinedly refined the design over many years, its elegant simplicity belying the painstaking techniques required to make it. The pleats are hand-finished by a specialist in-house team in Taiwan, through a highly technical process of steam pressing each fold. The material is then shipped to Italy to be assembled with other components. There are two further collections: Love Letter, with a distinctive envelope closure inspired by letter writing, and Butterfly, a bold and graphic reinterpretation of the pleating that takes inspiration from metamorphosis. Through a series of events at the flagship store – which is also the brand’s office and base – Grace has been delighted to engage with customers. She was determined it would feel like a warm, inviting, luxurious home, somewhere customers could relax and take time – our greatest indulgence – to enjoy the surroundings. It was a special moment when the master craftswomen flew to London to give live demonstrations of the signature pleating technique; customers were also invited to weave their own Grace Han chains. Many more events are planned for 2020, and backpacks, totes, micro bags and phone bags will all be introduced to the collections. Passionately believing that there is an opportunity to revive leather craftsmanship in Taiwan, Grace has invested in new staff and stateof-the-art machinery to gain greater control over the supply chain and focus strongly on quality. These are bags designed to be treasured, pieces which owe their inspiration to classic beauty and functionality which will stand the test of time – a worthy ambition for any luxury brand in 2020.


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FROM LEFT: Ballet Lesson collection, micro bags; Ballet Lesson large chain bag black

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Great British Brands 2020



Respecting past heritage while whole-heartedly embracing the future


oseph Cheaney & Sons has been producing some of the finest, handcrafted English shoes for over 130 years in the same Northamptonshire factory, which has been its headquarters since 1886. From initial pattern design, leather cutting and closing to the final polish, the eightweek process all takes place entirely under one roof, culminating in a Goodyear-welted product that is purely made in England. One-hundred and forty skilled craftsmen and women ensure that every process is proficiently executed with intricacy and finesse. Founded by Joseph Cheaney and his son Arthur, the company initially focused on crafting shoes for some of the finest retailers around the world. The founder’s grandson, Joseph Humfrey Cheaney, realised that the company’s future lay in building its legacy under an eponymous label, and Cheaney was bought by Church & Co in 1964. Cousins Jonathan and William Church subsequently conducted a management buy-out of Cheaney from Church’s in 2009, which was by then, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prada. ‘Cheaney was a wonderful business,’ says Jonathan. ‘It had its own factory, its own machinery and its own workforce with skilled labour, which

Joseph Cheaney & Sons 69 Rushton Road Desborough Northamptonshire NN14 2RR +44 (0)1536 760383 josephcheaney


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Trafalgar capped Derby boot in black calf leather; York capped Oxford in black calf leather; Joseph Cheaney & Sons is truly a British heritage brand; 26 Henrietta Street, Josephy Cheaney & Sons’ Covent Garden store

Cheaney has provided footwear to productions on both the big and small screen, most recently the cult crime drama series Peaky Blinders

was absolutely critical. It was a good traditional heritage brand that was very well known in the industry, but less well known in the consumer market. It had all the right credentials, and we thought we could bring that back into the forefront.’ Cheaney remains committed to the traditional shoemaking processes fundamental to the integrity of producing Goodyearwelted footwear. Diversity of a quality, handcrafted product, combined with an attentive cultivation of the customer experience across all channels, including its strong digital presence, has allowed Cheaney to grow internationally. ‘We try to convey the same theatre of our shops across online,’ Jonathan adds, ‘and the brand makes use of sophisticated lifestyle imagery and design on the site to get this across.’ The global desire for quintessentially British shoes has seen demand in international markets expand exponentially in recent years, with Japan proving the biggest overseas market. This dedication to quality and British manufacturing was recognised when Cheaney was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2016. The brand supplies to 100 stockists in Britain and 200 internationally, and operates eight standalone stores in London, with a ninth opening soon in Marylebone. Each store’s design amalgamates Cheaney’s heritage with a fresh, minimalistic aesthetic, and its recently opened Coal Drops Yard store scooped Best Store Design in Draper’s 2019 Footwear Awards. Cheaney is best known for its timeless brogues and boots, which appeal to both private consumer and commercial buyer, with Cheaney providing footwear to productions on both the big and small screen, most recently the cult crime drama series Peaky Blinders. The notion of a quality, investment purchase is one that resonates strongly with the Cheaney customer, and almost all Cheaney footwear can be refurbished. Providing the original material is in workable condition, Cheaney has refurbished shoes that are decades old, with customers stating that they have been passed down from grandfathers and fathers to be enjoyed and celebrated by another generation. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 127

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Great British Brands 2020


LONDON SOCK COMPANY Classic style with a modern twist

The founders realised that men’s wardrobes were changing but still retained traditional elements and designs that would never go out of style

London Sock Company +44 (0)20 3879 4558 londonsockco


ondon Sock Company wants to reinvent the way that the modern man views his sock drawer. Founded in 2013 by Dave Pickard and Ryan Palmer, London Sock Company is a growing brand that is inspired by quintessential British style. The story behind London Sock Company is one of sartorial expression. The founders realised that men’s wardrobes were changing but still retained traditional elements and designs that would never go out of style. While the modern man’s outfit no longer includes a tie (the time-honoured way to add a splash of personality), good quality socks remain the foundation of any look. ‘Socks are a staple in any gentleman’s wardrobe,’ says Ryan. ‘Our designs take this classic item and give it a contemporary twist, be it a bright colour or a bold print.’ Dave adds, ‘Our designs are traditionally made but the colours reflect what the modern gent wants from his wardrobe.’ The brand’s flagship collection, Simply Sartorial, has a colour palette ranging from traditional Ebony Black to the eye-catching yellow of East India Saffron and

the colour pop of Pink Friday. A sense of style associated with London can be found throughout the collections, with several of them inspired by areas of the city and icons associated with the capital, from elegant Greenwich Fine Spot to classic Jermyn St. Houndstooth. London Sock Company proudly collaborates with other luxury British brands, from exclusively crafted gift boxes with Glenfiddich whisky and Sipsmith gin, to socks designed in partnership with renowned supercar creator McLaren Automotive. The brand’s most recent launch is a luxury cashmere range with Johnstons of Elgin, which has crafted garments in its Scottish mills for over 200 years. London Sock Company is also currently stocked in two iconic British stores, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods. One of the brand’s most popular offerings is its Sock Club – a simple subscription service that sees a new pair of socks sent to members each month. ‘Our Sock Club subscription service is popular for busy professionals who want to refresh their sock drawer but don’t necessarily have the time to go shopping,’ says Dave. ‘The service also makes a great gift: recipients can either pick their own designs or we’ll send them a surprise each month, so if you’re not sure what their style is, they will definitely find something they like.’ Although London Sock Company is a British brand, its second largest customer audience is the US and the founders see this region as a huge area for potential expansion. ‘Over the past 18 months the US has become 40 per cent of our total revenue and we expect it to become our biggest market this year,’ says Ryan. As part of its growing communication with its customers, London Sock Company also curates style edits and tips on how best to incorporate new sock colours and styles into their wardrobes. With the perfect mix of traditional quality and contemporary designs, London Sock Company offers classic style for the modern man.


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Great British Brands 2020



Luxury lingerie fitted to your body, lifestyle and personality


and has evolved over the years to become igby & Peller was founded predominately ready-to-wear,’ says Mark by corsetieres Bertha Rigby Warren, Retail Director. ‘Eighty years and Gita Peller in 1939. It later, we respect the past but we also went on to become an iconic LEFT TO RIGHT: Rigby & Peller’s fit-by-eye service embrace the future. There is certainly global underwear brand, is renowned, with its Lingerie Stylists not just fitting but styling lingerie; The Marie Jo Jane set in black, still a demand for our brand and its providing the underpinnings for made from one of the brand’s oldest embroideries; the PrimaDonna Deauville, one of these bras is sold unique shopping experience – we don’t some of the most world’s most famous across the globe every two minutes simply fit lingerie, we style it, with our women, from rock royalty to crowned Lingerie Stylists having to complete heads. Last year it celebrated its 80th a six-month training programme.’ birthday – a milestone for any brand Founded in London all those years but particularly in today’s retail climate. ago, the brand has remained LondonIn 2011 Rigby & Peller became centric, with five of its nine British majority owned by Belgian lingerie boutiques based in the capital; there manufacturer Van de Velde, whose are also stores in Bluewater, Cambridge, collections include PrimaDonna, Marie Harrogate and Guildford. Rigby & Jo and Andres Sarda. Today the brand Peller is currently exploring demand is proud to boast beautifully crafted readyin other parts of the country, looking at to-wear bra collections in sizes A–J cup, opportunities to broaden its geographic in styles ranging from bralettes and full-cup mix. Since the acquisition by Van de Velde, bras to nursing and sports bras, as well as a it has experienced international expansion throughout Europe, the bespoke service based in its Knightsbridge atelier. US and Asia with more than 30 Rigby & Peller stores in prime locations, In 2018, it added swimwear and nightwear to its offering. all under the umbrella of ‘Rigby & Peller – Lingerie Stylists London’. ‘Rigby & Peller began life as a corsetiere business with one atelier One of the biggest challenges every retailer currently faces is declining footfall. This means that, more than ever, a brand needs to make every customer count – not just those who visit the high street stores, but also those who shop online. A bra should make you look and feel comfortable, confident and beautiful, with no straps cutting in, no gaping and no pinching: Rigby & Peller’s website carries detailed advice on how to achieve this by ensuring that customers order the correct size – though nothing, it points out, can take the place of an in-store fitting by a trained Lingerie Stylist. Customers can also make fitting appointments via the website. ‘There are lots of ways for us to embrace technology, to bring the in-store experience online but also to bring digital aspects to the boutiques as well to provide a seamless omnichannel experience for our clients,’ says Natasha Wood, eComm Manager. One thing is certain: whether accessed instore or online, the service that Rigby & Peller pioneered of fitting lingerie to customers’ bodies, lifestyle and personalities remains at the core of its business – and will do so for the next 80 years.

Providing the underpinnings for some of the world’s most famous women

Rigby & Peller 2 Hans Road London SW3 1RX +44 (0)20 7225 4760 rigbyandpeller


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: An image from the A/W’19 campaign, shot by Kurtiss Lloyd; Sabina working on her illustrations; The Leopard’s Bazaar scarf in 100 per cent cashmere

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SABINA SAVAGE Exquisite scarves printed with intricate hand-drawn designs

Every collection begins with a short story, filled with historical, cultural and artistic references

Sabina Savage + 44 (0)20 7254 2403 sabinasavage


or many of the country’s top brands ‘Britishness’ is all about geography. The brands were founded here, often many generations ago; their products are conceived and designed here and everything is manufactured here. For others, Britishness is more of a state of mind, predicated not upon location but upon the peculiarly British traits of eccentricity, innovation and creativity.

Great British Brands 2020

‘I do think those traits are very British,’ agrees textile designer Sabina Savage, who launched her luxury scarf brand featuring exotic hand-drawn prints on beautiful fabrics in 2013. ‘In that sense, I like to think we are very British indeed and it’s often said that our drawings, colours and designs have an incredibly English feel to them. But so much of my inspiration as a designer comes from foreign and exotic sources; the designs are all printed and produced in Italy and we have so many wonderful customers overseas. I like to say we’re an English brand with a global mindset.’ That global mindset sees Sabina’s scarves sold all over the world – she says her designs are better travelled than she is – with more than 50 stockists across Britain and an exclusive scarf for the University of Texas. Last year she launched a capsule cushion collection with Bergdorf Goodman. ‘The cushions were something new for us. They followed the success of my capsule silk clothing line and, going forwards, I hope to apply my prints to lots of different products.’ It’s Sabina’s hand-drawn prints, of course, that have made her brand so successful in such a short time. Every collection begins with a short story, filled with historical, cultural and artistic references, as well as the exotic animals which feature in the designs. She then researches the theme by going to galleries such as the V&A, as well as reading and sketching. When she’s ready, she draws the intricate scarf designs to full scale. ‘One of the things I love most,’ she says, ‘is when people tell me why they like a particular scarf. It seems that everyone manages to find something incredibly personal within the designs, whether it’s the central animal resembling their pet, the theme reminding them of their favourite novel or even a tiny detail in the scarf bringing back a memory.’ No need to ask what attracted HRH Princess Anne to The Texas Stallion scarf she wore to the christening of Lena Tindall last year. ‘I design a collection book that accompanies each scarf bought online, and I like to think these are cherished alongside the scarf, to keeping its story and history close,’ adds Sabina. The retail landscape may be changing but Sabina remains optimistic about the year ahead. ‘I’ve never followed trends – I design what I love – so it’s a bit nerve-wracking launching the new season’s collections, but somehow they always seem to work. The biggest challenge, I think, will be to stay positive and focused in the months to come, but I am entering this new era with a sense of adventure and an open mind.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 133

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Great British Brands 2020


TRICKER’S Britain’s oldest shoemakers

Tricker’s 67 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6NY +44 (0)20 7930 6395 trickers_shoes


ricker’s has had an exciting year celebrating its 190th anniversary and opening a new store in the Aoyama district of Tokyo, modelled on its famous Jermyn Street headquarters. Japan was the natural choice for the new – and only other – store, as Tricker’s has been exporting to this market for over 30 years. The brand’s London headquarters enjoys a regular pilgrimage of Japanese customers fascinated with the history of both the store and the brand, which has a cult following in Japan. Tricker’s commissioned a new sign from a British specialist for the Tokyo store, sourcing furniture and lighting from English antique shops. The rest of the store was built in Japan, inspired by Jermyn Street. The store opened to great acclaim and queues along the street, underlining the enduring international appeal of the brand and the ‘Made in Northampton’ stamp. As is increasingly the case in overseas markets, Japanese consumers recognise Northampton’s shoemakers as the best in the world. In particular, they associate Tricker’s with the finest Goodyear Welted shoes, an exciting position from which the brand can continue to develop its overseas growth. The Japanese market currently represents a third of Tricker’s export business, closely followed by Italy and the US. Founded in 1829, Tricker’s is still owned by its founding family and remains wholeheartedly committed to making shoes and boots of outstanding quality. All Tricker’s footwear is made from start to finish at its Northampton factory and, while the manufacturing processes have changed over time, its craftsmen and women continue to follow traditional techniques. With one foot firmly rooted in tradition, Tricker’s is keenly taking strides into the future. Whatever the shoe, Tricker’s has never deviated from the high standards laid down 190 years ago while quietly keeping in step with modern techniques and the latest innovations. Tricker’s continues to lead in the traceability and sustainability of the materials used to make Northampton shoes and boots. The advances the brand has made with Olivvia leather – produced with a chrome-free tanning process using a natural extract from olive leaves – are extremely encouraging. It’s remarkable that something so beautiful can be made entirely using waste matter from the food industry.


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There are 250 individual processes in the making of a pair of Tricker’s country boots

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Tricker’s in-house shoemaking craftsmen in the Northampton shoe factory; the Classic Bourton Country shoe in tan; from the archive, two gentlemen welt sewing

The robust shoes, which were almost exclusively worn by farmers at the beginning of the 20th century, before being discovered by the landed gentry and townsfolk, represent premium craftsmanship and unquestionable quality. There are 250 individual processes in the making of a pair of Tricker’s country boots, each taking eight weeks to manufacture. Training new shoemakers has always been at the core of Tricker’s history, so the brand has taken steps to secure its future by introducing more apprenticeships at its factory, with more to come over the next few years. Today, with 75 per cent of its production earmarked for the export market, Tricker’s is a globallyrecognised brand, available in 43 countries worldwide and represented in many of the finest international boutiques. The brand produces two seasonal collections a year, plus a lightweight collection. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 135

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Gainsborough leather backpack; Kimbolton mini leather handbag and crossbody; personalisation of a holdall

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Makers of high-quality British leather bags and suitcases since 1875

Tusting will be celebrating the 30 years that have passed since it started making leather goods after well over a century of leather tanning and trading

Tusting The Tannery Warehouse 29-31 Olney Road Lavendon Olney MK46 4EU +44 (0)1234 712266 tusting


usting is one of Britain’s bestkept secrets when it comes to makers of luxury leather goods. Based at the company’s factory in the heart of the English countryside near Northampton, many of Tusting’s team of artisans are secondor third-generation employees, who owe their knowledge of leather-working to the company’s deep reserves of skill and tradition. The business is run by members of the Tusting family, who are just as passionate about premium leather goods as their ancestors were about their leather.

Great British Brands 2020

In 2019, Tusting launched its Century collection, which takes its inspiration from a pivotal figure in the company’s history, Jack Tusting. Jack had grown up in the family business, which he planned to join properly when he came of age. However, the outbreak of the First World War changed Jack’s path. Aged 17, he enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps, spending much of his time in Egypt. When Jack returned to Britain in 1919, he found that things had changed. In his absence, his beloved grandfather had died, but Jack was shocked to learn that his stepgrandmother had sold the family business, leaving nothing behind. If there’s anything that can be said about the courageous young Jack Tusting, it’s this: he was no quitter. All his life he had dreamed of running a leather business and, not to be defeated, set about founding a new, state-ofthe-art tannery, thereby firmly re-establishing the Tusting family reputation and burnishing it more brightly. The Century collection combines Jack’s aviation past with his passion for leather. Each bag is named after a WWI airfield, with aviation cues prevalent throughout the designs. Pockets and bag flaps on the collection’s backpacks and small shoulder bag recall the shape of a bi-plane wing, while the corner details of the cityfocused holdall and suitcase are evocative of a tail fin. A piped-leather trim finishes the bags off, while an innovative, fully biodegradable lining in Air Force blue recalls Jack’s roots and heroics. In 2020, Tusting will be celebrating the 30 years that have passed since it started making leather goods after well over a century of leather tanning and trading. Every one of its bags since then has been made in its workshop near Northampton, and they’ll continue to be. Tusting considers that manufacturing in Britain is the gold standard for British brands – it’s something it holds dear and of which the family is very proud. ‘Growth outside of Britain is our main focus for 2020,’ says Gillian Tusting. ‘We already have strong markets in the USA, China and Japan, and we’ll be putting increased energy into growing these. This is where we find the optimism is – in marked contrast to Britain and Europe – and, as ever, there is a greater appreciation for British-made products here than in the home market.’ ‘Flexibility and agility will be the biggest requirements in 2020,’ says Alistair Tusting. ‘Happily, these are attributes we already have, so we just need to be on our game.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 137

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Great British Brands 2020



Exquisite fine jewellery with a playful aesthetic

Annoushka set up her eponymous brand to offer wearable, personal and playful pieces that took the ‘reverence’ out of jewellery

Annoushka 41 Cadogan Gardens London SW3 2TB +44 (0)20 7881 5828 annoushkajewellery


ne of the most striking and original collaborations of 2018 was between Annoushka Ducas, founder of Annoushka, and The Vampire’s Wife, aka Susie Bick. Together they created 13 whimsical charms in 18ct gold, each inspired by a Nick Cave song: Red Right Hand is represented by a tiny rose gold hand with a ruby ring; God Is In The House is a chapel that opens up to reveal a couple getting married. The collection came as no surprise to anyone familiar with Annoushka’s signature aesthetic. The original founder of Links of London,

she set up her eponymous brand in 2009 specifically to offer wearable, personal and playful pieces that took the ‘reverence’ out of jewellery. ‘I create what I like to wear. It must be comfortable, versatile, unfussy, yet also tell a story. I love colour and my jewellery reflects this,’ she says. For example her latest collection, Hidden Reef mixes diamonds with vibrant pink sapphires to exquisite effect. All Annoushka’s designs are handmade, using precious stones and always in 18ct gold, which allows her to achieve the intricate detailing and playfulness that characterises the collections. ‘Eighteen-carat gold can be handled and touched; it glows lustrously and is the perfect complement to all skin tones,’ she says. ‘We celebrated our ten-year anniversary this year and we’re very proud of everything we have achieved in that time. It has also been an opportunity to revisit some of the early collections and to reinterpret some of the favourites like Dream Catcher, Dusty Diamonds and Touchwood.’ The company runs a series of unique and engaging events such as Inspirational Women Lunches, Saturday Clubs and Behind the Scenes, where customers are invited to experience the Annoushka world and delve deeper into the creative design. For global web customers, there is a seamless personal shopping video connecting them with in-store associates for a real-time personalised service. The next challenge for Annoushka is to expand internationally. The brand is currently building on its success in Hong Kong by becoming the first British fine jewellery designer to make a serious move into the Chinese mainland by partnering with Chow Tai Fook’s Jewelria initiative. Annoushka can now be found in six Jewelria stores in Wuhan, Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai with a further 30 to 40 counters to open over the next three years. Plans for this year include launching a Bridal collection. Clients have always seen the brand as an alternative bridal offer – indeed, one bride got on so well with the Head of Private Sales that he ended up helping her put together her entire wedding outfit, including the dress – but this will be the first time it designs specifically for the market. Annoushka is also looking forward to collaborating again with The Vampire’s Wife – the first collection continues to be a winner and is stocked with partners globally. ‘I like to think of my jewellery as little pieces of treasure,’ she says. ‘I hope that each piece will become an heirloom.’


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FROM TOP: Annoushka 18ct gold & sapphire Hidden Reef large hoop earrings; Annoushka 18ct gold & sapphire Hidden Reef cuff

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Great British Brands 2020



Bespoke and fine jewellery since 1798

It’s not just about glamorous parties and glossy shows: customer events include intimate breakfasts, design lectures and trips to diamond suppliers

Boodles 178 New Bond Street London W1S 4RH +44 (0)20 7493 3240 boodlesjewellery


rom boutique tennis tournaments, glossy car shows and horse racing to black tie galas and in-store receptions, it’s hard to think of a more engaged corporate sponsor than Boodles. Indeed, the brand is involved in around 150 events across Britain and overseas every year. A hectic schedule by any standards, let alone for a luxury retail company with nine successful shops. But then this is a company that has always relished a challenge. Founded in 1798, Boodles is one of the few family-owned jewellers remaining on London’s Bond Street, and at a time when many physical

stores are closing all over the country, the brand is considering opening new ones. ‘2019 was a successful year for Boodles, so there is always the overriding challenge of trying to overtake the previous year’s figures,’ says James Amos, Boodles’ Director. ‘We have nine shops in Britain and Ireland, but we think we might like to venture further afield. The challenge is deciding where to go and then making it happen.’ At the same time, this is a brand only too aware of the need to adapt and evolve as the way in which we shop changes. ‘We are constantly trying to innovate and provide experiences for our customers away from the shops,’ says James Amos. ‘Some of our very best customers never come to our shops anyway, so it has always been up to us to provide exciting opportunities to spend time with them – that’s why we sponsor so many events.’ And it’s not just about glamorous parties and glossy shows: customer events include intimate breakfasts, design lectures and trips to diamond suppliers. Boodles has even hosted dinner parties in customers’ own homes. Conscious that consumers also care a great deal more about provenance than they did even a decade ago, Boodles recently announced a new partnership with the world-famous Cullinan Mine in South Africa. While there is often no way of telling exactly where most diamonds have been mined, this partnership enables Boodles to offer beautiful stones, which it can categorically say come from the Cullinan Mine. When you see ‘BOODLES’ and the letter ‘C’, you know you’re looking at a diamond with a very special pedigree. Other partnerships include working with a number of British leading films, including a major British production due to be released in 2020. The company will also be providing jewellery for several big blockbusters as well as working closely with young British acting talent through a series of events and initiatives. ‘The next decade may well see even faster rates of change and development than we have seen in the last decade,’ says James Amos. ‘We will continue to champion British design and British craftsmanship through our Liverpool-based design team and our London-based craftsmen. We will also be celebrating 100 years since we acquired our Liverpool shop/head office, a milestone for Boodles in the city and proof that regional companies can grow into national brands.’


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Boodles champions British design and craftsmanship with Strawberry Pickings Wonderland; Chalk Streams (left) as modelled by Yasmin and Amber Le Bon.

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Great British Brands 2020



Fine jewellery, luxury watches and hand-crafted silver since 1866


amilton & Inches was established by Robert Kirk Inches and his uncle, James Hamilton, 150 years ago. With the brand’s first female CEO, Victoria Houghton, newly at the helm, the Edinburgh-based jeweller and Royal Warrant holder is looking forward to an exciting future. Victoria brings a wealth of experience from previous roles in creative buying and strategic management and her fresh approach is driven by passion and dedication. That said, she doesn’t envision attaining her goals by deviating from Hamilton & Inches’ tradition of craftsmanship and quality. Indeed, preserving the company’s rich heritage, which includes the honour of having held the Royal Warrant as silversmiths and clock specialists to Her Majesty the Queen for more than 120 years, is key to her vision for the brand. With consumers more focused on meticulously crafted, long-lasting possessions than ever before, the British luxury sector is worth £48 billion to the British economy and is forecast

The Scottish Gold collection has been designed with gold mined from the Cononish Gold Mine

to continue to experience rapid growth in the next few years, reaching around £65 billion by 2024. These statistics bode well for Hamilton & Inches, not only for the brand as a whole but for its new Scottish Gold collection, the first in a series of celebratory jewels that the company intends to launch. The Scottish Gold collection has been designed with gold mined from the Cononish Gold Mine in the Scottish Highlands, the only commercial gold mine in Scotland. The Hamilton & Inches Scottish Gold boasts Single Mine Origin (SMO) status, which means its exact origin is certified, and it is refined without coming into contact with any other gold. Comprising a collection of 30 stunning heirloom pieces inspired by Scotland’s craft legacy, each piece has been painstakingly handcrafted by world-class fine jewellery designers and master craftspeople in Hamilton & Inches’ Edinburgh workshop. Hamilton & Inches is also offering clients a rare opportunity to design special commissions from their own piece of Scottish gold. Of course, Britain is synonymous not just with heritage but also with innovation, both of which Hamilton & Inches embraces whole-heartedly, weaving new concepts and ideas together with history and tradition. The Holyrood Cuff, from the new Scottish Gold collection, perfectly exemplifies this, paying homage to the brand’s Victorian roots and marrying a bold, dramatic shape with vintage-inspired curves and lines. Similarly, Hamilton & Inches’ Edinburgh showroom on George Street is a testament to the past; developed from a private residence to a retail space in 1835, and will soon be undergoing renovations to create an immersive retail experience, while retaining many of its precious original features. Above the showroom, the Hamilton & Inches workshop weds traditional craftsmanship with new talent, championing a new generation of craftspeople while retaining the detailed meticulousness of artisanal skill. ‘It’s an exciting and invigorating time for Hamilton & Inches and I’m delighted to have joined at such a moment in its history,’ says Victoria Houghton. ‘I’m looking forward to building on such an iconic Scottish brand and blending its abundant heritage with new and vibrant future plans in 2020.’ Hamilton & Inches 87 George Street Edinburgh EH2 3EY +44 (0)131 225 4898 hamiltoninches


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Loch Leven earrings; Fleur-de-lys diamond pendant; Stirling Castle necklace and Tyndrum Waterfall earrings; Hollyrood Palace cuff

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Great British Brands 2020


LARK & BERRY Diamond disruptors with a cultured future

If you, as a consumer, care about planet Earth, then this update to the age-old ‘girl’s best friend’ is an exciting no-brainer

Lark & Berry 52a George Street London W1U 7EA +44 (0)7728 240385 larkandberry


n terms of capturing the zeitgeist, Lark & Berry – the world’s first designer jewellery brand to offer only cultured diamonds and gemstones – appears to be riding the crest of a wave. Its proposition is that cultured diamonds are equal to mined diamonds – often superior, in fact – yet the way they are produced is sustainable, less environmentally damaging and guaranteed 100 per cent conflict-free, making them a crucial new choice in the marketplace. In other words, if you, as a consumer, care about planet Earth, then this update to the age-old ‘girl’s best friend’ is an exciting no-brainer. With a flagship store in London’s Marylebone, other stockists in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, and an active and engaging presence on social media inviting us to #ShineDifferent, Lark & Berry has only been open for a year, yet its jewellery has already won design awards and been paraded by celebrities at AMFAR, the Met Gala, the Tonys and the BFAs. It also featured in ‘Our Royal Baby’, a book to commemorate Meghan Markle and Prince

Harry’s relationship and the birth of their first baby, Archie. Nicknamed the ‘Diamond Disruptors’ by media commentators, the brand has a dual mission: to sell and to educate. To disrupt the industry in a positive way, it has to undo the stigma around ‘fake diamonds’ that lives in the market place. The way to do this, of course, is to emphasise its sustainability. ‘As consumers learn the facts about lab-grown gems, including how they are created with 100 per cent renewable energy, they are actually grateful a choice like this exists,’ says founder, Laura Chavez. ‘I’m very proud of how far Lark & Berry has come, and thrilled with how Britain in general has received cultured diamond jewellery. I think our quick success as a brand speaks to Britain’s openmindedness and passion for sustainable choices, which have made cultured diamonds an increasingly sought-after gem.’ The buzz surrounding this disruptive challenger to the jewellery market is growing – in fact the brand’s research says that 70 per cent of millennials now know of, and would consider buying, a cultured diamond ring. But it is not just millennials, as evidenced by a booking Lark & Berry took for its new in-store piercing concept. ‘It was for a family – a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter – three generations coming for cultured diamond piercings. They were so excited and I loved watching this family bonding experience. It was special to see very differently-aged people put their trust in us and this game-changing concept.’ As Lark & Berry moves through 2020 and onward, Chavez is aiming to build the brand into a household name and an emblem of doing the right thing for the planet in every aspect of life. ‘The choices we make now will greatly impact the way in which we leave our planet for future generations. For this reason I think acceptance of cultured diamonds will grow as people realise they’re getting the best possible diamond in terms of quality and for planet Earth and at the fairest price.’


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Lark & Berry engagement rings; Atelier bow necklace; trio of stacking rings

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Bohemia collection; RockChic collection; Charlie Pragnell, Managing Director; fancy pink pear-shaped diamond with diamond cluster surrounding

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Great British Brands 2020


Purveyors of rarity underpinned by the knowledge of six generations of jewellers


s a consequence of acquisition or marriage, Pragnell houses the heritage of several great British jewellery brands: ‘Philip Antrobus – est 1815’, ‘George Tarratt – est 1913’ and ‘Waters and Blott – est 1850’. It is 65 years since George Pragnell arrived with his young family at Five Wood Street, Stratfordupon-Avon, with dreams of setting up home and continuing the family business there. Today George’s grandsons, Charlie Pragnell and Tom Crookenden, continue to work from Wood Street and Pragnell’s headquarters remain in the old Tudor family home. In 1991, Jeremy expanded the shop into number six and now Charlie is completing that expansion into number seven, establishing a proud family legacy beyond even George’s dream. Number seven houses a new jewellery workshop above the showroom and a state-of-the-art kitchen so customers can dine in the shop under the Jacobean ceiling among the rare jewels and antique silver. Pragnell’s jewellery ranges from traditional goldsmithing to contemporary collections. At Pragnell’s heart lies The Masterpiece Collection, ago, has become increasingly established and in which every piece is one of a kind, incorporating a destination for high-profile individuals seeking a rare gemstone, selected by a family member. absolute discretion. ‘While our customers love the ‘My grandfather’s advertisements used to say, “Our rarity and individuality that we can offer, they also knowledge is your safeguard” and to this day our foundations are solidly built on knowledge, expertise value the privacy and independence of a familyand training,’ says Charlie. ‘In Leicestershire we have run firm,’ says Charlie. ‘Our own family name is still above the door today, which maximises fully accredited watch and jewellery workshops with how much we want to ensure our customers are 17 gemologists across the company.’ properly cared for. We are wholly independent The Pragnell Seal is a guarantee that the so we can be flexible and adapt to situations. design is exclusive to the house and of fine British From a global perspective people still respect the craftsmanship, cemented by Pragnell’s 2018 standards that the British uphold, underpinned Queen’s Award for Enterprise. ‘More and more by our values, traditions and laws. people are seeking individuality beyond a badge,’ We’re quite rightly seen to be trustworthy says Charlie, ‘and we wholeheartedly and reliable purveyors of quality. believe in individuality and rarity.’ Domestically, Britishness 2019 was a year to celebrate, is becoming more valued partly because Pragnell acquired with a real feeling of some extremely rare multicoloured loyalty, inevitable in diamonds. This is a triumph for this uncertain climate. Pragnell, given that fancy coloured The cost of political and diamonds have risen in price by economic distraction 318 per cent since 2005. It’s also has been undervalued, the year that Pragnell launched its so I’m optimistic that, ‘RockChic’ and ‘Bohemia’ collections, once greater directional attractive to younger women and certainty is established, we’ll those buying for themselves. be surprised and that 2020 will Meanwhile Pragnell’s Mount be an excellent year.’ Street store, which opened two years

‘Our own family name is still above the door, which maximises how much we want to ensure our customers are properly cared for’

Pragnell 5-7 Wood Street Stratford-Upon-Avon Warwickshire CV37 6JA +44 (0)1789 267072 pragnell_fine_jewellery


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Great British Brands 2020



Innovative jeweller with a rebellious streak and rock star appeal

Stephen Webster 2nd Floor 130 Mount Street London W1K 3NY +44 (0)20 3298 0970 stephenwebsterjewellery



enowned for 40 years as the rock ’n’ roller of jewellers, the Stephen Webster brand is characterised by an unapologetically rebellious streak that has given life to a succession of strikingly innovative collections. In 2020, it’s possible to add ‘rebel with a cause’ to this, as the brand goes all out to emphasise its sustainable craftsmanship credentials. ‘We want to champion our long track record in sustainable manufacturing and our commitment to best practice around mining precious materials and gem provenance,’ says founder Stephen Webster. ‘Being part of Positive Luxury and dedicated to the environmental cause is fundamental to the brand’s DNA. We recently launched a recycling service with our new Reset programme. Clients can bring us their old, less wearable pieces in any precious metal or stones and we’ll rework them into new, contemporary designs. Fine jewellery has astounding longevity and this needs to be spoken of more loudly by the entire industry. We’ll continue to lead the conversation where we can.’ Responsible luxury aside, the Stephen Webster brand remains best known for its bold approach to both design and business. Its new collection, Vertigo – a reference to the spiralling sensation of jumping into the unknown – is a timely metaphor for the era but, as Webster says, ‘Our focus is on continuing to push ourselves creatively as we diversify with vigour and enthusiasm – embracing the opportunities that global political and economic uncertainties inadvertently churn up. As a brand we believe in never standing still or being safe – quite the opposite in fact.’ Diversification includes the addition of luxury homeware and barware lines in 2020, effectively evolving the brand into the ‘lifestyle’ arena. ‘Being able to showcase jewellery, home and barware as part of a lifestyle concept at places like Design Miami creates a new energy and enhances our relationships with our customers,’ says Webster. Not that diversifying is expected to take the edge off the brand’s attitude. Since 2010, when Stephen Webster first


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‘Fine jewellery has astounding longevity and this needs to be spoken of more loudly by the entire industry. We’ll continue to lead the conversation’

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Vertigo Very Obtuse hoops; Vertigo Obtuse hoops, Vertigo Obtuse bracelet, Vertigo Gaining Perspective ring and Vertigo Obtuse ring; founder, Stephen Webster; Fly By Night Crystal Haze large ring; Jitterbug ring

opened a flagship store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills – with a loft for displaying the creative talents of artists, photographers, chefs and musicians and a blazing red neon sign bearing the ‘No Regrets’ motif – it has been clear what it stood for. Webster says, ‘We’ve recently taken our No Regrets pop-up on the road to our retail partners around the world and the reception among clients and taste makers has been phenomenal. Two clients even purchased the neon sign, so we’ve added this to our collection.’ Stephen Webster is planning more interactive events in the coming year, which is also the 25th anniversary of Crystal Haze – the distinctive collection which did so much to propel the brand into the limelight when it was enthusiastically adopted in the 1990s by rockstars, royalty and Hollywood. Celebrating this milestone, the brand will get to bask in its heritage of craftsmanship, innovative design and – naturally enough – the thrill of having no regrets. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 151

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Great British Brands 2020



Crafting originally eclectic jewellery and silverware since 1982


heo Fennell has been synonymous with designing and creating original, show-stopping jewellery for nearly 40 years. Classic and much-loved pieces include keys, opening rings and creatures. Founded by the eponymous silverware and jewellery designer in 1982, the brand began life in a modest shop with a studio and workshop on London’s Fulham Road. It has since matured into a purpose-built show-gallery close to the original premises, though crucially, it still has its own workshops. It’s these workshops that are key to the brand’s continued success, particularly now that an increasing number of customers from all backgrounds are asking for bespoke

Theo Fennell is a founder member of The Leopards, a group of British designers and jewellery trade illuminati. The Leopards was set up to celebrate British jewellery

or customised pieces. ‘I think this is part of the move away from the mass production of global brands to the more sympathetic and original work that we do in our workshops here,’ says Theo. ‘Having the studio and workshop above the gallery allows customers to watch their piece evolving, from the first sketches right up to the finished item.’ At Theo Fennell, it’s not just about creating beautiful pieces from scratch. If a customer has inherited or been given a piece that is exquisite but not to their taste, upcycling can be the solution. ‘Redesigning pieces with sentimental meaning so that they can be worn again is something we have done for decades, preserving the most emotionally charged elements in the final design.’ Theo Fennell is justifiably proud of what it calls its ‘loyal family of customers’, among them an increasing number of younger clients buying from the brand’s collections and limited editions. ‘I think we have an eclecticism and reference base that is quintessentially British but, like the best of this country’s design, we draw on influences from all over the world,’ he says ‘Our clientele has more of an idiosyncratic character than a national one and tends to be made up of creative people and those more interested in unique design and quality.’ Theo Fennell is a founder member

Theo Fennell 169 Fulham Road London SW3 6SP +44 (0)20 7591 5000 officialtheofennell


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Stonehenge Summer Solstice opening ring; POW! Pop ‘Art stud earrings and OMG Pop ‘Art pendant; Theo Fennell; cocktail shaker, with diver’s helmet top and sterling silver martini glass; yellow and white gold diamond railings bangle with dogs

of The Leopards, a group of British designers and jewellery trade illuminati. The Leopards was set up to celebrate British jewellery and silver innovation, expertise and design excellence while promoting and nurturing new talent. ‘We are envied all over the world but hardly celebrated here,’ says Theo, ‘so The Leopards is about banging the gong for our fabulous and vibrant trade in Britain.’ The brand will also be expanding the work it does with Gilded Youth, which helps mentor and encourage students in the jewellery trade. As well as overseeing initiatives and giving prizes, Theo Fennell invites a small number of students to exhibit their work in its showroom every year to ‘give them some sort of start and exposure.’ Theo Fennell acknowledges there are obvious challenges facing every company at the moment, but believes that when things are shaky, people look for reassurance. ‘Rather than looking for instant gratification, they gravitate to things that are really well made, original and talismanic.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 153

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Great British Brands 2020


AMANDA HARRINGTON LONDON The art of modern bronzing


manda Harrington London was built on the premise that healthy skin tans best with its skilful formulation: where cosmeceutical skincare meets sunless tan. Challenging previous conceptions around ‘tacky tanning’ and unrealistic, orange results, the brand has launched to rave reviews for its modern, natural approach to tanning. It is designed to work with all skin tones and diversities, enhancing the skin’s natural tone for a realistic glow all year round. ‘I love the boost in confidence that a tan can give,’ says founder, Amanda Harrington. Make-up and body artist Harrington is one of the beauty industry’s most respected and innovative sunless tanning experts, having accumulated over 15 years’ experience sculpting and bronzing an A-list clientele on film sets and editorial shoots. While tanning Hollywood’s elite, she believed there had to be a better way to bronze than traditional spray tanning, where clients could inhale excess toxic formulation. She began mixing her own bespoke tints and creams, layering and buffing with brushes to enhance the natural form, for a flawless, streak-free finish. The results were so addictive that requests for an at-home range flooded in. After years of development she launched her vegan-friendly tanning and skincare formulations

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Founder, Amanda Harrington; models showcasing shades rose, honey and olive; New Skin Body Glycolic Scrub; Amanda’s unique brush-on tan application; bronzing body set in honey

in 2019, free from parabens, alcohol and sulphates. Key to the range are tanning kits for face and body, designed to ensure a professional finish. ‘Self-tan really is a powerful tool, it’s such an achievable boost in body confidence,’ explains Harrington. ‘With each brush stroke my clients get elevated to the best version of themselves. I call it the “peacock effect”.’ The brand partnered with Harvey Nichols for its retail and online launch, which included a consumer roadshow of events in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. Harrington says, ‘We toured with our bronzing bar, educating Harvey Nichols customers

on tanning through individual skin tones, a revolutionary method that only we do. I spent time with each customer, demonstrating how to approach modern tanning.’ As a British-born brand, Amanda Harrington London proudly manufactures all products in Britain; it also sources packaging and other inventory from within the UK. ‘It’s important to us to support independent British businesses; this is also how we have maintained our luxury positioning, while exploring global growth. Quality is something I won’t compromise on,’ says Harrington. The focus for 2020 will be to expand availability through retailers and online in Britain and Europe, including travel retail. US expansion is also on the horizon and new products will join the collection, including a travel kit and make-up line. In true millennial style, relatable and real founder-led content is paramount to the brand. ‘When Amanda is in front of the camera,’ says Rachel Kavanagh, Managing Director, ‘we get four times the amount of traffic to the website. She has created tutorials from her bathroom, hotel rooms, the office and on set. Amanda has turned traditional tanning on its head and made it accessible to everyone. She invites you in, to discover the incredible confidence a golden glow can give.’

Amanda Harrington London +44 (0)20 3542 1478 amandaharringtonlondon


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Great British Brands 2020



The home of molecular wellness, regeneration and beauty


BelleCell 21 Arlington Street St James’s London SW1A 1RN +44 (0)20 7495 2768 bellecell

veryone wants to live a long, active and fulfilled life, but how best to optimise your chances of achieving this? London’s BelleCell Clinic provides a space in which breakthrough scientific analysis techniques are harnessed to provide clients with a deeper understanding of how their bodies work at a molecular level. Using this information, hyperpersonalised treatment programmes are designed to boost the body’s natural regeneration process and tackle cellular ageing. The clinic also addresses beauty, aesthetic and nutritional concerns. Situated in a quiet and unassuming courtyard behind the Ritz Hotel in Mayfair, BelleCell was founded by bioscientist turned entrepreneur Kasia Zajkowska, whose in-depth knowledge of molecular technologies and cellular ageing enabled her to bring proven scientific advancements and treatments to the consumer market. Visitors will discover an accessible, contemporary and surprisingly sociable space, enlivened by dynamic wall projections. The clinic incorporates face, body and detox chambers, a sports performance lab, a fusion lounge where a variety of therapies can be carried out simultaneously, and an oxy lounge offering a full range of oxygen therapies, including altitude training. Popular treatments, some of which are distinctive to the clinic, include electrical muscle stimulation training and IV light therapy, which can be combined with IV nutritional therapy. There is also a zero gravity massage chair, red light therapy and energised air inhalation. ‘Regenerative treatments and therapies can now be enjoyed daily as a social experience, not just in a clinical or retreat environment,’ explains Kasia. Britain is considered to be at the forefront of technological, scientific and medical innovation in this field, and producing science-based solutions is the driving force for BelleCell’s activities. Cuttingedge metabolic and molecular (including genetic) testing, using the most effective technology, forms the basis for all bespoke treatments and programmes. Analysis is then carried out by a clinical team of doctors, nutritionists, therapists and performance experts working closely together to provide a comprehensive insight into clients’ wellbeing on a cellular level. At the heart of the process is a recognition that one size does not fit all – each programme is designed to be as unique to the individual as his or her genetic make-up is. As well as offering wellness and rejuvenation


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At the heart of the process is a recognition that one size does not fit all

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Zero gravity fusion lounge; BelleCell social space; virtual reality science projection

solutions, high on BelleCell’s agenda for 2020 is educating on the importance of a proactive approach to health optimisation and longevity. The clinic is committed to putting prevention and health awareness at the forefront of people’s minds and has started to see a positive shift in the conversation surrounding how health and wellness programmes relate to increased productivity and performance. It is taking steps to become a thought-leader in the global health community, providing credible, easy to understand, sciencedriven solutions. In collaboration with other Great British brands, BelleCell is also developing innovative new experiences and retreats. The clinic will continue to hold its popular open social evenings, where anyone can drop in to experience treatments, learn about health optimisation and mingle with like-minded individuals. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 159

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Great British Brands 2020


CHARLOTTE TILBURY The make-up artist beauty company that sparked a revolution


Charlotte Tilbury +44 (0)1202 629527 ctilburymakeup

harlotte Tilbury MBE discovered the transformative power of make-up at the age of 13 and has dedicated her career to helping women and men, all around the world, to look and feel like the most beautiful versions of themselves ever since. Before she launched her award-winning makeup and skincare company in 2013, Charlotte had a successful career as a make-up artist working and as creative director for a series of well-known beauty houses. Into her edited but ‘all you need’ collection, she poured her best-kept secrets, gleaned from working at the forefront of the beauty industry and creating hundreds of iconic Vogue, Vanity Fair and other magazine covers with the world’s A-list, models, designers and photographers. Her mantra is, ‘Give everyone the right make-up and they can conquer the world,’ believing that when you look good, you feel good and the world reacts to you in a different way. A reflection of Charlotte’s own vibrant personality and her understanding of the power of make-up, which she says, ‘is everyone’s secret weapon.’ Charlotte set out to revolutionise the beauty industry with her easy-to-choose, easy-to-use and easy-to-shop make-up magic and supercharged skincare secrets. Finding solutions to problems, Charlotte’s products have become synonymous with game-changing innovation and many have earned cult status, including Charlotte’s Magic Cream and Pillow Talk. To accompany the products, she decoded her expertise into essential make-up tricks, tips and tools – shared via a medium of platforms, from in-store to online and social media. Charlotte’s reach online has grown significantly since launching, gathering millions of followers with whom she is able to share her beauty secrets with on a daily basis. In just six years since the company launched, Charlotte has built a global beauty empire, with incredible expansion. Her company is now available through more than 400 well-known, international department stores. Products are also sold online – via – to 76 countries. In November 2015, Charlotte launched her first standalone Beauty Boudoir store in London’s Covent Garden and followed it with a second outlet at


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Charlotte set out to revolutionise the beauty industry with her easy-to-choose, easy-to-use and easy-to-shop make-up magic and supercharged skincare secrets

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Charlotte Tilbury; Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Wonderland, Covent Garden; Pillow Talk; Charlotte’s Magic Cream; Airbrush Flawless foundation

Westfield, White City. Since 2018, Charlotte has opened a further nine standalone stores in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and a two-storey Beauty Wonderland in Kuwait. The bestselling beauty company has also won over 280 awards including winning Best British Brand at the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) awards four times, and Charlotte personally received the CEW Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, Charlotte was presented with an MBE from Her Majesty The Queen for her services to the beauty and cosmetics industry. Much of the impetus for the brand’s success has come from Charlotte Tilbury’s little black book. She has co-created trends on the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. She has co-crafted game-changing beauty campaigns for luxury houses like Missoni, Burberry and Louis Vuitton, and has worked with photographers, fashion editors and influencers. Perhaps the most powerful endorsement has come from international beauties like Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively and Salma Hayek, who have all walked the red carpet wearing a Charlotte Tilbury look – utterly confident and empowered. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 161

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Great British Brands 2020



Award-winning cosmetic doctor and the London Lip Queen


n the world of cosmetic medicine, Dr Rita Rakus’ award-winning clinic in London’s Knightsbridge has become almost as wellknown a British institution as its next door neighbour, Harrods. Indeed, like Harrods, Dr Rakus does not just serve the needs of Londoners, but also attracts an international clientele looking to enhance, contour and rejuvenate themselves. And it’s no wonder. Since its launch 25 years ago, her London clinic has taken centre stage in the global aesthetics market and established Dr Rakus herself as the go-to cosmetic doctor for stars of stage and screen, business people, models, presenters and even the odd mountain climber. With a team of expert cosmetic doctors and equipped with the latest technology, often initially made available exclusively to Dr Rakus, the clinic offers a comprehensive range of noninvasive cosmetic treatments, most designed to achieve results over a longer period of time rather than a quick – and all too obvious – fix. There are the established anti-ageing favourites and her particular forte, lip enhancement, which has earned her the moniker of ‘London Lip Queen’. Her extensive range of non-invasive machine treatment for the face and body now includes the new EmSculpt. EmSculpt, and its sister treatment, EmSella, for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, are set to revolutionise the world of body contouring and there is no one better to help patients transform themselves than Dr Rakus, who is the official global ambassador for this treatment.

As non-invasive cosmetic treatments continue to grow in popularity and are an increasingly accepted way to help us look our best, Dr Rita Rakus will continue to set the standard


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There’s no doubt that Dr Rakus is a true pioneer as well as a respected leader in cosmetic medicine. She is a founder member and Fellow of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) and in addition to her own clinical work is involved in training, lecturing and setting standards for practising doctors within this field. Her name has also been inscribed on the Royal Society of Medicine’s Wall of Honour in recognition of her work. Naturally she and her clinic have won many accolades, including a Fashion 4 Development award, presented at the First Ladies luncheon during last year’s United Nations General Assembly in New York. Her Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum Sun Protection SPF 50 won the ‘Editor’s Choice’ category in the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2019. Unsurprisingly, Dr Rakus has become a media

darling and features regularly on television, in the national press and in lifestyle magazines. The power of her brand has also been rolled out to adorn her own range of specially formulated skincare products, from serums and cleansers to her celeb favourite, the Protect SPF Moisturiser and Lip Plumper. Plans for 2020 include greater involvement in the world of anti-ageing, working with the National University of Singapore and The Buck Institute on stem cell treatments. As non-invasive cosmetic treatments continue to grow in popularity and are an increasingly accepted way to help us look and feel our best, Dr Rita Rakus will continue to set the standard. Her brand is now as integral to the lifestyle of image-conscious consumers as their designer perfume, luxury jewellery and couture clothing.

Dr Rita Rakus Clinic 34A Hans Road London SW3 1RW +44 (0)20 7460 732 drritarakus_


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Great British Brands 2020



Advanced skincare brand combining French manufacture with unique formulations Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh

Dr Sebagh 25 Wimpole Street London W1G 8GL +44 (0)20 7637 0548 drsebagh


he Dr Sebagh brand, co-owned by cosmetic doctor Jean-Louis Sebagh and businesswoman and philanthropist Melissa John, is one of the few privately-owned skincare brands that formulates and manufactures its own products. This independence enables it to develop unique and powerful formulations using advanced bio-tech ingredients, carefully chosen for their potency and specific benefits in addressing a particular skincare need or area of concern. The Dr Sebagh brand’s philosophy has always been about the skin’s individual needs, and that ‘feeding’ it properly with the correct ingredients for your skin type, in the right concentration and using the latest bio-technology available, is the key to achieving the best possible skin. Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh was the first person to advocate the mixing of different serums to create a personal skincare regime. He explains, ‘As a cosmetic surgeon, I don’t believe in miracle skincare creams, but I do believe that good quality skincare can make a real difference to the skin. Feeding the skin on a daily basis, with ingredients carefully selected for your own needs, is essential to maintain a youthful skin.’ Although the brand views education about product quality as a potential challenge, it appears to be succeeding. It has garnered numerous awards for excellence, especially for the ‘hero’ products loved by beauty insiders, Hollywood celebrities and influencers worldwide. These include Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask, Serum Repair, Supreme Maintenance Youth Serum, Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, winner of three awards in 2019 alone, and the just-launched Vitamin C Brightening Primer SPF15. ‘I am also excited about our new microbiome essences and new-generation Retinol Night Repair, both launching in 2020,’ he says. Dr Sebagh attributes the brand’s success to this drive for quality and integrity, coupled with the best French manufacturing, with its history of innovation and excellence. There are also moves to embrace sustainability: ‘I am feeling very optimistic and positive about the changes we are making with packaging, as it is our aim to be eco-friendly by the end of 2020.’ Alongside its core activities, the Dr Sebagh


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‘Skin maintenance should start as early as possible to slow down the ageing process’

Dr Sebagh and Melissa John

brand has a history of philanthropic work and has made substantial donations to many charitable projects and causes. These include West London Action for Children, the Brain Tumour Charity, the National Homeless Charity, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Dog’s Trust and the Bentley Priory Museum, among many others. In 2018, Melissa John, on behalf of the brand, established The Mercury Foundation to expand this charitable work. ‘Dr Sebagh and I are passionate about what we do and believe strongly in giving back. If we can help causes or charities we believe in, we do,’ says Melissa. The Dr Sebagh brand is sold globally through wellknown department stores and online via its website. However, in a departure from this, last Christmas Eve the warehouse received a call direct from a customer desperate for a present for his fiancée: ‘Even though he called at 7pm, we opened the office,’ Melissa says. ‘We packed his gift and sent it by courier. It arrived at his home at 8.30pm. He was delighted.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 165

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Great British Brands 2020



Thirty years of innovation powered by the fusion of nature and science


LEMIS will enter the new decade celebrating its 30th anniversary as a founder-led premium skincare company with a global reach and a proud record of innovation. It is not afraid to call itself ‘Britain’s number one luxury skincare brand’. From day one ELEMIS set out to create groundbreaking formulas that combine the most powerful botanical and marine actives with state-of-the-art science to deliver transformative results. In the past 30 years, it has grown to become a world-famous brand, loved by editors, celebrities and women across the globe, garnering over 400 awards with a portfolio of pioneering, clinically proven skincare products and spa treatments. The ELEMIS ethos is defined by four key pillars: sourcing from nature, which involves extracting botanical and marine actives from above and below the earth’s surface and

harnessing sensorial aromatics; delivering powerful results; using cutting-edge science and technology to create high-performance formulations; and evolving to meet the changing skincare needs of its customers. Another vital process that runs through all product development is the clinical and consumer trials that are conducted by independent third parties to ensure that products meet the highest standards of safety and efficacy, whilst delivering trustworthy results that do not compromise the skin’s own protective ecosystem. Sustainability and biodiversity through ingredient sourcing have woven their way through ELEMIS formulation development from day one. From field to face, the approach has diversified over the years, focusing on renewable sources, working with co-operatives who have an ethical approach to local communities and respecting local environments at ground level.

From field to face, the approach has diversified over the years, focusing on renewable sources, working with cooperatives who have an ethical approach


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Biotec facial; Pro-Collagen marine cream, SPF 30 Pro-Collagen range

In Britain, ELEMIS works hand in hand with small, local farms, experimenting with new crops and exploring the viability of longer growing seasons. A stunning collection of Great British plant oils, grown and pressed in East Anglia, is in the process of being created. These include elderberry, starflower, wheatgerm and oat – all of which have travelled as little as nine miles from field to press, minimising carbon footprint and supporting local agriculture and manufacturing systems. Additionally these ingredients help to maintain the population of British bees, which are fundamental to a healthy ecosystem and our food supply. When ELEMIS launched its iconic Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 16 years ago, it took the beauty industry by storm with the product’s groundbreaking texture

and results. But ELEMIS is not one to rest on its laurels, and is constantly challenging its labs to come up with the next most innovative formulas. In 2019, after years of research, ELEMIS introduced its innovative new ULTRA SMART Pro-Collagen collection which fuses the power of the sea with technology to create ‘smart skincare’ with delivery systems such as drone peptides, which cleverly release actives to the skin wherever youthful suppleness and luminosity are lacking. With all its manufacturing still carried out in Britain, ELEMIS is proud to call itself a British brand: rooted in nature, led by science and dedicated to delivering products that visibly renew and enhance, offering truly remarkable results.

Elemis Ltd 1 Baker Street London W1U 8ED +44 (0)20 7907 2745 elemis


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Great British Brands 2020



Total skin, body and mind wellbeing at your fingertips since 1992


ne of the most prestigious spa brands in the world, pivotal not only within the history of British skincare but also within the spa industry, ESPA focuses on delivering natural beauty and inner calm, to treat mind and body through its innovative treatments and skincare products. Founded in 1992, it is now the chosen partner for over 550 globally acclaimed spas. With over 27 years of expertise, ESPA holds the knowledge and skills to create beautiful skin and total mind and body wellbeing. ESPA focuses on products and treatments that work in harmony with the skin and not against it. ESPA fuses this philosophy with its heritage, with the added power of natural skincare solutions, to deliver a promise to all clients; to nurture the individual as a whole. The ‘E’ in ESPA stands for ‘education’, as ESPA also has a rigorous protocol of producing highly trained therapists that deliver a personalised and professional experience, understanding the skincare and wellbeing needs of every individual. ESPA has numerous award-winning flagship spas, the most iconic of which is ESPA Life at Corinthia, London. Loved by thousands, this subterranean spa is an elite wellbeing experience designed by ESPA. Compiling 17 stunning treatment rooms, a choice of two opulent pools,

ESPA Life at Corinthia, London

Espa +44 (0)1606 336349 espaskincare


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With over 27 years of expertise, ESPA has the skills and knowledge to create beautiful skin and total mind and body wellbeing

saunas, and sleep pods. Housed across four floors in central London, this architecturally inspiring spa is the epitome of modern-day relaxation. In addition to crafting unrivalled spa wellbeing experiences, ESPA also provides a range of skin and body care products to enjoy the spa experience at home. ESPA products are formulated using the highest quality ingredients, in collaboration with aromatherapists, biochemists and wellbeing experts to deliver the most noticeable results. Its signature Tri-Active™ blend of plant actives, marine actives and essential oils are at the heart of the brand, manufactured in ESPA’s own British factory. ESPA says, ‘Our philosophy ensures that all products work in harmony with the skin and not against it, achieving a beautiful complexion and total wellbeing both in spa and at home.’ It has a rich heritage in aromatherapy, a fundamental part of the five-million ESPA treatments performed every year. Sensory testing is performed before every treatment, allowing clients to select the essential oil blend most in tune with the needs of their body at that moment in time. Known for its purity, potency and therapeutic qualities, each mood-enhancing blend has been hand-selected to deliver longlasting benefits. ESPA’s signature blends are Soothing, Restorative, Fitness, Energising, Detoxifying, Resistance, and the newly launched Positivity blend, designed to inspire self-confidence and optimism. For an all-encompassing experience, the ESPA Signature Blends can be incorporated into every aspect of the day. Including an indulgent bathing range, home fragrance collection and on-the-go essentials. All ESPA products work beneath the surface of the skin to protect its long-term health and beauty, a message that has resonated with generations of clients. As the definition of wellness has become somewhat blurred in society’s collective consciousness, having a strong philosophy, as ESPA does, certainly cuts through the noise. Setting the standard for the spa industry, ESPA has a very exciting year of innovative new products, treatments and spas planned. All designed to provide total wellbeing to the world’s the most discerning clients and top spas. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 169

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Great British Brands 2020


GUAVA & GOLD Exotic sensory journeys in a bottle


lose your eyes and prepare your mind and body for the warm caress of a golden sun in a clear blue sky, soft coral sand between your toes and the soft whisper of the ocean. Not, as it happens, a last-minute trip to the Seychelles, but a journey of the senses courtesy of Guava & Gold, whose bath and body range aims to capture the memory of far-flung tropical shores in a single bottle, ready to be revisited every day. After a successful career as a barrister for over 25 years, Clare Price set out to fulfil a dream by launching Guava & Gold just over a year ago. Her goal was to create an elegant capsule collection of cruelty-free bath and body products which would provide customers with an everyday sanctuary. The whole range takes customers from mundane reality to the most exotic corners of the world, through the use of luxuriously scented blends of distinctive fruit and flowers, including delicious guava and cherimoya, fragrant pink magnolia, white floral facets of tuberose, sweet vanilla orchid and enchanting orange and plum blossom. Guava & Gold is proud to be a Britishborn brand which has worked with a leading international fine fragrance house to create unique, exquisite perfumes and has then blended those with gorgeously scented natural oils and vibrant colours to build a sensory experience in a bottle. Its products encourage you to live in the present and enjoy the moment, a philosophy that its customers buy into with confidence, trust and belief. With a strong commitment to the environment, Guava & Gold is focused on making its high quality products with ethically sourced botanical ingredients, specially selected for their skincare properties. Sustainability is at the heart of Guava & Gold’s approach. Its packaging is fully recyclable, but the work does not stop there, with plans to move to bio-polymer bottles, made from sugar cane extract, and to incorporate waterfree products into the collection so as to further limit its own impact on the environment. Guava & Gold has conducted extensive

research, trials and testing to ensure its customers receive a high-quality experience that will delight their senses. When they smell a fragrance and it transports them back to their favourite destination, Guava & Gold knows it has got it right. Keen to fill a gap in the market for a luxury holiday-inspired bath and body collection, Guava & Gold has already developed impressive relationships with well-respected names such as Ocado, The URBN Group and Wolf & Badger, who have given their full support to this innovative start-up business by stocking Guava & Gold across their platforms. The encouragement and belief of these retail partners have enhanced the brand’s success in its first year. Moving forward, Guava & Gold will continue to build on the early promise it has shown and working towards fulfilling Clare’s aspirations for her brand. This will certainly be a brand to watch in 2020.

Its packaging is fully recyclable – but the work does not stop there, with plans to move to bio-polymer bottles

Guava & Gold guava_andgold


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Coco & Cherimoya shampoo and conditioner, by Guava & Gold

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Nostara Leather & Vetiver collection; Nikki & Alex, cofounders of the brand; Nostara soy candle and reed diffusers in Bergamot & Black Tea

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NOSTARA Delectable home fragrances made from natural ingredients

Being fragranceled with ethical sourcing is a priority for the duo

T Nostara +44 (0)1935 478949 nostaraluxury

he story of Nostara luxury home fragrance begins in 2017 in the heart of Somerset, with two friends looking for a new challenge. With previous careers in teaching and law, co-founders, Nikki Holt and Alex Bowring, had enjoyed many happy years as stay-at-home mums. Though they had different styles and ideas, they had a shared love of beautiful things so together they decided to create a luxury home fragrance brand. The name, Nostara, was derived from Ostara, the Goddess of Spring, symbolising new beginnings: the perfect metaphor for their new venture.

Great British Brands 2020

Nikki and Alex’s goal was to create a range of natural soy wax candles and soy-based reed diffusers that look beautiful and smell amazing – the sort of products they wanted to buy for their own homes. To this end, all of their essential oils are ethically and sustainably sourced, and with candles hand poured in the South West, the brand has a strong focus on local sourcing. There’s no doubt that Nostara was entering a crowded market, with candle sales currently rising faster than any other section of the British fragrance market. The challenges posed by selling fragrance online, particularly for an unknown startup, were not lost on them either. Their response has been to engage personally with their customers, with Nikki and Alex spending most of last year at top country and lifestyle events introducing the brand. It was an exhausting schedule but the customer-centric approach has proved highly successful: the pair have made genuine connections with customers, who, in turn, have welcomed the opportunity to meet such passionate and proud business founders. The fledgling brand celebrated its second birthday last year with a launch party for its fabulous new fragrance, Leather & Vetiver. Nikki says, ‘Customers often asked us when we were going to do a more “manly” fragrance. Suggestions included coffee, gunpowder, beer and even petrol! We felt that many of our existing fragrances already had a diverse appeal but we took up the challenge and worked with our perfumer to design Leather & Vetiver, which has rich, dark undertones.’ Leather & Vetiver joined six other Nostara fragrances, ranging from Lime & Juniper and Bergamot & Black Tea to Ebony Rose & Burnished Amber. Nikki and Alex are currently developing new fragrances and formats to add to their carefully curated collection. Even as a young and growing brand, giving back has been very important. From its inception, the company has supported the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and is proud to have donated thousands to this cause. It has also contributed to many more charities by working closely with the Charity Fairs Association, which donated around £1.5 m in 2019. Nikki and Alex are optimistic about the growth of the brand – both in terms of their ability to create new lines that are timeless but still of the moment, and in their focus on building their digital presence on all social platforms to drive public awareness of their highly desirable collection. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 173

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Great British Brands 2020


PENHALIGON’S Innovative fragrances that reflect personalities


enhaligon’s is a creator of fragrances that tell stories. Recognising the emotive power of scent, it’s a brand that understands its customers are looking for more than just a great product; they want to buy into something that is a reflection of themselves. With the Cornish barber William Penhaligon’s precious recipe books at its disposal – dating back to 1870 when a flash of ankle was considered titillating stuff – the brand has a rich and varied history and no shortage of stories in its armoury. But true to William Penhaligon’s founding principles, it continues to seek new ways to interpret its British heritage. In a changing world, where new players are regularly entering the niche fragrance corner, Penhaligon’s objective is not to change the brand, but to build on what makes up its DNA. ‘Following the pack has never been our style. We’re not ones for jumping on the bandwagon or creating a fragrance based on a fad,’ says Lance Patterson, CEO. ‘We combine imagination and inspiration from the world around us. You don’t make it through 150 years without picking up a thing or two about standing out from the crowd.’ The year 2020 marks Penhaligon’s 150th anniversary and the brand is launching a dizzying array of new fragrances, which speak to its past, as well as its future. ‘We’re always looking for ways to reinterpret fragrance in a surprising, disruptive way, harking back to our illustrious past and entertaining the noses of anyone curious enough to catch a whiff,’ says Patterson. ‘We are very fond of telling stories, and it delights us to invite our

‘We are very fond of telling stories, and it delights us to invite our customers into a world of the unexpected’


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Penhaligon’s are proud to hold two long-standing Royal Warrants from HRH The Prince of Wales (granted in 1988) and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh (granted in 1956); Penhaligon’s Portraits collection, a tribute to the British spirit; between establishment, humour and provocation; The Tragedy of Lord George, masculine and elegant – with a hint of brandy

customers into a world of the unexpected – and far be it for me to boast, but this is a world which smells rather delightful.’ The new launches include the Portraits series – a fun and funky line based on ‘personas’ with storylines that have a contemporary twist, designed to appeal to a younger audience. The brand has also introduced fragrance profiling, which draws customers in by offering an authentic way of discovering their signature scent from a plethora of possibilities. Carefully selected language is used to reflect the essence and mood of the fragrance, allowing a Penhaligon’s expert to explore the client’s olfactory memory and to build a personalised profile. As Penhaligon’s did for the 9th Duke of Marlborough with Blenheim Bouquet, so it still creates one-of-a-kind scents for Penhaligon’s

Bespoke, in partnership with some of the world’s top perfumers. Customers share their fascinating stories through in-depth conversations andfrom these the essence of ‘who they are’ is extracted and bottled. ‘It’s always rewarding when a customer expresses how our fragrances have allowed them to feel more confident, more alive – and that’s why we continue to do it.’ Britishness is considered a key attribute of the brand, and part of 2020’s anniversary celebrations will be to highlight Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit in homage to the founder’s personality. Passion for fragrance runs in the veins at Penhaligon’s, along with a commitment to quality and an intimate knowledge of the industry, honed through 150 years. ‘We pride ourselves on our knowledge,’ says Patterson, ‘though we’re seldom boastful. We reference our past, but we have a contemporary vision.’

Penhaligon’s 1 Cathedral Piazza 123 Victoria Street London SW1E 5BP +44 (0)20 7590 6132 penhaligons_london


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Great British Brands 2020



Innovative Soho hair salon meets social hub


mid the chaos of London’s busy Soho resides a serene escape. A destination where superlative hair styling meets opulent interiors, it’s no surprise that SALON64 has been the name on the lips of top celebrities, leading beauty editors and the elite of the corporate world since its launch in 2017. The name is a reference to 17th-century France, where the word ‘salon’ was first used in 1664 to describe a certain type of gathering. At these salons – often held in the hostess’ lavishly decorated bedroom – female guests would socialise and enjoy pre-dinner drinks as they dressed and had their hair and makeup done for the evening ahead. Fast-forward to the 21st century and SALON64 founder, Ricky Walters, thought it was high time the concept of the hair salon as a social hub was revived, though this time round men are welcome too. Given that in the 17th century Soho was known as London’s French Quarter – due to the number of French Huguenots who settled – here, the salon’s location is also particularly apposite. Powered by an incredible team of talented and inventive hair stylists, SALON64 is set over two floors, its design inspiring conversation

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Fire Pit; The Wash; The Jewellery Box; SALON64, at 14 Bateman Street

Salon64 14 Bateman Street London W1D 3AG +44 (0)20 3848 4130 salon64london


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Fast-forward to the 21st century and SALON64 founder Ricky Walters thought it was high time the concept of the hair salon as a social hub was revived

through transformative spaces. With tapestries and prints giving an elegant nod to its inspiration, the interior features oversized herringbone floors, a regal black colour scheme enlivened with pops of gold and styled concrete against opulent marble and golden detailing. At the front of the salon is the coffee bar where clients can watch the world go by over a flat white or use the jewellery box mirrors to touch up their hair and make-up before an event or meeting. Towards the back and downstairs, fire pits run through the centre of a sleekly customised marble unit incorporating lift-up work stations with mirrors and charge points. This is also where hair is cut, coloured and styled. The very private wash areas, meanwhile, are concealed behind wooden doors, with one entry for the client and a second for the stylist. For total privacy, however, clients are invited to book their own deluxe treatment room. The salon aims to develop and innovate in 2020, with plans that include a vegan and natural botanical product range as well as CLUB64, London’s newest and most exclusive private club, with membership for existing clients of the salon or by invitation only. Serving the best of British fizz and French champagne from early evening onwards, CLUB64 will be the perfect precursor to an evening out, just as the original salons were more than 350 years ago. SALON64 will also continue to drive the hair styling sector forward, developing and creating new hair techniques, predicting new trends and disrupting the market. There’s no doubt that with a second SALON64 in the pipeline, this is a brand that will redefine the way we view hair salons in the future, paving the way for innovative and unique concepts one step at a time. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 177

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SPORTS HAI On-the-go make-up created for athletes and fitness enthusiasts

‘The point of our products is the experiences you get while wearing them – the run, the ride, swim, cycle. I want people to feel great doing what they love’


race de Alvaro, founder of Sports HAI, has many reasons to be excited about the coming year, not least the Tokyo Games, which open at the end of July. If ever a brand were made for Olympic success, it’s Sports HAI. ‘I built Sports HAI with athletes, for athletes,’ says Grace, who tests all of her products on sportswomen and men. Naturally she has also run, swum and sweated in them herself. The best products always begin with a lightbulb moment. Grace’s came as she took part in her first ever triathlon. As she peeled off her wetsuit in the bike transition station, she realised that her make-up, carefully applied that morning, was now smudged and irritating her skin. She felt strong and empowered – but she looked like a drowned rat. Grace set about producing a range of hardworking, multi-tasking products that would be fit for purpose as well as offering the highest quality. Her capsule sports collection now includes an eye shadow and liner, a mascara that is resistant to water, chlorine and sea salt, a combined moisturiser and balm stick, a 2-in-1 lip transformer, a ‘Glow & Go’ bronzer and a nourishing hair cleanser. Everything

is designed to be applied quickly and withstand rigorous activity. Says Grace: ‘I grew up in Ireland and spent my childhood on ponies. I’ve been an outdoorsy, sporty sort all my life. These days, I regularly run marathons and short races and compete in triathlons. I have always been interested in makeup – the way in which you can use it, the way it makes you feel, the empowered feeling it gives you. I created Sports HAI inspired by years of practical experience.’ She knew instinctively that there was a market for this type of product. ‘Instagram and social media are obsessed with both fitness and make-up, but while there are always hundreds of posts of women and men working out in trendy athleisure and hundreds more dedicated to make-up, you almost never see the two together. When I started a cosmetics brand dedicated to sports and fitness, there wasn’t anything else like it on the market.’ All of the products have been designed to help athletes look effortlessly glamorous, whether they’re competing at an international level or working out at the gym. However, as Grace points out, Sports HAI is not just about looking good on Instagram. ‘We’re definitely not telling people that they have to wear make-up to do sports or fitness activities; nor are we making them feel insecure if they are not wearing any products at all. The point of our products is the experiences you get while wearing them – the run, the ride, swim, cycle. I want people to feel great doing what they love. Of course wearing water-resistant mascara won’t change your life, but taking part in a triathlon might. I want my customers to be able to fully immerse themselves in their sporting activities or fitness programmes knowing that Sports HAI has them fully covered.’ Adds Grace: ‘Beauty brands tend to be very market-orientated, bringing out product range after product range. Palettes with hundreds of shades, creams, serums and oils you didn’t know you needed. Before we launched, we asked consumers what their top five hero products were.


Great British Brands 2020


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: María Planta, makeup by Cristina Piña; Lydia Heywood; Grace de Alvaro, Sports HAI founder

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Great British Brands 2020



Sarah Kate Burn, stylist and brand ambassador

We based our collection on those products – we call them our HAI Five – and we’ve stayed in our lane, concentrating on what works in sports and fitness. We certainly have no interest in selling products that will clutter up a sports bag and never get used.’ Her own experiences notwithstanding, athletes pushing the boundaries and taking risks are the real inspiration behind Sports HAI. Says Grace: ‘Action sports elevate you to a place where performance takes complete hold; you are in the zone, you reach the HAI. In that moment, skills that were once locked away can be accessed with ease; hot decision making, a sense of calm, creativity and courage.’ Last year was about consolidating the brand, working with branding director Jon Easton to create packaging that conveyed that this was an energetic sports make-up. The company has now linked up with other sports, including skateboarding and rock climbing, two of the five new Olympic sports to be introduced this summer. ‘We love that the IOC has recognised the way in which sport is changing and becoming more urbanised and reflective of what interests the younger generation of athletes,’ says Grace. ‘Sports HAI is part of that: It’s no longer only celebrities and movie stars who have to be ready for their close up. So do athletes.’


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Sports HAI +44 (0)7532 021450 sportshaimakeup

Asked what being a British brand means to her, Grace says how proud she is of her company’s unconventional British qualities. ‘Sports HAI takes the definition of luxury as we know it and turns it on its head, taking everything back to basics while celebrating Britain’s sporting heritage. After all, Britain has founded so many best-loved sports from cricket, golf and hockey to badminton, able tennis and football.’ She attributes much of the brand’s success to her dedicated team. ‘I love working with people who spark joy. We have found that by sourcing some of the work further afield than London has enabled us to tap into the enormous amount of creativity Discovering a great marketing company based in Dorset called RiotSpace Creative has helped shape our website, social media, advertising and graphic design from the starting blocks. We’re also delighted to work with photographers Millie Pilkington, makeup artist Cristina Piña and creative artist Gonzalo Marqués who are exceptional.’ In 2020 the brand will continue to ride the athleisure wave, drawing make-up lovers away from complicated routines and back to simple, sporty sophistication. She is optimistic about the future. ‘As a new entrant in the luxury beauty market, building trust, customer engagement and brand awareness are set to be our biggest challenges. But we see it as a marathon, not a sprint: with products on several Olympic contestants it is all possible.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 181

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Great British Brands 2020



Celebrating 240 years of discovery and bespoke artisanal excellence


Hall, supporting the work of artisans and craft. Along with other luxury retailers in the market, Asprey sees that the biggest challenges within the luxury sector will be adjusting to a new climate surrounding the outcomes of Brexit. However, it is excited about and open to the opportunities that lie ahead, reacting to new potential trade agreements while supporting its international clients with an ever more tailored service. Asprey also continues to widen its global presence with new initiatives including the launch of a Japanese language version of its website and other international plans. This year and going forwards, Asprey is celebrating its ability to evolve continually and move with the times, while maintaining superior craftsmanship across its extensive ranges of beautiful products. In 2021, the brand will be celebrating its 240th anniversary, which brings many challenges and opportunities and gives all the more reason to remain relevant to today’s market. The true expertise, authenticity and tongue-in-cheek humour of the house still abound today, as they did many generations ago. Modern interpretations of classic barware designs, especially those designed in the thriving 1920s, have been incredibly popular. So have the unique designs, such as the fully functioning animal-shaped safes and decanters in sterling silver, all made in Asprey’s workshops above the flagship store. Asprey, with its heritage, rarity of product and brand exclusivity, is always associated with celebration. It goes out of its way to connect clients with the finest products CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Jewellery and experiences, allowing them to work directly from the Ausum Sputnik with designers and to monitor closely the progress and Shooting Stars collections; Four of their designs as they come to life in the workshop. Seasons vase, Spring; This also extends to making things happen, where Rocket cocktail shaker possible, in the shortest of time frames or to most challenging design briefs. The brand is centred around its clients, continuing to offer unrivalled bespoke services and ever maintaining the house motto – ‘It can be done’.

or its long-standing clientele, who loyally and continually return to the brand for classic designs to celebrate those milestone occasions in life, Asprey is a brand of continuity. However the true spirit of the house lies in discovery. Under the patronage of every reigning monarch since 1862, the brand has famously travelled the world to source new treasures and discover the most exceptional artists and artisans. Asprey’s Chairman, John Rigas, recently launched the art initiative de Pury @ Asprey, a natural evolution of the creative, pioneering and imaginative spirit which underpins the foundations of the house. A series of rolling exhibitions will continue indefinitely in the New Bond Street Private Rooms, enabling Asprey to welcome a new audience to the flagship store to discover the works of exceptional artists alongside Asprey’s own collections, such as the best-selling Four Seasons Vase collection, in which each piece is numbered and signed by the artist to Asprey’s exclusive design. It is also excited to continue an ongoing collaboration with HRH Prince of Wales’ charity, Turquoise Mountain – which invests in urban regeneration and craft-related projects in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Jordan – and a partnership with the Goldsmiths

The true expertise, authenticity and tonguein-cheek humour of the house still abound today, as they did many generations ago

Asprey 167 New Bond Street London W1S 4AY +44 (0)20 7493 6767 aspreylondon


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Erin in sage crocodile, jewellery from the Woodland and Oak Leaf collections

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Great British Brands 2020


THE BICESTER VILLAGE SHOPPING COLLECTION Pioneering a new future for luxury retail


hat began in a muddy Oxfordshire field 25 years ago is today a global phenomenon. Bicester Village is recognised as one of the most successful shopping destinations in the world and is the founding member of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, with 11 Villages across Europe and China. Today 45 million visitors visit the Villages – a testament to the phenomenal staying power of physical retail. Bicester Village now showcases 160 world-class brands, all offering year-round savings of up to 60 per cent off the recommended retail price, and 2019 saw the arrival of new ones, including Balmain, Breitling, Clarins, Karl Lagerfeld and Manolo Blahnik with Claudie Pierlot, Hourglass and 111SKIN, coming soon. This is far more than just a shopping destination. The display of brands is constantly refreshed and new experiences are always on offer so that guests never feel like they’re visiting the same Village twice. In 2019 there was an evolving programme of exciting events, beginning with a pop-up curated by leading fashion influencer Susie Bubble, celebrating Chinese New Year and showcasing young Chinese designers. Then contemporary Indian talent was celebrated with

The Collection applies the expertise of luxury hospitality to retail


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Guests enjoy luxury hospitality in The Apartment, a dedicated private space; The Village offers over 160 men’s, women’s and lifestyle brands; services on offer include personal shopping; Bicester Village supports emerging talent during its British Fashion Council designer pop-up; guests can enjoy new brands all throughout the year; world-class restaurant, Café Wolseley, at Bicester Village

a concept store. Life-sized elephant sculptures came to the Village, the first stop of their world tour for Elephant Family, founded by the late Mark Shand to highlight the plight of endangered Asian elephants. During summer, the first pop-up in Europe for Ghizlan Guenez’s fashion ecommerce site, The Modist, showcased ‘modest fashion’. Bicester Village also welcomed the Voices of East London concept store, showing alternative fashion and wearable art, curated by artist-turned-fashion designer Mei-Hui Liu. Bicester Village’s firm support for emerging British designers was evident during its British Fashion Council Designer Pop-up in the autumn, enabling 30 British designers to trade at no cost for 20 days, giving them access to Bicester Village’s international guests. Then there are the world-class restaurants,

the farmshop restaurant & cafe by Soho House & Co and Café Wolseley, bringing the best of London’s culinary wizardry to Oxfordshire. The Bicester Village Shopping Collection has long applied the expertise of luxury hospitality to retail, offering services similar to the concierge of a five-star hotel. However guests arrive – at the Village’s own train station, by bus or car – there are luggage cloakrooms, valet parking, hands-free shopping, bellboys, personal shoppers, multilingual hosts and impeccably trained staff. ‘Technology is an enabler, to connect with our guests and enhance a seamless customer journey,’ says Desirée Bollier, Chair and Chief Merchant of Value Retail Management, creator and operator of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, ‘yet it can never replace the emotion and memories created from the experience of physical retail.’ In 2020 Bicester Village celebrates its quarter century and it will continue doing what it has always done – reinventing itself to be at the forefront of luxury retail landscape. Meanwhile, the Village’s location near London – a global tourist destination – remains compelling. ‘We are proud to think of Bicester Village as a great British brand,’ says Bollier, ‘an interlock between industries and people – between Britain and the world.’

Bicester Village 50 Pingle Drive Bicester Oxfordshire OX26 6WD bicestervillage


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Great British Brands 2020



Britain’s most beautiful and historic shopping destination


rue love took on a new meaning when Lord George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington, commissioned Samuel Ware to build Burlington Arcade as a safe place for his wife and other genteel folk to shop – though it was also alleged that the Earl wanted to oust his neighbours who kept throwing discarded oyster shells (London’s most popular ‘fast food’) into his garden. Burlington Arcade opened in 1819 ‘for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public’. It had 51 independent boutiques across 72 units, selling luxuries like hats, gloves and jewellery – it was notably the place to go for a bonnet. At 196 yards long, the beautiful covered shopping arcade was – and remains – one of the longest in Britain. Today there are 46 boutiques and the Arcade, described as ‘the jewel in Mayfair’, welcomes four million visitors a year. In 2019 seven new boutiques opened alongside long-established retailers like N. Peal, whose cashmere shop has been in the Arcade for 83 years. Several boutiques are exclusive to the Arcade – the Manolo Blahnik men’s shoe boutique is the only one in the world. It stands alongside other prestigious shoe brands like Baudoin & Lange, Mou and Royal Warrant holders, Crockett &

Its eclectic and quirky mix of boutiques gives Burlington Arcade such a quintessentially British feel – plus it’s dog-friendly, always a bonus for the pet-loving Brits 188 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Burlington Gardens entrance; the present day Burlington Arcade; Mark Lord, Head Beadle and soul of the Arcade; original stained glass windows above David Duggan’s luxury watch boutique; the triple-entry-arched 1819 Burlington Arcade

Jones. Burlington Arcade also has an established reputation as London’s premier destination for vintage watches and The Vintage Watch Company, which opened 25 years ago, has the largest collection of pre-owned Rolex watches in the world. Somlo Omega Vintage and Bell & Ross have their only London boutiques here, among the many other watch companies and exciting, independent jewellers like Susannah Lovis, Richard Ogden, Michael Rose, Hancocks and Sterling Diamond. Burlington Arcade is known too for its celebrated fragrance houses like Roja Parfums, Penhaligon’s, Frédéric Malle and Atkinsons (which also accommodates a fine gentlemen’s barber) and for hand-made leather goods with cult boutiques Strathberry and Kwanpen.

It’s also home to some of the most popular global brands like Vilebrequin, Ladurée and Lalique. It’s the eclectic, quirky mix of prestigious jewellery, watches, macarons, wine, food, swimwear, leather and cashmere that gives Burlington Arcade such a quintessentially British feel – plus it’s dogfriendly, always a bonus for the pet-loving Brits. Fans of the Arcade love its specialist shoeshine service, delivered since 2006 by the well-known Romi Topi, appropriately outside Church’s. Another popular and unique feature of the Arcade is its Beadles, originally recruited as guards by Lord Cavendish’s regiment, the 10th Hussars. The Beadles still wear Regency-inspired uniforms and comprise the oldest and smallest police force in Britain. They continue to impose rules laid down by the original Beadles, so singing, humming, whistling, riding a bicycle or ‘behaving boisterously’ are all banned. The only two people granted special permission to whistle are Sir Paul McCartney and Jayden, an East End schoolboy who had the ban lifted by the Beadles for obtaining a good school report. In 2019 Burlington Arcade celebrated its 200th anniversary and is looking forward with optimism to another two centuries of being the world’s most historically rich, elegant and superbly curated covered emporium.

Burlington Arcade 51 Piccadilly London W1J 0QJ burlingtonarcade


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Great British Brands 2020



The historic estate shaping a 21st-century Chelsea


he property management company Cadogan began an association with Chelsea 300 years ago and it now oversees the 93-acre estate that encompasses both Chelsea and Knightsbridge. An unflagging commitment to the careful preservation of the estate’s rich history lies at the heart of Cadogan’s management strategy, while it continues investing in Chelsea’s future vitality and long-term success. Chelsea is one of London’s best loved neighbourhoods, internationally famous for its vibrant mix of cultural attractions, independent boutiques and international flagships set against a backdrop of beautiful homes, elegant streets and verdant gardens. Chelsea is a hot spot for extraordinary artistic endeavour, home to the world-renowned Saatchi Gallery, provocative Royal Court Theatre and illustrious Cadogan Hall. It has always been a haven for artists, designers, musicians and writers, from The Rolling Stones and Vivienne Westwood to Oscar Wilde, Whistler and Mary Quant. Cadogan seeks to continue its championship of past, present and future music, art and fashion revolutionaries, proudly sponsoring the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A and preserving and revitalising the unique character of the King’s Road. Commissioned by Charles, 1st Earl Cadogan in the 18th century, Sloane Street is now where the fashionable come to see and be seen. Stretching from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, it epitomises London

luxury as one of the world’s most exclusive shopping runways with its glittering flagship stores including Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, Hermès and Tom Ford. In partnership with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Cadogan has begun enhancing Sloane Street’s public realm, upgrading it to create a greener, more elegant boulevard experience. 2019 also saw the opening of The Belmond Cadogan Hotel, with food from inspiring young chef Adam Handling, along with wellness paradise, Urban Retreat at The White House, its first standalone spa in Britain. Parallel to Sloane Street is Pavilion Road, now Chelsea’s ‘village heart’, with butcher, baker, greengrocer, cheesemonger and several restaurants, including The Sea, The Sea, fishmonger by day, seafood and champagne bar by night. The finishing touch to Pavilion Road is London’s first ‘edible trail’, encouraging visitors and residents to forage and experience sustainably grown produce that changes seasonally, ranging from pineapples to pomegranates. The produce is grown in pots, each with a QR code that can be scanned to give information and delicious recipe ideas.

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Sea, The Sea on Pavilion Road; Vardo at Duke of York Square; Pavilion Road is now an edible trail;Urban Retreat treatment room; Pavilion Road during the Chelsea Summer Fete the bar at the Belmond Cadogan Hotel

Cadogan 10 Duke of York Square London SW3 4LY +44 (0)20 7730 4567 sloanestreetsw1 dukeofyorksquare pavilionroad

Just a stone’s throw away, Duke of York Square hosts a variety of stores, showcasing affordable luxury, including flagships for Aesop, Miista, Dermalogica and Sunspel, along with restaurants and an artisan Fine Food Market every Saturday. At the square’s heart is the architecturally ground breaking, buzzing restaurant, Vardo, a new concept from the team behind the popular Caravan and with a roof terrace overlooking King’s Road. Vardo was originally a competition for young architects, run by Cadogan with Architects Journal to champion modern architecture in a heritage environment. Through its active stewardship, Cadogan has nurtured Chelsea’s heritage and character for 300 years. Over the next three centuries, it aims to encourage its evolution, while preserving its history and identity. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 191

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An unrivalled new development and neighbourhood for London


ut of reach for over 150 years, this former British Army Barracks has been transformed into one of the world’s most desirable addresses. The 12.8-acre site in the heart of Belgravia represents an entirely new neighbourhood, home to a rare collection of residences, penthouses and townhouses, as well as an unparalleled array of private amenities within The Garrison Club. The new community in Belgravia will also include restaurants, shops and additional sports facilities, all of which will be open to the public. A historic collaboration between the finest master planners and minds in the architectural world, the design of the site and the buildings seamlessly weave into the fabric of Belgravia, in part due to the incorporation of open spaces in the form of seven public garden squares. A British masterpiece in urban design, garden squares have been synonymous with the best of London’s urban planning for the past 400 years. Combining military heritage with royal ancestry, the garden squares have their own story to tell. Mulberry Square pays homage to the culinary gardens of grand country estates, while the water rill that flows down the wildlife corridor of Bourne Walk has been inspired by the River Westbourne, a lost river of London. Rivers are also referenced in the design of Whistler

Square, with its light-reflecting water feature, which is etched with the path of the River Thames. Garrison Square, named to honour the site’s military history, sits at the heart of the development, and is home to the Grade II listed Garrison Chapel. The chapel is one of the few surviving chapels of its kind in London and has undergone extensive renovation but will now be the centre point of the new community, repurposed as an art gallery for the public and residents to enjoy. Garrison Square is also home to a Ben Pentreathdesigned restaurant that offers all-day dining. Residents at Chelsea Barracks will enjoy access to The Garrison Club, an offering that rivals those of the world’s leading five-star hotels. This space comprises a 12,768 sq/ft private spa, 20-metre swimming pool, fitness centre, steam room and sauna, tepidarium, business suite, cinema, residents’ lounge, board rooms, private function room and a billiards room, in addition to lifestyle services, facilitated by a 24-hour concierge. Exuding elegance and sophistication, each space has been designed by a team of creatives to deliver an

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Chelsea Barracks Belgravia London SW1W 8PS +44 (0)20 7801 3081 chelseabarracks

experience reflecting the development’s prestige and signature status, representing one of the most exclusive lifestyle offerings in the prime market. Adding a further layer of modern sophistication and exhibiting timeless elegance, Qatari Diar has employed a selection of the finest and most talented English craftsmen to design entirely bespoke creations for Chelsea Barracks, such as the William Morris-inspired balustrades and a Conrad Shawcross art installation. It has been centuries since London and the world has seen anything to rival the significance of this development – a neighbourhood that will leave a legacy for generations to come. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 193

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Pioneering the art of the possible CLOCKWISE FROM BELOW: Harrods exterior, as seen from the Brompton Road; Harrods Dining Hall; Men’s Superbrands; Beauty Hall


ne-hundred and eighty-five years ago, Charles Henry Harrod, an ambitious young miller from Clacton, opened a tea merchant and small grocery shop in Stepney. In 1849, two years before The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, Harrod decided to move his store to up-and-coming Knightsbridge to attract those adventurous, curious customers, eager to sample the new and exotic. Harrods is still in Knightsbridge doing just that, today serving around 200 varieties of tea to thousands of customers flooding in from all over the world. Spanning seven (and-a-half) storeys of wonder, the world’s most illustrious department store has a shop floor covering 4.5 acres and 40 lifts that travel 40,000 miles a year. The next chapter of the Harrods story is now being written as the store undergoes a four-year, £200 million project, the largest, most ambitious undertaking in the brand’s history. Over half the internal space is being reimagined to provide an experience unlike any other in the world, turning Harrods into a veritable cultural hub by 2021. Many of the newly transformed departments have already been unveiled. In 2018, for the first

Harrods 87–135 Brompton Road London SW1X 7XL +44 (0)20 3626 7020 harrods


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The world’s most illustrious department store has a shop floor covering 4.5 acres and 40 lifts that travel 40,000 miles a year

time, customers could purchase a made-to-measure suit in Men’s Superbrands’ elegant club rooms, head to the Fresh Market Hall for recipe suggestions and on-the-spot preparations from the Vegetable Butchery or enjoy sensory aroma tables and masterclasses in the Fine Wines and Spirits Room. In 2019 the sensations to experience and services on offer quadrupled. In the Beauty Halls, customers can now choose from 96,864 lipsticks and try them on virtually using Magic Mirrors – new technology that digitally maps customers’ facial features to generate a live rendering. The new skincare destination is home to brands spanning the natural and doctor-led to J-Beauty and skincare gadgets. Next up, a suite of treatment rooms and spaces will open, live-streaming beauty masterclasses from around the globe. Meanwhile, the Grade II*-listed hall floor-to-ceiling tiles in the Dining Hall have been restored. Beneath the beautiful storied décor, the stage is set for a grand culinary experience with six new restaurants – The Fish Bar, The Grill, The Pasta Bar, The Sushi Bar, Kama by Vineet and The Wine Bar. Each chef cooks with ingredients from the Fresh Market Hall, sourced for their quality and provenance, while The Wine Bar has over 100 wines available by the glass. Harrods reflects how retail is changing. It’s no longer simply bout shopping, but discovering experiences unlike any other. Customers can develop an entire building or style a single room with the help of the in-house interior design service or enjoy a masterclass to keep pace with the dazzlingly fast, often bamboozling march of technology. Harrods has always pioneered the art of the possible. After all, it installed Britain’s first-ever revolving staircase in 1898 (with Cognac and smelling salts at the ready to calm customers’ nerves). It’s as much of a stimulating cultural hub as a commercial emporium and will continue to inspire and delight all who enter its doors. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 195

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HAY FESTIVAL Britain’s celebrated and ever-expanding literary phenomenon

In a volatile world of anger and corrupted language, the not-forprofit Festival champions empathy and curiosity

Hay Festival The Drill Hall 25 Lion Street Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD +44 (0)1497 822620 hayfestival


hirty-three years after it was conceived in Hay-on-Wye, the Welsh ‘town of books’, Hay Festival has grown into a global institution and one of Britain’s most successful cultural exports. In 2020 the world’s most famous literary brand is spreading its wings even further, adding Abu Dhabi and Rijeka in Croatia to its calendar of international events, alongside a new project to celebrate Europe’s greatest women writers and artists. Hay Festival Abu Dhabi will be the Festival’s first foray into the Middle East since 2009’s Beirut39. Taking place in February across the city, it pairs the Festival’s celebrated marriage of exacting conversation and entertainment with a line-up of emerging and established stars to leave its stamp indelibly on the UAE’s cultural map. Meanwhile, Hay Festival Europa28 in Rijeka, (2020 European Capital of Culture), takes place in June. Alongside talks, debates and performance, it will showcase the Festival’s Europa28 selection of women writers, artists and scientists participating in a new global project to reimagine the future of Europe. These two new events add to a globetrotting

line-up of returning festivals that include Medellín and Cartagena, Colombia (January to February); Querétaro, Mexico (September); Segovia, Spain (September) and Arequipa, Peru (November). But Wales (May) remains the jewel in the Festival’s crown, selling over 278,000 tickets in 2019 and with attendees travelling from over 40 countries to experience the magic. Outreach programmes take events out into local communities, supported by the Hay Festival Foundation. In Wales, the Festival opens with two free days of programming for schools, while the Scribblers Tour directly takes writers to pupils across Wales yearround. Hay Joven and Hay Communitario offer free programming for young people across Latin America. From Nobel Prizewinners and global policy makers to award-winning novelists and transcendent entertainers, speakers and performers at Festivals over the years have included Martin Amis, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Bill Clinton, Jane Fonda, Nadine Gordimer, Al Gore, Seamus Heaney, Naomi Klein, Hugh Masekela, Paul McCartney, Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said, Zadie Smith , Tom Stoppard and Alice Walker. Hay Festival represents the best of Britain’s openness, welcoming writers, thinkers, artists, performers and readers from all over the world to share ideas in a cultural moment that exceeds the sum of its parts. Its mission is clear: in a volatile world of anger and corrupted language, the not-for-profit Festival champions empathy and curiosity. Stories and truths are told and exchanged encouraging everyone to imagine the world from different perspectives and with renewed and audacious hope. ‘Empires fall, technology empowers and enslaves us, faiths are shaken, orthodoxies disrupted and still we come together and talk and sing and dance, break bread and tell stories,’ says director Peter Florence. ‘Government is fiendishly hard, democracy is vulnerable and living together, the Convivencia, is a precious dream. The good news is that our potential is limitless and friendship is our pleasure. Complexity is beautiful and rich. Minds change. Let’s talk. Let’s listen.’


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Programme for Schools at Hay Festival 2019; Readers enjoy the sun at Hay Festival 2019; Stacey Dooley at Hay Festival 2019


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Great British Brands 2020



A soaring monument and a beacon for modern London


he Shard majestically rises up from the London skyline as if it has always been there, a beacon for modern London amid the surrounding ancient domes and towers. It is home to award-winning restaurants, a five-star hotel, offices and Britain’s highest viewing gallery. World-renowned architect Renzo Piano realised a dream of creating this vertical city in which people could live, work and relax together. His design, constructed with cutting-edge materials and techniques, was inspired by church spires and the masts of sailing ships. Its glass panels change with the weather and seasons. First open to the public in 2013, it is a timeless reminder of the power of imagination to inspire transformation. Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London has floor-to-ceiling windows in every room to ensure guests at the capital’s highest hotel feel an unparalleled connection to the entire city, whether working out in the gym, relaxing in the Sky Pool or sipping cocktails in GŎNG Bar on level 52. Guests can also unwind at Bar 31 or enjoy European dishes with subtle Asian influences at TĪNG Restaurant on level 35, where afternoon tea is also a must try.

First open to the public in 2013, The Shard is a timeless reminder of the power of imagination to inspire transformation


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Shard; bedroom at Shangri-La; The View from The Shard; Oblix; aqua shard

It is the only five-star luxury hotel in London Bridge, positioning sleek, worldclass, contemporary style at the heart of the area’s rich historic character. Contemporary British restaurant, aqua shard, is loved by Londoners and a must-visit destination for out-of-towners. Guests enjoy changing views of the city skyline over breakfast, lunch and dinner, while its three-storey-high atrium bar is one of London’s best spots to toast the sunset. While the décor is cosmopolitan, the kitchen champions British producers with a seasonally changing menu. On level 32, Oblix offers sophisticated urban dining and world-class cocktails. Distinct spaces celebrate two different sides of the capital. Turn right for Oblix West and its views from

St Paul’s to the West End. The relaxed restaurant has an open kitchen showcasing its spit roast, charcoal grill and wood-fired ovens. Turn left for Oblix East, a bar and lounge serving an imaginative short menu and drinks to a creative, cosmopolitan crowd well into the evening. Hutong is the London outpost of the much-loved Hong Kong restaurant of the same name. Here red lanterns and beautiful hand-carved moon gates make the ambience as opulent as the stunning view. Hutong specialises in the fiery, diverse cuisines of Northern China, with a cocktail list inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. As the highest viewing gallery in the capital, The View from The Shard reveals London in 360-degree glory – views stretch up to 40 miles on a clear day – and the open air Skydeck on level 72 allows guests to immerse themselves in the elements and the sounds of the city below. Two bars serve hot drinks and cocktails. London is justifiably proud of The Shard because it is an exciting, soaring, optimistic monument that celebrates Britain’s ability to embrace diverse cultures. It represents the excellence, innovation, creativity and resilient spirit of Britain at its very best.

The Shard 32 London Bridge Street London SE1 9SG TheShardLondon


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Great British Brands 2020



International interior design and architecture studio

1508 London 7 Howick Place London SW1P 1BB +44 (0)20 7802 3800 1508london


ounded in 2009, 1508 London is a multidisciplinary design and architecture practice of high ambition and global reach. ‘1508’ refers to the year in which Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to decorate the Sistine Chapel. The resulting frescoes represent for many people the zenith of artistic perfection, an extraordinary achievement alluded to in the perfect circle which appears in the practice’s logo. The practice is headed by Stuart Horwood and Hamish Brown with their management team, the creative impetus being provided by the five Design Directors. It employs over 80 staff who between them speak more than 20 languages. This diversity reflects both the reach of 1508 London’s international practice and the importance of London as a centre of creative talent. 1508 London prides itself on its collaborative approach to all its projects, one that challenges conventional thinking. The practice does not have a single creative direction; unlike many of its rivals, it doesn’t have a signature style. For 1508 London, the project is the celebrity, not the designer. The character of each project – its history, its surroundings, its prospective use – always determines the design. The practice’s designers use the word ‘incomparable’ to describe their work – incomparable in the sense that it is not open to comparison with other schemes. Internationally, 1508 London is thriving with projects on the go in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and, most recently, the United States. Early in 2019, it opened an office in Dubai with one in Hong Kong to follow soon. The practice is particularly proud to be working with some of the world’s biggest and most prestigious hotels groups, including Mandarin-Oriental, InterContinental, Jumeirah, Rosewood and Park Hyatt. This work evolved naturally as the traditional boundaries between residential and hospitality design have become blurred. The most successful transitions in design are those which enhance how people live, play and work, with 1508 London’s extensive experience in residential design significantly influencing its move into hospitality. The domestic political situation may have given rise to some uncertainty in the London property market but that has not prevented 1508 London participating in the capital’s highest-


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1508 London prides itself on its collaborative approach to all its projects, one that challenges conventional thinking

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: 1508 London’s projects include a private development in Knightsbridge, a new-build hotel in the Middle East and a private residence in Victoria

profile developments. Chief among these is the renaissance of Chelsea Barracks, a 13-acre site in the heart of London. The former barracks were demolished – the chapel is the sole survivor of the old military establishment – so the whole development has been built from scratch combining town houses and penthouse apartments with retail and other space, in traditional and modern idioms. 1508 London is proud to have been involved in all of the first four phases. 1508 London is also engaged in the rebuilding The Old War Office, Whitehall. This extraordinary project involves the complete refurbishment of this grade I-listed building from which Churchill conducted the Second World War. The practice is redeveloping the former Canadian High Commission at No. 1 Grosvenor Square into what its developers are calling ‘the world’s most desirable address’. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 203

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Great British Brands 2020



International design group – Rigby & Rigby, Helen Green Design and Lawson Robb


llect is an international design group founded in 2017, the parent company of Helen Green Design, Lawson Robb and Rigby & Rigby. All three brands are leaders in their respective fields encompassing architecture, interior, yacht, and product design. Allect oversees the development of all its brands, maintaining their individual identities, heritage and expertise, while centralising the finance, marketing and back-office functions. Its ambition is to foster the brands’ creativity, innovation and excellence in order to promote growth and ensure future success. Helen Green Design, launched in 2002, is an international interior designer, specialising in creating a classical, elegant, and timeless look for its clients. Its design aesthetic is firmly rooted in the finest traditions of British taste. Principally residential specialists, private client projects include town houses and penthouse apartments in super-prime London locations, such as Chelsea and Belgravia, as well as extensive country estates. Helen Green Design has been appointed to design a property in No.1 Grosvenor Square, one of the capital’s most prestigious developments. No.1 Grosvenor Square was formerly the Canadian High Commission and is described by its developer as ‘The world’s most desirable address’. Further afield, it will complete a penthouse apartment project in St Petersburg. The private apartment is located on an island overlooking the river and Primorsky Victory Park and has a contemporary design specifically tailored for the client and their family. One of the biggest challenges facing the practice in 2020 is responding to clients who are becoming more environmentally conscious. By specifying environmentally friendly materials and focusing on durability in the design, the practice creates timeless interiors with longevity for its clients while simultaneously addressing their

environmental concerns. Repurposing and restoring existing pieces or sourcing beautiful antiques is also an integral part of the process. In the coming year Helen Green Design will be re-examining the principles which have underpinned its designs since its inception, and seeking to reinterpret them in a modern way. Tastes may alter with time, but some things remain unchanged. As Ivana Allain, Studio Director of Helen Green Design says, ‘Luxury is most importantly about meeting a client’s aspiration, understanding and finding solutions to fit their needs and lifestyle. To achieve this, there can be no boundaries, no compromise and an impeccable level of service is a must.’ Lawson Robb began life in 2003 in a small studio on Chelsea’s Lots Road. Since those far-off days it has prospered and expanded mightily, forging a reputation as a multidisciplinary practice with a reputation for pushing the boundaries of design for private commissions, super-prime developments and superyachts. Lawson Robb does not have a signature style as it aims to produce one-off solutions that answer the individual requirements of each client, favouring art-led, contemporary design. Lawson Robb’s portfolio includes luxurious penthouses, show apartments for prestigious developers and private residences in Europe, the USA and the Middle East. In early 2020, the practice will finish work on a large, lateral apartment in Mayfair, overlooking Hyde Park. The interior has been designed

Its ambition is to foster the brands’ creativity, innovation and excellence in order to promote growth and ensure future success


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Unique lighting and contemporary design in the formal drawing room

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sculptural and dramatic chandelier as a piece of art down the centre of a double-height staircase; a modern, marble fireplace adds a contemporary touch to this heritage townhouse; a bespoke, vibrant vanity unit is a focal point for this bathroom

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Helen Green Design 29 Milner Street London SW3 2QD +44 (0)20 7352 3344 hgdstudio Lawson Robb 29 Milner Street London SW3 2QD +44 (0)20 7351 9383 lawson_robb Rigby & Rigby 80 Brook Street London W1K 5EG +44 (0)20 3418 0446 rigbyandrigby

to complement the views of the park and to enhance the calm and serenity which nature brings amid the city’s bustle. The practice has also forged a reputation as a designer of yacht interiors and is now working on its most important maritime commission to date, the superyacht Phi. Lawson Robb is responsible for the design of the interior spaces of the 55–60m vessel which is now under construction in the Royal Huisman shipyard in Amsterdam. It will be unveiled at the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show. Lawson Robb’s designs incorporate themes from astronomy and the

Great British Brands 2020

solar system intended to challenge our ideas about the world in which we live. Rigby & Rigby is an international British design house that offers a full concept-tocompletion service, combining development management, architecture, interior design and construction. To ensure clients’ properties are immaculately maintained once completed, Rigby & Rigby has a concierge service to help clients manage their properties. Private client commissions now represent the majority of Rigby & Rigby’s work. The challenge in 2020 will be to continue to exceed clients’ expectations while constantly evolving the brand and design style so that it remains at the forefront of the industry. It is likely that clients will be investing more but wanting less; key pieces from the archives or collectables will become more on trend and interiors will focus around a strong narrative. By taking a holistic approach to design, the individual elements of architecture, interior design, lighting and technology are combined from the outset, the result being a fully resolved interior that is both usable and luxurious. Rigby & Rigby is regarded as one of the finest professional services teams in the industry, a reputation maintained by constant research and in-depth analysis of the practice’s output. Rigby & Rigby has a special projects department currently deployed on three ‘hero’ projects – comprising properties worth upwards of £50 million. One of its most important current projects is the redevelopment of a large villa in Notting Hill. It is a full-service commission involving all the elements of the practice’s expertise. It is an unusual project in that it involves the property’s change of use from commercial to residential. Rigby & Rigby has been commissioned to transform this former office building into a family home. One of the key elements of the plan is the restoration of the original architectural features of the house to restore the Grade II-listed building to its former glory. This activity is not going unnoticed: Rigby & Rigby has recently been recognised with numerous industry awards. The interior design team has recently been awarded ‘Best Living Space – London’ for its penthouse project in Covent Garden. With all three of its brands intent on building on their recent successes, the future looks bright for Allect. Despite recent uncertainties, Britain – and London in particular – remain a magnet for property investment and development. This is a cause for optimism for Helen Green Design, Lawson Robb and Rigby & Rigby in 2020. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 207

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Great British Brands 2020



At the epicentre of British Interior Design for over 40 years


Andrew Martin 190–196 Walton Street London SW3 2JL +44 (0)20 7225 5100 andrewmartin_int

e shape our homes and then our homes shape us,’ said Winston Churchill. The look of our homes is fundamental to the way we live and an integral building block of our happiness. Just as our favourite music provides the soundtrack to our lives, so interior design gives us the backdrop. For more than 40 years Andrew Martin has been at the frontline of British interior design. Founded in 1978, the company has pioneered some of its generation’s most significant trends. ‘Fusion interiors’ was the phrase coined to define Andrew Martin’s multi-layered, time-travelling signature style. Fabric and wallpaper, as much as furniture, have been at the centre of the brand’s story. Starting with classic kelims and the sorcery of Thai silk ikats through to the irreverent Porn Collection, a constant stream of innovation has driven the brand into every corner of the globe. The flagship showroom on London’s Walton Street has long been a Mecca for the design cognoscenti and clients have included princes, presidents, prime ministers, billionaires, movie stars, pop stars and sporting heroes. Andrew Martin’s signature look is seen in hotels, such as the Mandarin Oriental, Ham Yard and the Hilton, and has played its role in films from James Bond and Harry Potter to Gladiator and Tomb Raider. The showroom’s playful atmosphere seems to resonate particularly with children, who are captivated by the weird and wonderful treasure box that is Andrew Martin, where a giant elephant stands next to a stuffed shark and bright neons jostle with 3,000-year-old Egyptian antiquities. Exploration is at the heart of the Andrew Martin ethos. Founder Martin Waller has spent a lifetime combing the world’s wilder shores for treasures, trading with the Tuareg in Timbuktu and headhunters in Naga Land. He has hunted for mammoth in Siberia and lost cities in Guatemala’s jungles. The richness of these remote, vanishing cultures has informed the company’s design philosophy and a juxtaposition of African tribal, Andean textile and Ming dynasty with grey flannel, leather Chesterfields and Pop Art provides the DNA of the Andrew Martin look. Over the years, collaborations with some of the world’s great designers, like Kelly Hoppen and Kit Kemp, have added an extra dimension.


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The company has pioneered some of its generation’s most significant trends

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Great Gatsby wallpaper, Danny desk and Saturn Acrylic chair with Trullo Stone seat; Conrad Corner sofa in Molfetta Pebble, Sierra table lamp, Morgan Stack and Round Oak side tables and Palm Tree square artworks; Space Girl neons with the Volcano sectional sofa, Pick ‘n’ Mix square stool and Dunk coffee table from the Tutti Frutti collection

Since 1996, Andrew Martin has organised the International Interior Designer of the Year Awards, now recognised as the Oscars of the interiors industry. Each year a panel of distinguished judges (who have included Gordon Ramsay, Twiggy, Tim Rice, Jo Malone and Thandie Newton) choose an overall winner. This fiendishly difficult task has produced some great names: Belgium’s Alex Vervoordt, South Africa’s Stephen Falcke, Hong Kong’s Steve Leung and Turkey’s Zeynep Fadillioglu. To follow up, Andrew Martin compiles the annual Interior Design Review, which showcases the work of the world’s top 100 designers. Published by teNeues, the Review is described by The Times as ‘the Bible of Interior Design’. It’s one more reason why, despite the fickle and ever-changing weather of fashion, Andrew Martin remains a constant presence at the epicentre of global interior design. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 209

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ANOUSKA HEMPEL DESIGN Designs that follow the imagination


he savant of the visual, Anouska Hempel is revered across the world for her originality and for her influence. Her vision of a utopian world encompasses luxury design from landscapes, gardens, hotels and residential to retail, yachts, couture and more. Designing for the ‘total-experience’, Hempel’s imagination knows no bounds. This is a designer who sees everything and instinctively understands it, and the year 2020 will see Anouska Hempel Design celebrate the continuation of the contemporary idiom. A handbook is provided upon completion of any project, outlining the design and with an extensive list describing the operation of every element. The moment you set foot aboard the tightly run ship of Anouska Hempel Design, the driving force behind the journey is the meticulous attention to detail from concept right through to completion. ‘I am influenced by art and travel,’ Hempel says, ‘by how I am pushed and pulled. I find inspiration in every nook of life – from museums to opera, from east to west and beyond.’ This is clearly how every project becomes a standalone brand in itself, from Louis Vuitton, Paris, to The Duxton Hotel, Singapore, and on to

The moment you set foot aboard the tightly run ship of Anouska Hempel Design, the driving force behind the journey is the meticulous attention to detail from concept to completion 210 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Private palace, Istanbul; Blakes Hotel, London; Cole Park, Wiltshire; Warapuru Resort, Brazil; The Franklin Hotel, London

one of her current projects on the banks of the Bosporus – a sprawling Palace in Istanbul. There is always mystery, romance, theatre and perfection, a corner for every inch of thought alongside beauty, delight and charm. Hempel simply leaves no stone unturned. No exceptions have been made with her most recent project, Monsieur George in Paris. It is the latest in a string of hotels across the world, joining an ever-expanding rich portfolio of hospitality projects, including the Helvetia & Bristol Florence, Castille Paris and Hotel d’Inghilterra Rome, as well as London’s The Franklin and Blakes hotels and Grosvenor House Suites on Park Lane. Of the latter, Hempel was once asked by a customer from

Kuwait if his apartment could have a sea view. ‘Each space holds a story of its own and dictates how that story should be told,’ Hempel insists. ‘I then create the backdrop for other people to live their glorious lives in. It’s like a play that keeps on going and I give them the stage and the steam to keep running. I always aim to create warmth and wonder.’ In this way, Anouska Hempel’s designs are a journey from inside to out and back again. ‘Use the good bones of what you have and enhance them,’ she says. ‘Transform, reinvent, reimagine and create. You don’t have to change it all. But ultimately it’s about the volumes and spaces you create and the juxtaposition of life within them. Whether it’s on the modern minimalist side or the more evocative romantic side, every space evokes a different set of challenges, but throughout it all you must always ask yourself the question – am I being true to myself?’ This is undoubtedly Hempel’s signature – an effortless ability to dream up designs that never cease to follow where imagination goes. ‘Design, refine and repeat – that is my philosophy,’ she concludes, ‘and if you surround yourself with people that instinctively understand the way you see the world, you can’t go wrong.’

Anouska Hempel Design 27 Adam & Eve Mews London W8 6UG +44 (0)20 7938 1515 anouskahempeldesign


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Storied solutions for diverse international clients

our designs to come with a bit of a story, and working internationally feeds this passion.’ Bergman Interiors has a diverse portfolio of hotels, commercial spaces and residential projects that keeps the business on its toes. Its own home – a riverside converted brewery with 360-degree views across London – is almost a blueprint for this diversity. The building started as an industrial shell that is now a cosy, open space with character, light and charm. ‘In the heart of this industrial factory you are surrounded by the poetry of the river, park views and ancient cottages built by King Henry VIII in the 16th century. We have a beautiful art collection here: Basquiat, Kaws, Heather Day, Ben Slow, Rick Owens, Michele Lamy and others, celebrating the colours of London, dawn till dusk.’



challenging business climate brings out the best in people, inspires creativity and opens up opportunity. So believes Bergman Interiors’ London-based founder and creative director, Marie Soliman. ‘What we need now,’ she says, speaking from the heart, ‘is positivity, passion, flexibility and enthusiasm.’ With projects under way in Norway, Brussels, the Middle East, Canada and Britain, and more in the pipeline in New York, South-East Asia and Australia, Soliman has much to be enthusiastic about. Britain, and London in particular, she says, are at the top of the design game and continuing to inspire: ‘Clients from all over the world still look to Britain when sourcing designers for their projects. We couldn’t be prouder that our brand is British, and we celebrate our artisans but we are also truly international. We like


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Creating strong personal connections with both clients and other brands has undoubtedly enriched the Bergman identity, leading to designing beyond just interiors


LEFT TO RIGHT: West Side Brewery, snug area with bioethanol wood burner, Gobi chair, Rick Owens side table and Lala Mich art piece; West Side Brewery, open-plan reception with pool table that double up as dining table, art by Marie Soliman, sculpture by Basquiat; (above) WE11, F&B area; (below) BXR London, workout and boxing area

Bergman recently completed BXR London, a boxing gym housed in a cavernous, high-ceilinged space in Marylebone, which packs a punch with design that reflects the history, glamour and craftsmanship of the sport. ‘We created an unexpected industrial chic look using rough concrete panels, back lit darktinted mirrors, bronze and brass accents, braided leather screens and murals of boxing greats by London street artist Ben Slow. It creates a theatrical yet unintimidating guest experience,’ says co-founder and managing director, Albin Berglund. Still in the field of wellness, Bergman has contributed to WE11, a new concept fitness studio in Great Portland Street with a fully equipped training studio for therapists and personal trainers, an organic F&B offering and an aesthetically pleasing ‘barefoot

luxury’ feel inspired by five-star hospitality and articulated by Bergman’s design. Berglund and Soliman feel that creating strong personal connections with both clients and other brands has undoubtedly enriched the Bergman identity, leading to designing beyond just interiors: ‘Through each phase of a project, we develop wonderful relationships with our clients – and often genuine friendships. One client even asked us to design a walking stick – in a contemporary way, combining carbon fibre with gold detailing. Another asked us to design a chessboard. It was one of the most beautiful products we have ever designed, and we’re very proud that it is soon to be launched in Harrods. For us it’s an honour to have developed this kind of trust.’

Bergman Interiors Flat 1, Lamb Brewery Studios London W4 2PD +44 (0)20 8742 7306 bergmaninteriors


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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Grand Chene’ wallcovering (PBS 35), Nobilis. ‘Pismo’ swivel chair, Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd. Draped fabric: ‘Zamifolia’ fabric, carbon, Villa Nova at Romo. ‘Birds of Paradise’ fabric, Watts of Westminster. On frame: ‘Carbon’ paint, Sanderson. Hanging fabrics: ‘Lollipop’ fabric (1036018), brown, Donghia at Rubelli/Donghia and ‘Van Alen’ fabric (21248 997), Hodsoll McKenzie at Zimmer + Rohde. ‘1968’ tables, Gallotti&Radice. ‘Conrad’ table lamp with ‘Bongo’ lampshade, both Porta Romana. ‘Bois’ wallcovering (PBS 91), noir, Nobilis

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Great British Brands 2019

impeccable quality and style. The curation is carefully thought through to ensure the right mix as the ultimate one-stop shop. Indeed, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour now boasts over 600 international brands and is the undisputed destination of choice for A-list designers, architects and designlovers from around the world. Always ahead of the curve, current expansion plans are not just about meeting high demand for space from current showrooms and new arrivals. They represent an ambition to increase the breadth of what is on offer. Where else can you find such a remarkable concentration of the world’s biggest design names all under one roof? More ateliers and studios are opening in Design Centre East, as well as Design Centre North, where a new offering is adding to the powerful mix. Now the Design Avenue will attract even more highly influential brands and new international audiences, and cross fertilise with other luxury areas like art, fashion and antiques. Discerning, design-savvy customers who visit Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour have a passion for curating their own projects. Confident in their design choices, they may need some friendly advice on narrowing down the options. Whether they are seeking outdoor furniture, a bath, wall coverings or lighting, the Personal Shopping Service can help them navigate the showrooms, facilitate their requests and even organise international shipping. Equally, for busy design professionals, there is a Designer Sourcing Service. Bespoke products are another forte in the showrooms. Many have long-term relationships with designers and the collaborative nature of this sort of work allows for an extra level of connection for a highly engaged clientele. The showrooms are just the starting point. There are cafés, a specialist bookshop and a private members’ Design Club, designed by Rabih Hage. The Club offers a stylish sanctuary in which to relax, host meetings

DESIGN CENTRE, CHELSEA HARBOUR The undisputed hub of global design – and all under one roof

As ever, it is evolving and flourishing, championing its design community with its confident vision CENTRE IMAGE (LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM): ‘Siracusa’ fabric (15459/786), Ardecora at Zimmer + Rohde. ‘Rafora’ fabric (43030310), Casamance at Colony. ‘Ocelot’ fabric, ochre, Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd. ‘Bahk’ fabric (N005, ZF00-05), Zak + Fox at George Spencer Designs. ‘Voyager’ leather (V0Y04), finch, ‘Rambler’ leather (Ram04), seaweed and ‘Voyager’ leather (VOY01), moss green, all Edelman Leather. ‘Madeleine’ escutcheon, Collier Webb. ‘Palermo’ wallcovering, Iksel - Decorative Arts. ‘Simla’ carpet, Jacaranda Carpets & Rugs. ‘Jonah’ braid, kelp, Stroheim at Alton-Brooke. ‘Engineered Russian White Oak’, double black tint, Siberian Floors. ‘Horned Urchin’ doorknob, Collier Webb. ‘Haidsaun’ flooring, oak, Topfloor by Esti. ‘Fan 100’ tile, Via Arkadia (Tiles). ‘Caraway Green’ paint, Sanderson. ‘Teal’ paint, Zoffany. ‘Crystal Palace’ paint, Sanderson. (JT0137710041) fabric, Jim Thompson


t has been a momentous year for Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour with the creation of the Design Avenue, a breathtaking 10,000 sq/ft lateral space, four storeys high. Unifying the famous domes with Design Centre East, strategic investment will present a new, dramatic sense of arrival to the world’s premier design destination. As ever, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is evolving and flourishing, championing its design community with its confident vision and upholding its reputation as a hub for creative excellence and connection. All 120 showrooms have been selected for their


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or even act as a second office in the city. The real secret of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is that it never stops looking ahead and keeping abreast of the zeitgeist. It constantly curates multi-layered experiences, whether it is a small gathering for a private bank, an Asian art fair or an Easter party for designers. Many events like London Design Week in March have become inked-in dates on the international design calendar, while newer initiatives have led to specialist annual events like the Superyacht Design Forum. There are talks, workshops, artisan demonstrations, meet-the-designer sessions and the acclaimed Conversations in Design programme with its stellar line-up of international speakers. Sharing ideas and generating a deeper understanding of design are at the heart of them all. The popularity of these immersive sessions has accounted for huge growth. At Focus/19, for example, there were 130 events over six days. All underlined the importance of integrity, provenance, exquisite craftsmanship and a move towards informed choices. Twice a month, visitors can go on a free, curated design discovery tour that offers an hour-long snapshot of the latest trends and new arrivals. People emerge delighted and astonished, saying, ‘who knew?’ It is a chance to meet the experts and specialists and get behind the scenes. Offering a truly dynamic collective unseen anywhere else, experiences will take on an even more energetic lease of life with the Design Avenue. There will be a rolling programme of curated exhibitions, showcasing popup exhibitors, luxury product launches and inspiring installations that will enhance the already well-established events programme, and all constantly creating new reasons to visit. Though so many of the brands are international, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has all the authority, heritage and respectability

A rolling programme of curated exhibitions, showcasing pop-ups, luxury product launches and inspiring installations will enhance the already well-established events programme, all constantly creating new reasons to visit


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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Amasura’ wallcovering (N9021034005), oasis, No.9 Thompson at Jim Thompson. ‘Caracalla’ high-back sofa, Ceccotti Collezioni. Draped fabrics: ‘Selenic Chartreuse’ fabric, topaz, (120845), Harlequin and ‘Weston’ fabric (Z182/11), ocean, Zinc Textile at Romo. ‘Seasons’ fabric (236826), Morris & Co. ‘Crystal Palace’ paint, Sanderson. Paint on frame: ‘Teal’ paint Zoffany. ‘Saint Baith’ wallcovering (FP/578003), Pierre Frey. Round ‘Mondrian’ chandelier, Bella Figura. ‘Alameda’ dining armchair, Baker. Draped fabric: ‘Alabastro’ fabric (AL-802), coral & green, Tania Vartan at Miles x Bookshop. ‘Palermo’ wallcovering, Iksel – Decorative Arts. ‘Teal’ paint Zoffany. ‘Hythe Tansu’ chest of drawers, Alexander Lamont at Miles x Bookshop. ‘Ivy’ table lamp, CTO Lighting at Fox Linton. ‘Pisara’ sculptural vase, Ceccotti Collezioni

of a British location in the heart of Chelsea. ‘London is the capital of cool, with a diversity of heritage that will never disappear,’ says managing director, Claire German. ‘There’s nothing else like this in Europe or America with such a sense of community combined with our commitment to creativity.’ London is a well-respected nerve centre of craftsmanship and Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is an influential force shaping the British craft canon today. It sponsors an apprenticeship at the Guild of Furniture Makers and every other year holds an exhibition of one-off pieces of furniture by some of Britain’s most distinguished craftspeople, ranging from John Makepeace and Thomas Heatherwick to emerging young designers. Recognising the value of handcrafted objects that come into existence through time-honoured skills

and steadfast dedication, it provides artisans with opportunities for real engagement with consumers. Looking forward to 2020, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has much to be upbeat about. It considers itself to be living in exciting times of expansion, positivity and progression and now the Design Avenue will enable it to continue excelling at experiential events where visitors can connect with decision makers and world-class creatives, and engage with experts in their fields. ‘People increasingly want to turn up, learn and meet people rather than just come and see things,’ says Claire. ‘They want to delve deeper and deeper into how things are made and we’re making that easy, interesting and fun. Quite simply, there’s nowhere else like our Design Centre anywhere in the world. Why wouldn’t we be optimistic?’

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour Lots Road London SW10 0XE +44 (0)20 7225 9166 designcentrech


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Celebrating five years of delivering great British interior design


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Designed by Elicyon – the lobby at Chelsea Barracks; the residents’ lounge in the Garrison Club at Chelsea Barracks; an apartment at Clarges, Mayfair; the lounge at Chelsea Barracks

Elicyon First Floor Avon House Avonmore Road London W14 8TS +44 (0)20 3772 0011 elicyon


he last year has been an exciting one for Elicyon. Charu Gandhi, founder and director, moved with her team into a new, larger studio in Kensington Village, celebrating their fifth anniversary with a panel event to discuss ‘craft as the new art’, alongside Elicyon’s suppliers. Throughout 2019, Elicyon continued to grow its portfolio of landmark London projects, including Chelsea Barracks and private apartments in Clarges Mayfair, and expanded further internationally with projects in India, Dubai, Sri Lanka and China. In the pipeline are some impressive projects for 2020, and Elicyon is moving into the hospitality space for the first time. ‘I love the way we’re designing spaces at home and around the world as a British brand,’ says Charu. ‘While we are always influenced by the location, history and heritage of the space we are working in, British craftsmanship shines through every Elicyon project.’ Global political and economic upheaval have of course impacted the property and interior design industries during the past year, but Elicyon’s approach is to meet uncertainty with optimism and openness.


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Elicyon prides itself on its storytelling ability and the way it takes its clients on a creative journey

‘Our clients still have a strong belief in British design and craftsmanship,’ says Charu, ‘and there’s a definite drive to ensure that Britain retains its status as a powerhouse of design and creativity. Design students from around the world are still choosing to train and work in Britain and the breadth and variety of talent in Elicyon’s team allow us to create the most beautiful work. Now, more than ever, we must adapt to new trading agreements and work proactively to ensure that new, emerging design talent continues coming to Britain.’ Another evolving approach in Elicyon’s work in 2019 has been educating clients – who are increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment – on how luxury can be achieved ethically and sustainably with minimum waste. Whenever possible, Elicyon salvages and restores older pieces rather than discarding them, seeking permission if they don’t work in a scheme to donate or auction parts so they are recycled and reused. ‘I’ve never had a client say “no” to this when asked,’ says Charu. ‘When we build, we build to last; longevity is a key part of our design process.’ Elicyon prides itself on its storytelling ability and the way it takes its clients on a creative journey. ‘We want to know how our clients live and interact as a family, how they’d like to feel in a room and what emotions they want their environment to evoke,’ says Charu. ‘These are big questions, but it’s always hugely rewarding when we unveil the final product and the client sees an interior that has been conjured specifically for that person in that place and time. Clients return to us because we’ve fully understood the nuances of their journey and brought it to life, and the next project with them becomes an evolution of that relationship, with a surprisingly different outcome. ‘In this shifting political landscape, it’s important that the whole design industry never becomes complacent and remains – like Elicyon – outward-looking, inquisitive, confident and optimistic.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 219

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KATHARINE POOLEY Award-winning interior designer taking British values global


atharine Pooley, founder of her eponymous interior design studio – recently named International Interior Designer of the Decade at the International Design & Architecture (IDAA) Awards, as well as 2019’s Most Influential Designer in Asia by ACG Media Group – has projects completing all over the world. Her most constant challenge? ‘It has to be time and distance,’ she says. ‘Working across different time zones and regions and also fitting in precious time with my two young sons. I never seem to have enough of it.’ Pooley’s business – encompassing architectural design, interior design, product design and property development – is thriving. Three years ago KPL took over a new studio space in Knightsbridge to accommodate her ever growing team, which has a fabulous, double-height internal library, flooded with light and with room for Pooley’s team of 47 designers and interior architects to stretch out and flex their creative muscles. ‘I feel that this year will be an amazing time for design development and really pushing forward with new ideas, be they architectural or around furniture, fabrics or accessories,’ she says. ‘I can’t wait to give all the thoughts floating around in my mind a dedicated space to breathe and see where they take us.’ Pooley is renowned for being hands-on with all the business’s high-end residential and commercial clients, and she expects

Some of Katharine’s clients have been with her for over a decade, moving through multiple properties and locations as their families grow


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Princes Gate; Katharine Pooley’s Pearl Villa in Doha; St James’ Property

her team of experienced designers to produce solutions rather than problems. Delegating part of the decision-making, she says, helps to ensure the design studio works proactively and efficiently. ‘The strength of my team is something I am most proud of. As my father often says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”.’ A prolific traveller, Pooley is well qualified to comment on the merits of ‘Britishness’ in comparison to what she finds abroad. ‘What we create in Britain, our history of craftsmanship, artistic merit and flair for unique and original design, is unsurpassed internationally. The British can err too much on the side of modesty but, in my experience, we create some of the most interesting, exceptional and generally ground-breaking designs in our workshops, ateliers and design studios. We should be so proud! It is one

of the main reasons our clients love to work with designers, makers and suppliers from this country.’ Katharine Pooley began her career working in finance, later switching direction to create an interior design business that spoke more to the creative and expressive side of her personality. Some of her clients have been with her for over a decade, moving through multiple properties and locations as their families grow and their living requirements change. She considers it a privilege to be invited to attend weddings, christenings and other important events in their lives. ‘These very private individuals entrust me with their hopes and dreams, and I work hard to ensure they are not disappointed. From this foundation many beautiful friendships have sprung. Working in design is such a pleasure: it is intimate, emotional and very personal.’

Katharine Pooley 37 Ixworth Place London SW3 3QH +44 (0)20 7584 3223 katharinepooleyltd


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Interior design with balance and flair


pproaching the 30th anniversary of a business would be as good a moment as any to reflect on its achievements. ‘I’m a firm believer,’ says Louise Bradley, ‘in honouring the journey one undertakes, not just the destination.’ The founder of the eponymous architecture, interiors and product design studio, headquartered at an 8,000 sq/ft flagship showroom in Knightsbridge, is understandably celebrating. Led by her own natural flair, love of detail and infectious passion, she has established a thriving, internationally well-regarded practice. Bradley’s team of interior architects, interior designers and product designers create luxurious homes for an impressively diverse portfolio of private clients across the globe, offering a highly personalised service. The 360-degree approach is to create tranquil, comfortable and harmonious spaces, effortlessly tasteful and respectful of the architecture while introducing classic contemporary elements, custom-made furniture and accessories, unique finishes and state-of-the-art technology. ‘We have experienced challenges but never postponed any business decisions because of a changing political or economic climate,’ reflects Bradley. ‘We have maintained steady growth in Britain and, with an increasing international appeal, among our clients worldwide. This good fortune has certainly been fuelled by focusing on shaping the brand, with committed and talented teams across our design studio and retail showrooms.’ All businesses, she says, go through cycles. It’s up to the business to use the challenges as a catalyst for positive change: as a learning experience that

The 360-degree approach is to create tranquil, comfortable and harmonious spaces, effortlessly tasteful and respectful of the architecture


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Inside ‘her’ bespoke dressing room, featuring shagreen dressing table from the Louise Bradley Collection; inside the Drawing Room of this grand terrace house in Regent’s Park; powder room with bespoke silver leaf cabinetry

facilitates the opportunity to do things better. 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year, with designs coming to fruition and new projects on the slate which include new-build luxury apartments and villas in Dubai, a family country estate on the Channel Islands, two villas in Kuwait, two Grade I-listed houses in Regent’s Park, a townhouse in Knightsbridge and various London apartments. The business is also launching new furniture collections, and working on several collaborations with British brands internationally. ‘We constantly evolve, driven by our creativity, while responding to changing client demands across the globe; it’s maintaining the perfect balance between the two that will be our strong focus for the year ahead,’ says Bradley. Louise Bradley’s clients, whether British or international, love Britain for its heritage of beautiful

architecture and diverse landscapes. As a result, she looks to work with the many expert British artisans and craftspeople in their fields – both new and established talent. ‘Being a British brand means being collaborative and open-minded, bringing together various traditions and influences in a typically British aesthetic, investing our designs with quintessentially English quirks and characteristics that add a certain flair.’ Despite the success, Louise remains a quiet force, nurturing young design talent, acting as a beacon of true interior design mastery. This is reflected in her longstanding client relationships. ‘We’re embedded in the lives of generations of families. We’ve worked with a number of them since my first years in the business, and have seen their children grow up. We’re regularly invited to design and redesign their homes as their lifestyles change. It’s heart-warming to be in that position.’

Louise Bradley Kimbolton Court 117b Fulham Road London SW3 6RL +44 (0)20 7589 1442 louisebradleyinteriors


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MARTIN KEMP DESIGN The super-prime residential market’s favourite designer

Martin is attracted to clients who share his refined outlook on life and they in turn appreciate his down-toearth charm

Martin Kemp Design Limited Greencoat House Francis Street London SW1P 1DH +44 (0)20 7183 3885 martin_kemp_design


ondon’s super-prime residential property market demands the best. It offers great rewards to the talented and the industrious but only the best flourish. In this competitive world, Martin Kemp Design has forged an enviable reputation for the high standard of its design and craftsmanship, attracting a glittering but discreet clientele. Founded eight years ago, Martin Kemp Design has continued to grow and is now a leading luxury residential brand, renowned for its timeless, elegant solutions. The consultancy strives constantly to develop its practical and aesthetic capabilities. This is a challenge but an enjoyable one. Travelling and absorbing culture are, of course, important, although for Martin, original thought, a creative mind and an inquisitive eye are also vital. The consultancy’s clients continue to propose stimulating new project briefs, set in inspiring locations and framed by architecture that guides and informs the creative process. There is every reason to hope that 2020 will be a year of opportunity. This is an outstanding achievement for

a simple Welsh boy, who grew up shy and retiring, in awe of the world around him. A humble man, imbued with a sense of respect and dignity from childhood, for Martin wealth is irrelevant when it comes to character. He is attracted to clients who share his refined outlook on life and they in turn appreciate his sincerity and downto-earth charm as well as his exquisite design skills. The close relationship Martin and his team forms with his clients is crucial as a substantial home typically takes three years to complete and the design process can take up to five years, as was the case with Clarges Mayfair, the super-prime development recently completed on London’s Piccadilly. We live in turbulent times, but there remains much for British brands to celebrate. Martin believes that Britain retains a strong identity on the world stage and remains respected as a centre of culture and design. ‘People flock to these shores to enjoy our history, our way of life, to admire our fine buildings and our magnificent landscapes. To be born into this heritage is in itself something to be proud of; to create a business within it and extend its services globally is a privilege.’ Martin Kemp Design has been approached to develop a range of products for the home and will gradually be bringing these to market. Some items will be limited edition and priced accordingly; others will be more affordable and, it is hoped, become widely used. This will provide the business with a ‘soft’ area of growth, promoting and extending the Martin Kemp Design brand. One event last year summed up the importance the consultancy attaches to its relationship with its clients. To bring a scheme to life, Martin Kemp Design laid on a surprise picnic at a client’s estate: T-shirts and shorts were the order of the day, with rugs, porcelain and a delicious lunch. The picnic took place on the very spot where the family dining room would eventually be, thereby vividly illustrating the vista that the room would one day enjoy.


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Meeting area within Clarges, London; private superyacht, by Logica Yachts; lounge area within Clarges, London


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Entrance Hall in Nina’s ‘apartment’ in the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, showing the Fitzgerald Bar cabinet in mahogany with an in-built fridge, next to it is the Liszt Dining stool. Wallpaper is Benmore from Nina’s latest collection with Osborne & Little – Ashdown; Safari Monkey Design, by Nina Campbell; New York penthouse study.

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NINA CAMPBELL Creating luxury British interiors for more than 50 years


Nina is adventurous and open minded, but a firm believer that you should ‘stick to what you know’

Nina Campbell 9 Walton Street London SW3 2JD +44 (0)20 7225 1011 ninacampbellltd


ina Campbell is one of the country’s most influential interior design companies. Established in 1972, the brand might be a veteran of luxury British interiors, but by evolving with its clients and adopting new techniques to create modern twists on traditional classics, Nina Campbell is as relevant today as it has ever been. Beginning her design career at the age of 19, Nina worked as an assistant to John Fowler at the

Great British Brands 2020

prestigious Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Company. Her natural talent was quickly apparent and she became known for her unmistakably rich colour palette, which caught the eye of Mark Birley. He asked her to redecorate Annabel’s, his legendary private members’ club. They joined forces once again in 1970, when they opened Campbell & Birley, a shop specialising in ‘unashamed luxury’. Here, Nina introduced her signature ‘hearts’ design, a motif that is still available on a range of bone china today. One of Nina Campbell’s first commissions was to decorate the monumental Cullen House in Banffshire, Scotland. The ambitious project was a sign of things to come and there followed, in 1984, the opening of Nina’s shop and design company in London’s Knightsbridge. Here she continued with her fabric printing and expanded into the wider decorative arena, designing everything from matchboxes to bespoke furniture. In 1990, Nina launched the first of what was to become her annual fabric, wallpaper and trimming collections, internationally distributed by Osborne & Little. In the past Nina has enjoyed commissions from the likes of Ringo Starr and Rod Stewart, London and country hotels, a house for the Jordanian royal family and the ocean-going liner, The World, and she continues to attract a colourful and exclusive list of clients. Recent projects have spanned the globe and been both high-end residential and commercial, including the Schloss Hotel in Germany, a chalet in Gstaad, a mansion in China, a palazzo in Rome and a compound in Maine comprising of five properties, among them a nightclub and bowling alley. Projects on British soil include Outlaw’s at The Capital Hotel, plus its bar and private dining room, a private room for Berry Bros & Rudd, an English country house and a royal residence in London. She has also recently completed a redesign of the Magritte Bar at The Beaumont Hotel. Nina Campbell has never been shy of collaboration. As well as designing carpets for Starck and a paint finish for Smallbone of Devizes, she has broadened her usual scope by designing fabrics for Ted Baker, although she insists she has no plans to move into fashion design at this stage. She’s adventurous and open minded, but a firm believer that you should ‘stick to what you know’. As well as her long-standing shop on Walton Street, Nina also has a furniture-led showroom in the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour which now represents American furniture brand Oomph as well as her own designs. After more than 50 years, Nina certainly shows no sign of slowing down. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 227

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Great British Brands 2020


RANDLE SIDDELEY Transforming gardens the world over


andle Siddeley has had a momentous year, completing vast projects at home and abroad, and finishing two years of hard work on The Garden: Before and After, his first book since 2011. One glance at the book is the key to understanding Randle’s gift for transformation. No challenge is too daunting, as dismal muddy fields and shabby urban courtyards are reincarnated as magical green oases, lending the houses they adjoin newfound stature and beauty. In Hong Kong, Randle created a series of 6,000–8,000 sq/m gardens for a new luxury housing development on a high ridge overlooking Discovery Bay, hand-picking and transporting 900 mature trees from the Chinese mainland. Today, what was a vast area of dirt, now houses some of the world’s most desirable real estate. Each of the six gardens has its own character, from the classic garden to the contemporary glass garden where Randle installed a glass wall depicting a forest as well as five glass monoliths. The swimming pool is paved with white limestone featuring pale blue, non-slip glass inserts lit from beneath to stunning effect, particularly at night. There is also

Randle Siddeley Trafalgar House Juniper Drive London SW18 1GY +44 (0)20 7627 7272 randlesiddeley


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Restoring nature’s balance; country garden revival; wavy garden; Floating fantasia

Ugliness yields to beauty as Randle’s knack for transformation gives even the most mundane areas an entirely new lease of glorious green life

the wavy garden, in which everything curves, from the pool and seating area to the steps. ‘Being British is a huge advantage,’ says Randle. ‘When it comes to gardens, we’ve been at it for years. You can’t beat those quintessentially British country gardeners like Gertrude Jekyll, but Brits do think outside the box and break the mould, too.’ Closer to home he is working with Finchatton on the Four Seasons’ new serviced apartments on Grosvenor Square. ‘I’ve imported artificial silver birches from California which look sensationally sculptural in the shaded back garden,’ says Randle. There are also bonsai trees, and a huge living wall inset with slips of bronze mirror to create an even more dramatic effect. Randle established his business 40 years ago and now works with a team of 80, but still relishes the detail in a small project, like the Edible Garden he’s creating for Gaze Burvill’s stand at The 2020 Chelsea Flower Show. He’ll always delight in converting nondescript, small spaces, even lightwells, into imaginative, flowering havens. Randle’s creativity is underpinned by simple but meticulous rules. ‘It’s tempting to overburden a garden and implement too many elements,’ he says. ‘No client or plot or garden DNA are ever the same. You have to understand the client, the property, the soil type, where the sun rises and sets and how to maintain the garden. You can spend a fortune on a wonderful garden but you must know how the plants will survive – how do you do that? Simple, employ the best and, if overseas, employ the local landscape architect who knows all of the constraints.’ It’s Randle’s breadth of vision coupled with his pragmatic approach to what’s going to grow that enables him to create the designs that so delight his clients. Ugliness yields to beauty as Randle’s knack of transformation and creating the ‘wow’ factor give even the most mundane areas an entirely new lease of glorious green life. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 229

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Great British Brands 2020



Original British yacht design


nergy, talent and creativity are at the core of everything RWD produces in its beautiful New Forest riverside studios. Established in 1993, its young and enthusiastic team creates among the most celebrated yachts in the superyacht industry. The 40-plus strong team includes a diverse mix of architects, car designers, industrial designers and interior architects amongst others – a combination of talents that underpins the original yacht designs RWD creates for its clients. The recent launch of the 108m MY IJE from the Benetti shipyard showcases the wonderful relationship the studio enjoys with its Italian partners, whose yachts are built in Livorno and Viareggio. The companies are working closely together on two semi-custom ranges – the Oasis & BNow series – which span lengths between 34 and 68 metres. Without exception these series of yachts reconfirm the studio’s ability to articulate a beautiful line. Benetti is reporting huge interest, ensuring the superyacht brand appeals to as many yachting clients as possible. The exterior lines of all yachts designed by RWD are immediately identifiable by their elegance and purity. Another recent successful collaboration has been with Tenderworks who has created alongside the RWD team a ‘supercar of the seas’, a fast 14-metre tender striking a balance between elegance and speed. Ultimately British in design, it is being described as a ‘wolf in a finely tailored suit’. Working with other world-class shipyards on many other larger custom projects, RWD is buzzing. Each yacht comes

The exterior lines of all yachts designed by RWD are immediately identifiable by their elegance and purity


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: MY IJE, 108m custom Benetti; bridge deck saloon, MY Hasna; stair detail, MY Hasna

with a very different brief, allowing the studio to indulge the differing styles and visions of the commissioning owners. ‘These are hugely inspiring times, the scope for each project allows a world of exploration into all sorts of techniques and finishes,’ says Kate Maclaren, RWD’s newlyappointed Head of FF&E. The studio is looking to the future with energy, and the next generation of designers within the team is at the forefront of what it does. Charlie Baker, one of RWD’s Team Principals, believes that ‘collaboration with owners and contractors ensures we deliver sublime and innovative design; the process has to be enjoyable and at RWD we excel at enjoying what we do and making sure our owners are enjoying their journey.’

The team is also working with owners to refit their existing yachts, enabling the boats to enjoy another life with an updated vision and refreshed look. In the current climate, the studio and the wider industry are acutely aware of the need to reduce their impact on the environment as much as possible. Building a superyacht is a luxury few can afford, so being aware of this and our universal responsibility for the planet’s future is a huge topic of discussion at all levels across the industry and within RWD. RWD has confidence in its talented team and its ability to deliver and is always looking to the future. Working with the company values at its very core, RWD looks forward to remaining at the forefront of yacht design and will keep on enjoying its journey.

RWD The Old Electric Light Station Beaulieu Hampshire SO42 7YF +44 (0)1590 611300


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Great British Brands 2020


SIMS HILDITCH Impeccable from-the-ground-up design creating timeless, long-lasting interiors

Sims Hilditch is very much focused on environmental impact, which sits well with its core ethos of creating timeless, longlasting interiors

Sims Hilditch The White Hart Cold Ashton Gloucestershire SN14 8JR +44 (0)1249 783087 simshilditch


ver the past decade, Sims Hilditch has become synonymous with an English living aesthetic, inspired by the British countryside and imagined with a fresh eye. The brand was launched by Emma SimsHilditch in 2009 to offer from-the-ground-up design, incorporating interior architecture, interior design and project management, to create homes that surpass all expectations. ‘Houses are no longer just places to live and sleep,’ says Emma. ‘High on the list of priorities are calm and relaxing family spaces where clients can enjoy quality time away from their hectic lives. Many more of our clients are now working from home too. We recently completely redesigned the home of a British family relocating from Connecticut to include the refurbishment of various outbuildings to incorporate a fully functioning home office, a party barn with a dance floor and a pool house.’ The brand takes seriously the impact on the environment, which is reflected in Sims Hilditch’s fundamental spirit – creating enduring and classic

interiors. The team also believes that beauty creates sustainability, exemplified by many of the venerable buildings and artworks across the world and, indeed, in Britain. ‘Much of our time is spent working on historic buildings, some of which have been in the same family for generations,’ says Emma. ‘Collaborating with some of the most eminent British architects of our time to create new country houses and estates is an enormous privilege. We hope these newly built historic houses of the future will still be standing in 500 years, continuing the tradition of great British design as well as embracing sustainability.’ Sims Hilditch practices what it preaches too. Its Wiltshire design studio is a series of listed farm buildings that the brand spent two years converting, recently planting an apple orchard, wildflower meadow and vegetable garden. From lighting and flooring to furniture, fabrics and accessories, the studio is the perfect showcase for Sims Hilditch’s style. At the heart of it all, of course, are the brand’s clients, many of whom have become lifelong friends. Says Emma, ‘We are part of our clients’ lives for months – sometimes years – during a building project so it’s very important to ensure we all get along. As a result of building trusting relationships, our work quite often leads to multiple projects for the same family: we are currently working on the fourth property for one client who has recently relocated from Hong Kong and is building a shooting estate in the Scottish Highlands as well as refurbishing a family house in London.’ Today, Sims Hilditch is focusing on its environmental impact more than ever. Fortunately, this fits well into the core design ethos of creating timeless, long-lasting interiors. The team are particularly concentrating on educating themselves within the practice in order that they are able to assist clients in understanding the importance and benefits of sustainability in design. This topic is especially significant to the team in 2020 as the impact of human development becomes ever more visible.


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sims Hilditch creates calm and relaxing spaces in which to enjoy quality time

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Great British Brands 2020


TAYLOR HOWES International interior design studio


ounded in 1992, Taylor Howes now has more than 1,000 projects worldwide to its credit. Since 2016 it has been based at the former Tesla and Aston Martin garage in Knightbridge’s Cheval Place, now handsomely refurbished. Founder and chief executive Karen Howes is the animating spirit of the practice, which employs 45 people of whom 32 are designers. Karen sums up the Taylor Howes philosophy as being ‘an underlying structure of perfect proportions and immaculate symmetry, enriched through the poetics of colours, exceptional craftsmanship and exquisite materials’. The practice’s work-in-progress illustrates its international scope. A palace in Kuwait, completed in the French-Morrocan style, is nearing completion, while nearer home in Epping Forest, the practice is restoring a mansion to its former glory as a ‘grand house’. In the Cotswolds, Taylor Howes is working on an 18,000 sq/ft new-build country house, which will have the largest thatched roof in Europe when completed. In London, the practice is working on a large 47-apartment super-prime development in Knightsbridge and Chateau Denmark in Soho, a new hotel, described by Karen as ‘new age

Client experience and its team’s engagement and creativity is of paramount importance to Taylor Howes


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Queensgate Gardens apartment; the penthouse at Clunie House, Knightsbridge; the dressing area in a Chelsea townhouse; the guest bedroom in Queensgate Gardens apartment; 49-51 Cheval Place, the Taylor Howes Studio

gothic glam’. Chateau Denmark is part of a wider transformation project by the client, a substantial landlord in that part of London, intended as a celebration of the area’s status at the forefront of the fashion, media and music industries for decades. These big projects in London are complemented by other contracts as far afield as Vietnam and Bangladesh. At the moment, the practice’s work is divided equally between home and abroad. Sustainability is now an important part of Taylor Howes’s work in an industry in which waste is an intrinsic part of the design process. As Karen says, ‘It’s no longer enough to say that “my designs have longevity”.’ The emphasis

is increasingly on reusable materials and being aware of the environmental impact of projects and the miles travelled by both materials and people. At the same time the business is entering new fields. Luxury Business Sphere hosts a summit bringing together leaders from across the luxury design and property industries to discuss and debate the challenges facing the sector. The day was oversubscribed. Taylor Howes also has a number of joint ventures with other designers and manufacturers: one with Clive Christian Furniture Co. aims to reinvigorate the traditional country kitchen. A collaboration with de Gournay will produce ‘Celestial Skies’, a hand-embroidered wallpaper. Taylor Howes is busy and is in the process of diversifying and expanding, but there are other reasons for optimism. The relationships with its clients are closer than ever, a fact reflected in the recent wave of repeat business following projects from ten to 15 years ago. Client experience and the team’s engagement and creativity are of paramount important to the practice. It’s a hugely exciting time in which to be a Great British Brand. Britain – and London in particular – remains at the forefront of the world’s luxury goods industry, a centre of creativity, invention and taste.

Taylor Howes 49-51 Cheval Place London SW7 1EW +44 (0)20 7349 9017 taylorhowesdesigns


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Great British Brands 2020


YIANGOU ARCHITECTS Blending tradition and innovation

The practice’s output is increasingly sophisticated, occupying a special position within British architecture

Yiangou Architects Ltd Dyer House 3 Dyer Street Cirencester GL7 2PP +44 (0)1285 888150 yiangouarchitects


iangou Architects is a dynamic practice based in the Gloucestershire market town of Cirencester in the heart of the Cotswolds. Established in 1981, it has acquired an enviable reputation for the spread and scope of its work, being equally at ease in traditional and contemporary idioms. Recently, the practice won, in the same year, an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects for a contemporary scheme and one from the Georgian Society for a traditional design. This rare combination of honours is testament to the breadth of skill and knowledge that Yiangou offers its clients. New-build country houses and extensions are at the core of the practice’s business. Designs are conceived with the site’s characteristics and the client’s requirements in mind and are executed in a variety of styles, including vernacular and traditional architecture. Avalon is a new wellbeing centre at one of Yorkshire’s finest historic estates, sitting in parkland adjacent to a Grade I mansion. The site is challenging, being defined by a significant historic axis and protected parkland trees. The

need for a large pool and ancillary rooms dictated a sizeable footprint, but the gentle slope and backdrop of tall trees permitted the inclusion of a first-floor pavilion. The accommodation includes a large dance studio, a foyer and a sinuous staircase rising to the glass-box yoga studio, which commands impressive views of the parkland. The proximity of the walled garden informed the design of the uncompromising ashlar frontage and the beautifully crafted meditation pod. The sumptuous and inventive interiors are the fruit of a collaboration with stage designer Patrick Kinmonth. Another notable instruction was at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, where Yiangou was commissioned to design a new clocktower and accommodation for the college. The keystone to the new quad gate sports a carving of an Indian elephant in full ceremonial headdress, a reference to the Far Eastern origins of one of the college’s benefactors. This exotic detail was worked in Clipsham stone by a master carver. The clocktower is a fine addition to the city’s rich and ever-evolving architecture. The casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that the rarefied world of designing specially commissioned houses in the English countryside is beyond the fallout of Brexit but recent experience suggests that it is not. Many British and international clients are biding their time before giving the go-ahead to a longcherished building project. However, in Yiangou’s case, it has argued that quality in design will always add and hold value while assuaging clients’ worries about unnecessary cost. So despite the uncertain times, Yiangou has many reasons for optimism. It employs around 30 staff, many of them young and all of them talented and enthusiastic. Its projects employ predominantly local craftsmen, helping to keep alive many centuries-old skills, and use local suppliers. The practice’s output is increasingly sophisticated, occupying a special position within British architecture with its blend of traditional and innovation. There is much to look forward to in 2020.


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Restoration and re-ordering of grade II* Jacobean house in Gloucestershire; new wellbeing centre in grounds of grade I country house in Yorkshire; new pool and leisure complex in grounds of listed house in Oxfordshire


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BARBURY KITCHENS Beautiful hand-made British furniture and kitchens

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Barbury; The Marlborough; the internals of Barbury’s oak larder; the Avebury built in coffee station

Barbury Kitchens The Workshop Salthorp Farm Wiltshire SN4 9LX +44 (0)1793 845911 barburykitchens


arbury Kitchens sees a growing, deep-seated global desire for bespoke kitchens and furniture that are authentically British in design, production and personality; the brand is on a mission to meet this demand. ‘Consumers everywhere want furniture and kitchens that resonate with their search for individuality,’ says co-founder and CEO, Ellis Bardsley. ‘All around the world people are looking for that British level of precision that’s found in Formula One’s research, design and manufacturing – our products have that British pedigree and identity.’ Barbury is based in the shadow of Barbury Castle on the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire. It was here that, five years ago, master joiner and co-founder, Paul Dobson, had a business producing and fitting shop interiors across Britain. He and Ellis saw an opportunity to use the ingrained construction and engineering know-how to make beautiful, yet robust, kitchens and furniture instead. Today, Paul’s love of building outstanding furniture continues to be reflected in his attention to detail and in the way he likes to meet and speak to every client. Paul insists on reviewing every design and end result personally, to ensure that every client’s dream is delivered. ‘We celebrate our Wiltshire origins at Barbury. For hundreds of years Wiltshire has been the home of British furniture production so we’re proud to say “made in Wiltshire”, “made in Britain”,’ says Paul. ‘Our team’s experience of designing and producing furniture, by hand, from a bench, goes back


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‘We celebrate our Wiltshire origins at Barbury – for hundreds of years Wiltshire has been the home of British furniture production’

centuries and it is still the way we make our kitchens and furniture today. We pay absolute attention to every detail which is part of the unique, reserved, cautious British character.’ That British sense of caution lying at Barbury’s heart means the brand guarantees its workmanship for 25 years, leaving nothing to chance. Plus every Barbury client is supported, cared for and given the same service, irrespective of the size or scale of the project. Clients might want a window seat, an under-stairs office, a £100,000 kitchen or just a television stand. The Barbury motto is, ‘Whatever a client wants, we produce,’ and projects vary enormously – Barbury was recently asked to produce white, traditional, wooden road-signs for villages wishing to regenerate a 1950s motoring experience. It also delivers a fine range of seven bespoke kitchens: Barbury, Avebury, Salisbury, Liddington, Malmesbury, Marlborough and Wroughton. The first six are based on clean, classical, traditional lines of elegant, yet British style. The Wroughton is a contemporary kitchen style combining Barbury’s traditional quality with modern aesthetics. ‘Our clients respect and value our “what you see is what you get” approach,’ says Ellis. ‘Currently we supply the whole of Britain and export to key overseas markets from our workshop and showroom and, in 2020, we intend to establish four more showrooms in alliance with established kitchen retailers and other partners. We’re extremely optimistic about our future and our aim is simple but bold – to design, manufacture and supply quintessentially British furniture to the far corners of the world.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 241

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Great British Brands 2020


BARNARD & WESTWOOD So much more than your average printer


ounded in 1921, Barnard & Westwood is steeped in tradition. With almost a century of trading under its belt, the company has a rich history of producing high-end stationery and bespoke oneoff items for companies and individuals alike. Established around London’s King’s Cross it is located at the heart of the capital and has always held its sense of ‘Britishness’ at the forefront of its identity. Barnard & Westwood is not your average printer. In the modern world we live in, many have come to associate ‘printing’ with an almost effortless process of pushing a button on a computer screen and after a series of clicks and whirrs inside a plastic box, a printed sheet emerges. A short tour around Barnard & Westwood’s London workshop very quickly dispels this preconception. The company boasts an impressive array of printing and finishing processes, from lithography and letterpress to die stamping, foil blocking and traditional bookbinding. ‘With so many skills under one roof we are able to combine multiple techniques to create truly standout products,’ says director, Alasdair Abrines, ‘be that for an event invitation, business card or bespoke one-off presentation box.’

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Die stamping press; leather detailing; gold die stamped coat of arms; white die stamped logo; hand sewing a book; gold die stamping ink

Although the company has made significant investments in modern digital technology, much of the factory machinery dates back to a bygone era of solid cast-iron parts with presses churning away to a mechanical soundtrack. It is safe to say the presses were built to last. Despite the challenges posed by the current political and economic uncertainty, the business is going from strength to strength and has a growing export market. ‘Our attention to detail and exacting standards clearly appeal on a global scale,’ says Abrines. ‘We have a growing international customer base which opens us

up to fascinating projects and material combinations that we wouldn’t otherwise necessarily have considered.’ In the age of fast information, confidentiality is key. ‘The relationships we have with our customers are built over many years. The trust this creates between customer and supplier is one of the real joys of the job and is something we do not take for granted.’ Barnard & Westwood works with a diverse range of customer, on the more traditional side of which sit national institutions such as Westminster Abbey, The Royal Academy of Arts and Buckingham Palace (the business holds Royal Warrants for both Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales). In recent years, Barnard & Westwood has strived to push the boundaries of what is achievable through combining traditional printing and finishing methods with the latest technology and materials. This in turn has brought with it a wave of exciting new clients including leading fashion brands, food and drink labels and design agencies.

Barnard & Westwood 23 Pakenham Street London WC1X 0LB +44 (0)20 7923 5960 barnard_and_westwood


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Which? Best Buy Lux mattress, by Brook + Wilde; the ottoman highlights the storage available from this product range, which has proved to be all the rage – especially for city dwellers, for whom space is a premium; the more sumptuous Elite mattress

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One of Britain’s most brilliant mattress makers

‘They say you spend a third of your life in bed, so it makes sense to spend money on a truly comfortable mattress that stands the test of time’

Brook + Wilde 5 St.John’s Lane London EC1M 4H +44 (0)8081 699070 brookandwilde


rook + Wilde promises to deliver a better night’s sleep. It sells beds and furniture online, taking pride in creating a truly luxurious mattress, which is backed by a ten-year guarantee, mattress recycling, free premium delivery and a free 100-night trial. The company has quickly gained a reputation for excellence. Within just a few months of launching, Which? awarded Brook + Wilde ‘Best Buy’ status, while customers continue to give the company’s products rave reviews on Trustpilot. The company capitalised on the mattress market being crowded out with low to mid-range

Great British Brands 2020

brands aimed at a millennial audience. ‘This was just where we didn’t want to be,’ says Co-Founder, Andrew Tyler. ‘From the start we knew we had to elevate ourselves beyond the norm and create something more special at a higher price point. They say you spend a third of your life in bed, so it makes sense to spend money on a truly comfortable mattress that stands the test of time. We know individuals are all different shapes and sizes so we offer a soft, medium or firm mattress, depending on their preference. That’s why we totally reject the “one size fits all” approach. Our customers can literally take comfort in their choice. You’d be amazed at the difference our mattresses make – people write to us to tell us how they have changed their lives.’ Co-founders Tyler and Jonathan Coulson are confident that their mattresses are the recipe for the deep, restorative sleep essential for people’s physical and emotional well-being. When he was a director at Dreams, Tyler launched another mattress business called Hyde & Sleep, in collaboration with Jonathan’s marketing agency Blue Crush Communications. Hyde & Sleep became a hugely successful brand and now turns over £10 m plus per annum and is profitable. ‘When I took a break from Dreams, Jonathan and I had the “if we could do it all again what would we do differently?” conversation. The result was Brook + Wilde, the perfect bed brand to delight our customers with its outrageously comfortable products,’ says Tyler. A Brook + Wilde’s mattress represents an enormous amount of technical knowhow, innovation and the brand’s ability to absorb a wide range of international ideas and influences. At the same time, the brand has a very British sensibility with a belief that customers will trust the long-lasting quality of a product made in Britain. ‘Our team consists of a mix of industry veterans, designers and self-confessed mattress and furniture nerds,’ says Tyler, ‘and their challenge for 2020 is to build on the brand’s growing reputation as the business takes off. Britain is a melting pot of cultures, influences and ideas; a country of innovators and entrepreneurs, who dream up the impossible. We are steeped in history and tradition but we remain one of the most exciting places in the world to develop an online business. We’re hugely optimistic about 2020 because, whatever political or economic uncertainties lie ahead, we know people will always need a sanctuary to rest in and a mattress to sleep on. Brexit in bed, anyone?’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 245

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Great British Brands 2020


BROOKMANS BY SMALLBONE Custom-made kitchen and furniture designed for a contemporary urban lifestyle

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Detail K2: island detailing showing builtin chopping boards, seating area and beautifully turned stools; industrial chic K2 collection boasting influences from the ’60s and ’70s; K1 collection, classic contemporary take on the traditional Georgian painted furniture; the perfect pantry area incorporating bold colours, a butler’s sink and ample storage

I Brookmans by Smallbone +44 (0)20 3960 8760

ntroducing the latest British design brand in the kitchen and furniture industry: Brookmans by Smallbone. Launched late last year under the auspices of Smallbone of Devizes, Brookmans by Smallbone is a contemporary take on kitchen and cabinetry, influenced by its heritage and led by creative innovation that is central to its design and manufacturing process. Like Smallbone of Devizes, Brookmans is part of Lux Group Holdings, alongside Mark Wilkinson Furniture and recently acquired McCarron & Co. While Lux Group Holdings operates at the luxury end of the market, Brookmans by Smallbone will be a more minimalistic and contemporary offering within the group, positioning itself in the entry level custom-made market. All collections and accompanying furniture will reflect a contemporary urban lifestyle, aimed at consumers with an appreciation for British-made quality

products, as well as trade professionals. The brand launched with two contrasting kitchen collections, with additional freestanding furniture pieces, designed to showcase Brookmans’ breadth of design appeal. The first, ‘K1’ is a classic contemporary take on the more traditional Georgian painted fitted furniture traditionally found in period homes. The concept brings alive both fitted and freestanding elements, which can be fused together to create unique interpretations. A broad range of colours, hardware and details will enable consumers to create their own complete design. The second collection, ‘K2’, is cool and confident, with a vintage feel and proportions influenced by 1960s and 1970s design. Appealing to a stylish, design-savvy audience, it is crafted in a light grained ash, a hardwood native to Britain, with minimal handles, clean lines and optional paint finishes.


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Launched late last year, Brookmans by Smallbone is a contemporary take on kitchen and cabinetry, influenced by its heritage and led by creative innovation The two kitchen collections are complemented with fitted wardrobes, freestanding furniture, vanity units, tables and benches and both ranges will continue to grow with every season. Of the exclusive launch, Iain O’Mahony, Ideation Director, Lux Group Holdings, says, ‘Brookmans by Smallbone is a strong addition to our portfolio. It responds to a designconscious audience who have a keen interest in provenance and quality. These customers want to invest in their homes and are looking for brands that reflect these values. Our kitchens are made in Wiltshire, supporting local British manufacturing, but offered at an affordable price point. We have also invested significant time and resources into making this product sustainable while economical, proof that it is possible and without compromise to the design.’ All Brookmans by Smallbone furniture will be built using innovative materials and handassembled at the Smallbone of Devizes’s stateof-the-art workshop in Wiltshire. The workshop has recently benefited from substantial investment in new machinery, creating a more efficient, economical and streamlined process without compromising on the quality. Iain O’Mahony adds, ‘Brookmans by Smallbone represents our optimism about the future of British manufacturing. We are confident that great design combined with up-to-the-minute manufacturing techniques will prove that it is possible to make kitchens and furniture here in Britain economically that are also environmentally conscious. We are very happy with these collections, not just in terms of their aesthetics but for the future of British manufacturing.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 247

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Great British Brands 2020


THE CONRAN SHOP The home of considered design and curated living


ounded by Sir Terence Conran, The Conran Shop has established itself as one of the leading lifestyle retailers in the world, offering an eclectic and exciting collection of furniture, lighting, gifts and personal accessories from established designers and emerging talents across the globe. The story began in 1973 when the former Habitat store on Fulham Road reopened as The Conran Shop. ‘I wanted it to be a shop that sold more classic, modern furniture for a more informed generation, such as Eames, Bauhaus originals and Mies van der Rohe, alongside fine glassware and china, beautiful handmade rugs and the very best French cookware, all chosen with the same pair of eyes,’ says Sir Terence. Sir Terence Conran moved the store to Michelin House in 1987, rehabilitating a London landmark and initiating the regeneration of Brompton Cross in the process. In the same way, the opening of the second London store in Marylebone in 1997 instigated the revival of Marylebone High Street, increasing footfall and enticing other retailers to the district. True to form, when the Paris store opened in the famous Bon Marché building, it quickly became the cornerstone of interiors and design on Rue du Bac, starting a Parisian love affair with Conran. Few brands have the power to reinvent not just buildings but whole neighbourhoods. While The Conran Shop enjoys global success, its British

roots remain evident in its hand-picked product offering, which champions many up-and-coming and established British designers, some of whom are protégés of Sir Terence himself. In recent years, its dedication to nurturing talent has been furthered by its support of initiatives such as New Designers and Nicer Tuesdays centring Conran in the emerging design community. The Conran Shop has collaborated with the world’s most renowned manufacturers, including Knoll, Vitra and Carl Hansen & Søn, to release limited editions of world-famous designs. Furthermore, Sir Terence’s legacy of crafting plain, simple and useful design objects endures with developments in Conran’s own-brand furniture, lighting, dining, textiles and decorative accessories. By commissioning fresh interpretations of enduring pieces, for example, the Latis Series by Samuel Wilkinson in Kvadrat/Raf Simons upholstery, Sir Terence’s initial vision for The Conran Shop to contain only the best design is carried into the future. The Conran Shop now has 11 stores across the world, including six in Japan, large concessions in London’s Selfridges and the

It quickly became the cornerstone of interiors and design on Rue du Bac... Few brands have the power to reinvent not just buildings but whole neighbourhoods 248 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Conran Shop’s flagship store at Michelin House; Hauser & Wirth at The Conran Shop Marylebone for London Design Festival 2019; Latis Series by Samuel Wilkinson for The Conran Shop upholstered in exclusive Kvadrat/Raf Simons fabrics; special edition Saarinen Womb chair and ottoman in sheepskin upholstery by Knoll for The Conran Shop; world-wide exclusive Saarinen pedestal table in Fusion Fire granite by Knoll for The Conran Shop

The Conran Shop Michelin House 81 Fulham Road London SW3 6RD +44 (0)20 7589 7401 theconranshopofficial

Galeries Lafayette in Paris, as well as its first South Korean store in Seoul’s Gangnam district. Sir Terence comments: ‘I have always said that all I want from life are simple, well-designed products. These are qualities present in the Korean aesthetic. I am excited to evolve our unique style for a new market and see how it influences our global brand.’ An unbeatable shopping experience, with carefully curated products, including vintage and modern designs and expert advice on interiors and personal services, is what defines The Conran Shop. By continually evolving its instore and online environments and presenting in-house designs, exclusive collaborations and future collectibles, it aims to inspire and excite visitors through objects that reflect the way we live now. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 249

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Toki Waffle teatowels; Koshin towels; Kissen Oxford pillowcase

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Fine towels, robes and bed linen, with an exclusive monogram collection by Sophie Paterson Interiors

Premium cotton from India’s Bay of Bengal, the softest towelling from Turkey and the cosiest woollen blankets woven from Mongolian cashmere

COZE Elstree Distribution Park Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 1RU +44 (0)20 3866 3939 coze_linen


oze was set up by brothers Ben and Dan Roston in 2017 to fill a gap in the consumer market for hotel quality bed linen, towelling, pillows and blankets. Not only has the family been involved in the textiles business for four generations, but for the past 40 years it has also supplied many of the country’s top hotels, including The Dorchester, Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz in London, The Fingal in Edinburgh and Gleneagles in Perthshire. The brothers’ obsession with sourcing the best craftsmanship and artisanal excellence from around the globe – premium cotton from India’s Bay of Bengal, the softest towelling from Turkey and the cosiest woollen blankets woven from Mongolian cashmere – combined with competitive pricing and a customer-centric approach, saw Coze’s popularity quickly increase and it now has a staff count of 50 employees. That said, it’s still very much a family company, with Ben, Dan and their father all playing an active role. Coze collaborates with a number of top hotels, spas and interior designers. One

Great British Brands 2020

such collaboration is with Sophie Paterson Interiors, a renowned design studio specialising in luxury residential interiors. It turns out that Sophie herself has a life-long love of monogramming and features bespoke pieces throughout her home and high-end interior design projects. Her collection for Coze comprises not just towels but bed linen, tea towels, dressing gowns and blankets, all of which can be personalised with a monogram. Sophie says, ‘I was introduced to Coze in 2018 and I loved the branding and quality. I know how hugely important it is to get the finer things like towelling and bed linen right – they’re the items that spend the most time in contact with your skin. Plus, when I embark on a collaboration such as the Sophie Paterson collection for Coze, I want to make sure it’s something I would want in my own home.’ Sophie, who describes herself as ‘passionate about monogramming’, had been looking to partner with the right company to bring a wider range of monogrammed bespoke products to Britain and the interiors market. ‘Monogramming is very time-consuming. There are no online companies that combine the luxury and quality I’m after as well as the right style of monogram with the ease of use. I also wanted to ensure the collection for Coze provided value for money and would allow most people to buy something special for their own home – even if it’s just a tea towel – it can elevate your space and your daily routine.’ All the products can be embroidered with a monogram of choice from as little as £12. ‘I think this collection caters to all households and we’ve chosen embroidery, font and colour options that look good in any interior,’ says Sophie. ‘I’m surrounded by beautiful and luxurious objects on a daily basis, so I feel that if I’m this excited about the collection, then it can’t fail to excite others.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 251

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Great British Brands 2020



A world-class collection of rare, inspirational fossils, crystals and minerals

When Dale Rogers found out that the stones were at least 350-million years old, containing fossils of prehistoric sea creatures, it was a lightbulb moment Dale Rogers Ammonite 77 Pimlico Road London SW1W 8PH +44 (0)20 7881 0592 dale_rogers_ammonite


t was in the mid 1980s, when travelling through Morocco, that Dale Rogers found his vocation as a fossil hunter. In a Tangier market he suddenly spotted some small stones that looked like fragments of shells. He was so taken by their beauty that he wanted to know more. When he found out that the stones were at least 350-million years old, containing fossils of prehistoric sea creatures, it was a lightbulb moment and the Dale Rogers Ammonite brand was born. Dale Rogers began selling his intriguing specimens and fossils from a modest market stall on London’s Portobello Road. He quickly began building an unparalleled reputation for focusing on quality and those hard-to-come-by larger pieces with true wow factor. Today the company ships all over the world, from Britain and the US to Japan and Dubai, supplying influential and celebrated interior designers, architects, superyacht designers, art collectors and private clients. Dale Rogers fossils, minerals and crystals can be seen at its London gallery on Pimlico Road, or at its spectacular treasure trove of a private warehouse in north-west

London. Its fine-tuned collection ranges from exquisitely mounted crystals to giant statement pieces and wall hangings. Clients have included Candy & Candy, CollettZarzycki, Terence Disdale Design, Andrew Winch Designs and Rose Uniacke. Dale’s son, Luke Garwood – who runs the Pimlico Road gallery – says, ‘We’re very proud to be the leading pioneer of natural art. Without doubt we have the best collection in Britain and are among the top five in the world. It all stems from my father’s love of travelling – he’s living his dream, roaming the world in search of the very best weird and wonderful pieces that become a conversation piece in people’s homes.’ The company’s success is largely due to its extraordinary, wide-ranging network of expert hunters. ‘We go to places like Uruguay for amethyst, Afghanistan for lapis lazuli, Brazil for quartz crystal or Indonesia for bumble bee jasper, so we have people on the ground almost everywhere,’ says Luke. ‘Over 35 years of building trusted relationships means that when sources find a great piece they’ll come to us first.’ 2019 saw Dale Rogers honoured by Christie’s when it invited the company to collaborate with De Beers to showcase the finest diamonds, minerals and crystals at the Rare Treasures of the Earth exhibition at Christie’s King Street in November. ‘We worked alongside Christie’s to create a diamond and crystal grotto,’ says Luke. ‘We were so proud to be involved in the project and to showcase our beautiful specimens alongside some of the worlds rarest diamonds.’ Looking ahead to 2020, Dale Rogers is planning trips to Afghanistan, Morocco and Mexico. ‘It’s my father’s vocation and passion, so he’ll always be seeking out those inspirational pieces on which we’ve built the business,’ says Luke. ‘We often think we’ve seen it all but then we’ll come across something that will blow people away. That’s why we’re so successful. We will never stop scouring the world for those awe-inspiring manifestations of our natural history dating back millions of years.’


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Dale Rogers iconic mounted Crystal & Mineral range; giant fossilised palm frond dating 55 million years old

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Great British Brands 2020


DAVID HUNT LIGHTING British manufacturers of bespoke and luxury lighting


avid Hunt Lighting traces its roots back to a candlestick maker from the 1790s. Over the following two centuries, the company has enjoyed its moments in the limelight. In 1851 it was one of the companies chosen to exhibit at Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition, housed in the famous Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. In 1910 it embraced the then new-fangled technology of the electric light. Last year marked a similarly important milestone as the brand opened its first London store at the Chelsea Harbour, Design Centre, joining some of interior design’s most celebrated names with a curated collection of bespoke products in the sought-after centre dome. Balancing tradition and innovation, David Hunt Lighting has successfully adapted its designs to each new decade, while remaining true to its heritage. In large measure this adaptability is due to the handcrafting techniques kept alive in its Cotswold workshop. One piece of lighting can pass through as many as 17 skilled pairs of hands during the production process, with techniques including

One piece of lighting can pass through as many as 17 skilled pairs of hands with techniques including ironwork, sculpting, hand-painting and resin casting

ironwork, sculpting, hand-painting and resin casting. The company is renowned for its fine surface finishes, which are applied not only to solid brass components but also to cast resin pieces with flawless results. Sandblasting, barrel finishing, antiquing and oxidising techniques are all used for both contemporary and traditional lighting, producing an unrivalled quality of finish. This dedication to hand-craftsmanship gives David Hunt Lighting an enviable range of bespoke services. Pieces are generally made to order with a choice of colours and finishes, ensuring that each new light fits perfectly with its surrounding interior. CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Creative Director, Hollie Moreland, expands David Hunt Lighting’s on the brand’s timeless appeal: ‘Design is about creative director, Hollie Moreland; Pompeii combining functionality with aesthetic. For pendant; Pimlico wall light me that aesthetic has to be enduring and create in solid brass; Paphos table lamp a personal connection.’ The clean lines of her latest collection conjure the understated opulence of 1950s high society with a hybrid of English heritage and new American expression. Hollie continues, ‘This year, I have been inspired by the extraordinary design duos of the 1950s such as Sister Parish and Albert Hadley, John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster. A riotous celebration of rich materials and pattern is grounded by a study of classical architecture, proportion and restraint.’ Indeed, the new range of pendants, task and picture lights explores a scholarly theme with subtle neoclassical detailing. The Imperial table lamps have glass columns topped with resin detailing in the Corinthian style, while the Pompeii pendant has a Greco-Roman bowl design in alabaster glass suspended on solid brass rods with fabric tassels. The Paphos and Noble lamps show architectural influences in a very different way, with painted resin tumble-aged by ceramic stones in the workshop’s barrel finisher to produce a distressed surface. Each piece recalls both the brand’s first candlesticks – realised in brass over two centuries ago – and the bold new vision of its creative director. Thoughtfully designed and meticulously made, each collection adds a chapter to this historic David Hunt Lighting manufacturer’s story.

Third Floor, Centre Dome Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour London SW10 0XE +44 (0)20 7349 8111 davidhuntlighting


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Great British Brands 2020



Designing and creating exquisite fabrics and wallcoverings for over 135 years


n 1884 two young entrepreneurial brothers, George Percival and James, started importing Persian, Turkish and Turkoman carpets and re-exported them to France and the US – GP & J Baker was born. Gradually the brothers started producing beautiful prints and weaves, their designs influenced by George Percival’s admiration for Indian and Oriental art. In the late 1800s GP & J Baker bought the renowned Swaisland Fabric Printing Company in southeast London, acquiring most of its printing blocks and a collection of pattern books dating back more than a century. A few years later, George Percival added 400 antique block prints from Paris’s Holzach studio, followed by a further 250 rare Indian printed cottons. The brothers were adventurous travellers and became avid, discerning collectors of rare designs. Over the years they built up one of the largest and most diverse privately owned textile archives in the world. The textiles represent the last 100 centuries and hail from round the globe and include hand painted Chinese wallpapers, rare 17th century Italian and Turkish velvets, Indienne prints, Indonesian batiks, 500 year old Peruvian textiles and Art Nouveau original paintings. By the turn of the century, GP & J Baker was employing leading Arts & Crafts designers and its in house studio began developing designs from its extensive archive. George Percival was a passionate horticulturalist and served as President of the Iris Society so naturalistic English garden flowers became a popular design and part of GP & J Baker’s enduring signature style. Many of GP & J Baker’s exquisite prints are still sourced and adapted from its original archives. Some have been in production for 50 to 100 years, each re-issue adding another layer to their considerable charm. More recently, some of these prints have been re-imagined as beautiful embroideries, woven fabrics and wallpapers. Of course, it takes more than an exceptional

archive to maintain a successful heritage brand or, indeed, to retain a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen, as GP & J Baker has done for more than 37 years. ‘We’re always challenging ourselves and innovating to maintain our individuality,’ says Managing and Creative Director of GP & J Baker, Ann Grafton, ‘yet while we embrace the latest technological advances, we are extremely appreciative of artisanal craftsmanship, which in our case sometimes dates back hundreds of years. For some collections we still employ the centuries old technique of hand block printing, for example. The result is the thrilling and extraordinary diversity of our GP & J Baker collections. They range from beautiful silks, classic prints, elegant linens and the exquisite GP & J Baker Signature designs to contemporary geometrics and gorgeous cutting edge textures. The inspired colour palettes across all the collections fit perfectly into any period and any style of architecture.’ With showrooms in London’s Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour as well as Paris, GP & J Baker’s declared philosophy is to lead the way in textile design excellence, creating beautiful products to meet its global customers’ desire for comfortable luxurious living.

Exquisite prints are sourced and adapted from one of the most diverse, privately owned textile archives in the world

GP & J Baker Design Centre Chelsea Harbour London SW10 0XE +44 (0)20 7351 7760 gpjbaker


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Using traditional techniques combined with technological advancements, GP & J Baker offers extraordinary diversity

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Great British Brands 2020



High-quality garden designs and architectural stonework


addonstone’s cast stone designs grace gardens the world over, including many a stately home and National Trust garden in Britain. Likewise, its architectural stonework forms part of many prestigious building projects worldwide. Haddonstone was founded by Bob Barrow in 1971. In his Northamptonshire garage, he began producing decorative cast stonework for gardens; the first range consisted of seven designs, six of which are bestsellers to this day. A year later, Haddonstone exhibited for the first time at the Chelsea Flower Show and has been a frequent exhibitor there ever since. Bob’s son, David took over as Managing Director in 2011 and the company remains proudly family owned. The Haddonstone range now consists of over a thousand designs including fountains, statuary and sundials, as well as planters, garden furniture and balustrading. In addition to offering a broad range of standard architectural designs, the company is passionate about creating bespoke stonework to meet its clients’ specific criteria. In 2021, Haddonstone will celebrate its 50th anniversary, but the company has to this day remained true to its heritage. It loves what it does, and the results speak for themselves. All of its products are handmade in one of two

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Haddonstone Armillary Sphere was designed by David Harber and is exclusive to Haddonstone. It is photographed infront of Haddonstone’s Small Classical Temple; Haddonstone stonework was used to develop this beautiful Octagon Developments property at Wootton Palace on Esher Park Avenue; Haddonstone’s Galle Vase in the company’s Show Gardens, Northamptonshire; a member of the Haddonstone team adds the finishing touches to a cast stone Corinthian capital

Haddonstone The Forge House East Haddon Northamptonshire NN6 8DB +44 (0)1604 770711 haddonstone_ltd


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The company was asked to supply the architectural stonework for the Royal Pavilion, the centrepiece of the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury

manufactories, in Northamptonshire and in Colorado, USA. Every member of the Haddonstone team shares its core values, providing unrivalled expertise and the highest level of skill and craftsmanship. Many of Haddonstone’s employees have been with the company for more than 30 years. This foundation of talent, experience and deep understanding of its products underpins the company’s enviable reputation for quality. Haddonstone remains true to its roots, but is always willing to break new ground. A prime example of this is the launch of a new contemporary sculpture range – a bold move for a company known for its very traditional designs. Haddonstone has been involved in many prestigious and highprofile projects. The company was asked to supply the architectural stonework for the Royal Pavilion, the centrepiece of the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury development at Dorchester in Dorset. Covering 400 acres, Poundbury is the brainchild of HRH The Prince of Wales and has received acclaim from architects, town planners and academics worldwide. The Royal Pavilion has proved to be Haddonstone’s most technically complex and demanding project to date. In excess of 1,000 tonnes of cast stone was ordered, consisting of nearly 10,000 individual components – each one made in a specially-designed mould. Haddonstone was also commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society to produce a fountain for the new Exotic Garden at RHS Wisley, which opened in 2017. Working closely with Wisley’s garden designers, Haddonstone’s in-house studio team designed a strikingly original piece, the RHS Wisley Exotic Garden Fountain. Adorned with a highly detailed pineapple finial and a stylised passion flower design on its pedestals, this stunning fountain takes pride of place in the garden. Despite the recent uncertainty in Britain, the company is determined to continue growing. Haddonstone is confidently pursuing new markets, both domestically and internationally, as the brand expands in the Middle East, the United States and across Europe. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 259

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Great British Brands 2020



Providing linens of lasting beauty since 1984


ooted in the English countryside, Heirlooms is a familyrun British manufacturer of fine bed, table and bathroom linens, which it supplies to high-end interior designers, superyacht builders, executive jet manufacturers, property developers and boutique hotels. Its private clients across five continents include more than one royal household. Established in 1984 to provide linens of lasting beauty, Heirlooms today works with leading Italian weavers and the highest grades of cotton, producing exceptional fabrics, right up to an unbelievably luxuriant and silky 1,000-thread-count Giza cotton sateen. Highly skilled designers, cutters, machinists and embroiderers craft the linens at the West Sussex workshops – true to the company’s founding principles of combining the finest materials with traditional British craftsmanship. ‘We’ve always believed that, even with today’s technology, there is no substitute for craftspeople’s hands, eyes and instinct,’ says Managing Director, Ruth Douglas. ‘They have a deep love and understanding of how materials work together, and they measure, cut, stitch and check every item, ensuring the highest standards of accuracy, workmanship and durability. It’s this human touch that makes our linens as individual as the people we create them for.’ As the only linen company with Royal Warrants to both HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, Heirlooms is proud of its British heritage. Thanks to Prince Charles, warrant holders have been guided in integrating environmentally responsible principles into everyday working environments.

As the only linen company with Royal Warrants to both HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, Heirlooms is proud of its British heritage


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sahara scatter cushions; Provence fine bed linen; luxury cashmere throws

Heirlooms’ relationships with clients are based on the premise that no two projects are the same. Even the most extravagant superyacht, residence or jet is highly personal. ‘Some clients present complete designs and colour schemes; others bring their ideas and leave the details to us. It is this flexibility that make us unique,’ says Senior Sales Manager, Eva Luc. ‘Our beautiful linens, handmade to the client’s exact requirements, allow builders and owners to realise their dreams, down to the last detail.’ All successful brands know that it takes years of dedication, determination and the constant pursuit of excellence to develop a world-class brand. Heirlooms’ confidence has been boosted by its growing client base, praising its impeccable quality, efficiency and open, friendly understanding. For these clients, quality and excellence are worth investing

in, despite the easy availability of lesser materials on the high street and a prevailing ‘buy-now-discard-later’ attitude. Adapting to the parallel demand for ready-made linens, Heirlooms has created a ‘home collection’ of its most popular fabrics in core styles, manufactured with tailor-made precision. The past three years have seen investment in manufacturing to facilitate this, with new state-of-the-art cutting equipment, specialist embroidery machines and more skilled artisans employed to meet the growing demand. If you’re lucky enough to be an Heirlooms customer, you will discover that its commitment doesn’t end with your initial purchase. The company keeps detailed records and templates, so designs and materials can be matched years later. So if you’re in need of extras, replacements or a whole new look, you know where to find a dedicated and passionate team.

Heirlooms Fine Linens 2 Arun Business Park Bognor Regis West Sussex PO22 9SX +44 (0)1243 820252 heirloomslinensltd


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Great British Brands 2020



Game-changing design for outdoor spaces since 1990


020 brings an air of excitement for Indian Ocean. It is entering its 30th year of producing the kind of game-changing outdoor furniture and lighting that has transformed the way international luxurists think about designing their indoor/outdoor living spaces. It all started in 1990 with Madagascan parasols, imported by co-founder and managing director Jamie Hobbs, who then added teak garden furniture to match. The company grew, and subsequently broadened and refined its repertoire. Indian Ocean’s offering now includes edgy, contemporary designs in a variety of higher-tech materials, though elegant teak ‘heritage’ pieces remain core to the collections. ‘We are positive about the returning trend for teak,’ says Hobbs of this year’s plans, ‘and we will be offering FSC Grade A plantation teak in the Marina Collection for 2020.’ A brand with an international outlook as part of its DNA, Indian Ocean has a broad customer base that encompasses the Caribbean and the Middle East, as well as Europe. This global exposure stands it in good stead, along with its practical experience in exporting worldwide. The company’s new website, launching in

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Marina Teak sofa lounge; the Lucerne and Latitude lounge; the Cruise single armchair; the Eclipse two-seater sofa

Indian Ocean 155–163 Balham Hill London SW12 9DJ +44 (0)20 8675 4808 indianocean_outdoor


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It all started in 1990 with Madagascan parasols, imported by Jamie Hobbs, who then added teak garden furniture to match

January 2020, is focusing on providing a smoother check-out for European and worldwide shipping, along with multicurrency options. The brand will also continue to exhibit twice a year at Maison & Objet in Paris and at the Monaco Yacht Show – platforms with not just a European but a global reach. Closer to home, Indian Ocean is one of the key brands that will benefit from Harrods’ £200m renovation – the most ambitious in its 170-year history – currently under way and due to complete in 2020. There will be no changes made to the exterior of the grade II-listed building, but the million sq/ft interior – including the ‘Home’ department, where Indian Ocean has a stylish showcase on the third floor – is being remodelled to appeal to the store’s well-heeled international clientele. Indian Ocean does not confine its activities to product development and production: it also creates innovative design concepts, tailor-made to enhance individual clients’ enjoyment of the great outdoors. Country estates, holiday villas, superyachts and urban balconies have all benefitted from the Indian Ocean touch and its designs always bring in the finest quality materials, detail and high-spec finishes. ‘We are constantly innovating,’ says Hobbs, ‘and we offer the most technically advanced fabrics and designs which are inspiring and practical, as well as totally comfortable and relaxing.’ Headquartered in south London, Indian Ocean’s 30-strong team specialises in old-school customer service. Collections can be viewed at two London stores (Balham and Hampstead) besides Harrods, and orders are fulfilled from a British based warehouse. The company is on the Department for International Trade’s radar as one that is actively collaborating to promote British design, manufacturing, technology and heritage. Its international credentials notwithstanding, Indian Ocean is, at heart, a business that is proud to be British. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 263

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Great British Brands 2020



The finest antique and reproduction fireplaces, lighting and furniture

O Jamb 95–97 Pimlico Road London SW1W 8PH +44 (0)20 7730 2122 jamb_london

nce an antique is sold, it’s gone forever but a faithful reproduction continues its design life: that was the inspiration behind antiques dealer Will Fisher’s decision to set up Jamb 19 years ago. He began by creating a reproduction collection from antique lighting and chimneypieces that he had once owned; in 2004, Will’s wife Charlotte joined him and together they have continued to grow the business. Today the lighting collection is comprised of more than 100 designs and the company is renowned as the go-to destination for leading architects and interior designers looking for the finest quality antique fireplaces, reproduction fireplaces and lighting, all in the English country house aesthetic. Antique fireplaces form the backbone of the business and Jamb has a reputation for having

the most extensive reclaimed antique fireplace collection in the UK. This includes period pieces from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that recall the work of Britain’s finest architects such as Inigo Jones, William Kent and John Nash. Clients can make an appointment to view the 200 antique chimneypieces at the company’s warehouse, which is a former tank factory on the outskirts of London. The constantly changing Pimlico Road showroom can also be visited to see fireplaces, foundry-made grates, lighting, garden ornaments and furniture. Jamb is fastidious when it comes to historical detail leading to the purest of designs, and having these important antique fireplaces in the company’s possession enables the highly skilled craftsmen at the workshop to create replicas with an unparalleled level of historical accuracy. Through research and unique


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Antique fireplaces form the backbone of the business and Jamb has a reputation for having the most extensive reclaimed antique fireplace collection in the UK

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: The Hyde lantern adds grandeur to an entrance; Mask globe; the stately Bolection fire surround; Jamb’s Holland sofa

manufacturing techniques, the company is also able to ensure the highest quality of design and craftsmanship. The company is regularly involved in outstanding restoration and new-build projects. Jamb also takes on commissions for clients who draw on its knowledge and extensive library of sketches and moulds to create the perfect, bespoke piece to the best proportions. Bespoke fireplace commissions range from creating an entire collection of oneoff mantels for a Neoclassical mansion, to the demands of designing and building a unique Gothic centrepiece for a château in France. Currently, Jamb is making many reproduction fireplace designs in wonderful Italian marble, from Breche Violette to Bardiglio, as well as stones from the oldest English quarries. When it comes to reproduction lighting, a globe lantern is still the Jamb signature lantern yet there are more than 100 designs in the collection, all of which stem from antique originals. The recent Hanbury collection, for instance, which has been hugely popular since it launched last year, is a group of small, versatile wall and hanging lights inspired by the 1920s industrial age. All Jamb lanterns are made with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring the gauge of the frame is as you would expect to find on an antique. Jamb continues to work in the lost wax method, which ensures castings are continuously accurate and true to the original. In all reproductions, Jamb strives to create a finish to replicate that of an antique. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 265

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Great British Brands 2020



Inventive kitchens that evolve with the times


aunched in 2018, Life Kitchens is a young brand with much to look forward to. From its extensive premises under the arches in London’s Waterloo, this kitchen company views the year ahead as a continued opportunity to make a real impact on the way people live. Life Kitchens is the brainchild of Oli Stephenson. The fifth generation of his family to work in kitchen design, Stephenson instinctively felt that the time had come for a more disruptive approach – to build kitchens inspired not by a designer’s prescriptive vision, but by the lives of the people for whom they are created. We’re all different; why should our kitchens be the same? ‘We understand that one size never fits all where kitchens are concerned, so our showroom is laid out to take customers on a journey,’ says Oli. This doesn’t simply mean wandering through the design hub, looking at colours and surface materials and opening drawers and cupboards, but stepping inside the company’s 4D VR theatre to experience an interactive simulation of a chosen design: a unique chance to try before you buy. For Life customers, a visit to the company’s showroom is just the start of a truly collaborative process in which meticulous attention to detail is applied at every stage, from design and home survey, through to project management, installation and aftercare. The kitchens themselves are crafted by some of the best in the business. ‘We’re incredibly proud of having one of the most spectacular and original kitchen showrooms and design hubs in London,’ says Oli. ‘When we were designing our space, we not only wanted

‘We espouse British values of inventive, evolving design’


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FROM LEFT: Life Kitchen’s Waterloo showroom feels more like home than a kitchen shop; the Eclectic look borrows from different styles; family life suits the Timeless range; Life Kitchens founder, Oli Stephenson

to provide customers with somewhere that was welcoming, informative and different, but we also wanted to create somewhere that could accommodate various types of events such as the intimate supper clubs we’ve organised for interior designers, architects, consumers and clients. We’ll be introducing new products and features throughout the year to make the experience even better.’ After a very successful few years, Oli is upbeat about the immediate future. ‘Our end of the market has remained resilient but there’s no doubt that the industry as a whole is facing challenges. That said, the recent economic downturn seems to have sparked a trend in home improvement, with more money being spent on remodelling and updating. We have continued to invest in all avenues, including our product offering, service proposition and design

innovation because we believe that doing so safeguards the future.’ Oli believes that espousing British values of inventive, evolving design and manufacturing has been a major contributor to his company’s success. ‘We’re passionate about producing the very best in the industry and employ a combination of traditional and modern techniques to ensure that we produce exceptional design and manufacturing output,’ says Oli. ‘Entrepreneurialism is at the heart of our family business and like many other British brands, we embrace quality, longevity and continuity. Without this spirit, we wouldn’t be who we are, and I hope it will remain the same for many more generations to come.’

Life Kitchens 213 Newnham Terrace London SE1 7DR +44 (0)20 3972 0150 life_kitchens


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Mizar rug, styled by Lucy Gough, photography by David Cleveland; stair runner, interior design by Schiller Beynon, photography by Jody Stewart

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Combining hand craftsmanship and design technology to create beautiful carpets

‘We are essentially artists, but carpet is our medium,’ says Andrew Cotgrove, Managing Director

Loomah Bespoke Carpets & Rugs 592 King’s Road London SW6 2DX +44 (0)20 7371 9955 loomahltd


espite all the uncertainty thrown up by Brexit, 2019 has been a good year for Loomah. The company is small enough to adapt to its customers’ ever-evolving needs and continues to forge new relationships with clients across Britain and Europe. Loomah has also entered into a partnership with George Smith that has allowed the company to showcase its full design service in the US via George Smith’s New York and Los Angeles showrooms. With over 30 years’ experience, Loomah is a leading designer and supplier of traditional and contemporary luxury carpets and rugs, specialising in bespoke commissions made to clients’ exact specifications. This year Loomah assisted a client designing a runner for a winding staircase in a Grade II listed Mayfair property. Loomah meticulously planned how the border design would flow down each step, cutting full paper templates on site and hand drawing the border onto them, so that when it came to installation, the runner fell perfectly into place. Following the stair runner’s success, the client

Great British Brands 2020

commissioned two bespoke rugs for the house with a brief to create contemporary yet classic designs that reflected the building’s heritage, while complementing the space’s contemporary aesthetic. ‘The most rewarding projects are those when clients utilise our knowledge and expertise to express their individual style, while remaining sympathetic to the history of their space,’ says Loomah’s designer, Antonina Depczynski. Many aspects of the design process are still done by hand and Depczynski often draws or paints elements of the design on paper before scanning them into the computer for further development. ‘When I draw on paper, my mind and hand are in direct conversation with each other, resulting is a more direct expression of my creative vision,’ she says. However, there are things that only a computer can achieve and computer aided design programmes allow Loomah to manipulate designs, exploring more possibilities with colour and scale, accelerating the design process. ‘My creative process has become a synthesis of the hand and the computer,’ Antonina says. Loomah’s carpets are handmade to order, but production, like the design process, is facilitated by technology. The finished carpet design is blown up on the computer and then hand drawn at full size onto the carpets primary backing. Craftsmen then fill in colours denoted by number, utilising a tufting gun in the same way artists use a paintbrush. ‘We are essentially artists, but carpet is our medium,’ says Andrew Cotgrove, Managing Director. ‘At Loomah luxury is not about expense, but about creating something carefully designed and beautifully crafted. British luxury brands have a global reputation for superb quality. However, in today’s uncertain economic climate, it is more important than ever to ensure customers understand the skill and craftsmanship that go into the manufacture and design process. I strongly believe that if we stay true to our company philosophy in going the extra mile to ensure the end product is the ultimate in design, elegance and luxury, Loomah will continue to flourish and grow internationally.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 269

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Great British Brands 2020


NAIM AUDIO Delivering sound ingenuity for the future

I Naim Audio Southampton Road Salisbury SP1 2LN +44 (0)1722 426600 naimaudio

t is undoubtedly a challenging time for any British business – but then so was 1973, when Naim Audio was founded in Salisbury: there were widespread strikes and an energy crisis that saw the three-day week imposed. However dark the days, people’s love for music never dims and Naim is here to make favourite tracks sound incredible on the best British hi-fi products available, at home, in your car and even on the open seas – Naim being the official audio partner of both Bentley Motors and Princess Yachts. Naim is on a continuing mission to show how you can hear more from your music, making it a more authentic experience and allowing the emotion to shine through. This message is proving ever more popular around the world as consumers chase higher-quality experiences, resulting in Naim enjoying its

best year for sales in its 46-year history. It is also a time for celebrating as Naim has won global awards for a range of its products, including the stunning new Mu-so 2nd Generation family. Experts agree that these are the premium wireless speakers that music deserves, offering all the ease of use and rich features expected from a modern music system combined with 46 years of British hi-fi excellence. Even Naim’s baby speaker – the Muso Qb 2nd Generation – shares the same musical heart as its £20,000 flagship music player, the ND555. That ‘heart’ is a stateof-the-art music-streaming platform, which took 25 engineers in Salisbury three years to perfect – British innovation at its finest. Naim is also honoured to have won the Queen’s Award for both Export and


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However dark the days, people’s love for music never dims and Naim is here to make favourite tracks sound incredible on the best British hi-fi products available

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Naim’s flagship Statement amplifier offers a full horse-power of musical muscle; the company designs premium in-car audio systems for Bentley; Naim Uniti systems are found on Princess Yachts; the latest Naim success is the Mu-so 2nd Generation wireless speaker family, winning awards worldwide

Innovation. It will sell products in 50+ countries in 2020, with music systems on sale in locations as diverse as John Lewis in Britain to luxury boutiques in France and destination retail in Gangnam, Korea. More exceptional Naim products are set for release, as it continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible – applying an obsessive attention to detail to develop audio solutions that take customers ever closer to an amazing musical experience. In a world where consumer electronics products typically seem designed to be replaced every year, Naim takes a radically different ‘built to last’ approach and sees a Naim Audio product as an investment for many years of extraordinary musical experiences, with the service to match. It can still repair almost every product ever made in its service and restoration department in Salisbury, where its skilled technicians have the experience to breathe life into classic Naim Audio equipment. It regularly restores some of the first hi-fi products it made, dating right back to the 1970s, ready to provide decades more musical enjoyment. Last year saw the arrival in the service department of a 21-year-old amplifier which was still providing its owner great musical enjoyment – so much so that the volume knob had become worn out! With no spare parts for this classic model left, an enterprising engineer designed and produced a near-identical replacement, which was then optimised, fitted and sent back to its happy home. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 271

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Great British Brands 2020


NOBLE MACMILLAN Purveyors of classic and contemporary leather goods


esigned to last a lifetime, Noble Macmillan’s classic leather goods are created with practicality and luxury in mind. The small firm is tucked away in the same quiet Kensington mews where it first opened over 30 years ago and remains unashamedly traditional in its approach. It uses centuries-old techniques to produce photo albums, frames, accessories and games sets in an increasingly dazzling array of styles and colours. The business was founded in the early 1980s by friends Tom Dodd Noble and Adam Macmillan, a grandson of former prime minister Harold Macmillan. At the time, the two friends were racing cars at Le Mans and owned a mews garage in Kensington, called Noble Macmillan. One day Tom went to buy a leather photo frame from a wellknown store and was stunned by the price. Unable to find any frames of the same quality, and knowing someone who could make them cheaper, it occurred to Tom that Noble Macmillan could diversify into high quality but affordable leather goods. A few months later, boxes of hand-stitched photo frames arrived

at 9 Elvaston Mews. Although the ‘shop’ was at the back of the garage, the frames sold quickly. Equally impressive photograph albums soon followed. Not much later, most of the country’s grandest homes and families had a Noble Macmillan album, visitor’s book or game book. Despite this, the tucked away shop remained largely an undiscovered gem. Customers found it difficult to keep the source of their beautiful gifts a secret after a member of one of Britain’s oldest banking dynasties bought the business in 2007. As Tom Fleming and his team began to add more contemporary colours and expand the range, style gurus sat up and took notice. However, much remains unchanged. Inside the shop, the jacks that once held the Le Mans car and the inspection pit are still in evidence, as are the quality, value for money and service for which Noble Macmillan is now known. Today, Noble Macmillan is famous not only for its classic leather photo albums but also for its stylish and traditional games and travel accessories. Indeed, these possessions epitomise the same esteemed family values that endure at the heart of the brand. As the owners of Walter Newbury, a bookbinding service that has been creating beautiful books for politicians and royalty for over a century, Noble Macmillan also offers bespoke items, which can be turned around astonishingly quickly. Using the traditional skills of edge gilding, marbling, book-binding and sewing, Noble Macmillan continues to focus on age-old traditions, while offering a speedy and efficient up-to-the-minute service. They are also delighted to announce the recent acquisition of Gee Brothers, which has been a leading figure in the luxury printing industry for over 45 years. As a family business, Gee Brothers shares

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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Luxury matchbox; Regency large jewellery box; small heart keyring; 2020 Mezzo diary; luxury boules set; dice cup; candle; luxury card box; Mezzo diary; original thick card album

Noble Macmillan 9 Elvaston Mews London SW7 5HY +44 (0)20 7581 4178

many of the values that Noble Macmillan holds – traditional British craftmanship, excellent customer service and beautiful personalisation. Noble Macmillan is looking forward to expanding into wedding, event and personal stationery next year. Noble Macmillan continues to grow its homeware and accessories range to provide milestone gifts for all ages, from 18ths to 80ths. Its infamous Luxury Perudo Set continues to entertain and delight families up and down the country. Its engraver can personalise items in store while you wait, in a selection of fonts and finishes. Adding initials, a name, a message, date or a family crest creates the most thoughtful present – useful for the last-minute shopper in search of the best of British. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 273

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Great British Brands 2020



Bespoke and ready-made candles and home fragrances from one of the country’s leading chandlers

If you can’t find a fragrance you like, Rachel will make it for you, adapting the many aromas in her extensive scent library

House group to create candles for its beach, city and country houses globally: ‘There will be three tailor-made fragrances initially, with plans to scent each house individually and to provide candle-making workshops.’ These are not, of course, the easiest of times for chandlers: translating the sensory experience to an online marketplace is difficult; so too is maintaining a point of difference in an increasingly saturated market. And then there is the question of sustainability, with hundreds of thousands of candle votives destined for landfill. Rachel says: ‘Consumers are now much more socially conscious about their purchases. One of our unique offers is our bespoke refill service, which means we not only refill our full range of candle vessels with fragranced wax and bespoke scents, but we can refill pretty much any container that our clients bring in, be it their favourite used candle jar, best crystal vase or a vintage tea cup.’ Not that it’s always quite that simple. ‘An international client once asked us to fill 100 seven-wick crystal bowls, each one with



f all our senses, smell is the one most strongly tied to our emotions yet, as Rachel Vosper points out, most of us don’t make the connection. She, on the other hand, knows all about the power of fragrance, using her knowledge to create the scents that go into her hand-poured beeswax candles and signature home fragrances. If you can’t find a fragrance you like, Rachel will make it for you, adapting the many aromas in her extensive scent library. While her Belgravia flagship store sells ready-made candles and home fragrances, bespoke is a big part of Rachel’s business, with a client list that includes artists and designers, as well as some of the world’s big corporates. Last year a collaboration with Virgin Atlantic resulted in AIR, a bespoke fragrance comprising essential oils from every continent that the airline flies to, designed to enhance the customer experience. An AIR candle is available to buy in Duty Free. ‘It wasn’t just about the chance to work with the airline to create its signature scent, but also the opportunity to elevate the customer experience on the ground; to heighten the sense of excitement throughout the journey,’ says Rachel. In a similar vein, Rachel is currently working with the Soho


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Rachel Vosper 69 Kinnerton Street London SWIX 8ED +44 (0)20 7235 9666 rachelvosperbelgravia

five refills. Two of us worked around the clock over several days to get the order ready. We were still doing the final top pours when the delivery lorry arrived to take the candles to the South of France – it broke down en route and arrived five minutes before the deadline.’ Rachel is certainly bullish about the year ahead: ‘2020 is going to be very interesting. We are opening a store in New York’s Tribeca district and collaborating with a fabulous British crystal brand that already has a great presence in the US. I am currently doing extensive research and development – I should be able to reveal the results later this year, but let’s just say it will completely revolutionise the candle industry.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 275

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Three-Sixty bed; the Original Savoy Bed, the Savoir No. 2; the Vision bed linen collection

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A lifetime of extraordinary sleep

The Savoir story began in 1905, when Richard D’Oyly Carte required a bed luxurious enough to qualify for the rooms of his newly opened Savoy Hotel

Savoir 7 Wigmore Street London W1U 1AD +44 (0)20 7493 4444 savoirbeds


ood sleep is fundamental to our health and vitality. More important than nutrition and exercise, it provides an immediate, entirely pleasurable way to improve our well-being. But for sleep to be truly lifeenhancing, it requires an exceptional bed. Savoir craft beds to an extraordinary standard of luxury, handmade from completely natural materials using traditional techniques. These are beds which, in every sense, stand the test of time. At the Savoir Bedworks in London and Wales, craftsmen work intently at individual oak trestles – the antithesis of a production line –

Great British Brands 2020

meticulously crafting natural materials by hand into the most comfortable and beautiful beds imaginable. From inception to completion, every bed is bespoke: made and signed by one master craftsman for one customer. The Savoir story began in 1905, when Richard D’Oyly Carte required a bed luxurious enough to qualify for the rooms of his newly opened Savoy Hotel. Not finding any that were up to his exacting standards, he chose to create his own. The result is still made today – Savoir No. 2 – and its spirit still governs Savoir’s approach to every bed it makes. In 2019, showcasing its pursuit of the extraordinary, Savoir introduced the rotating Three Sixty bed: the epitome of British craft. With over 300 hours invested in its minute detailing, it is the bed that has everything: a Savoir No. 1 bed set, turntable technology so that you can rotate 360 degrees and choose your view, carefully positioned reading lights, USB and power outlets thoughtfully incorporated, without interrupting the design aesthetic. This year also saw the launch of Savoir’s new bed linen collection, which is a continuation of their extraordinary standards. This exclusive new collection is cut and sewn in England. The Egyptian cotton is delicately woven in Italian mills, with every piece of fabric displaying impeccable softness, smoothness and strength. These linens are nothing less than a Savoir bed deserves. 2019 also saw the reimagining of the leather bed. Working together with British designer and master of leather craftsmanship, Bill Amberg, Savoir has brought a new approach to the classic leather bed. Ocean is a departure from the dark masculine tones and deep buttoning of a traditional Chesterfield, bringing a modern take to leather design. Skilfully blending heritage and innovation, the design features specialist digital printing technology, while retaining the natural character and grain of the world’s finest leather. Step into any of Savoir’s 15 showrooms around the world and they’ll guide you to a lifetime of exceptional sleep, showing how this can be achieved through passionate personalisation. A bed’s dimensions, materials and fabric can all be tailored, whether it’s to provide a particular level of support or just to match the style of a room. Beds for superyachts, headboards inspired by architecture: anything is possible. The luxury of handcrafted sleep, 100 years in the making and never more relevant than today. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 277

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Great British Brands 2020



First on the list for British furniture design


aunched in 1978, Smallbone of Devizes has been at the forefront of British kitchen design for more than 40 years. The brand is now part of Lux Group Holdings, home of some of the world’s finest design and furniture companies, including Mark Wilkinson Furniture, Brookmans by Smallbone and recently acquired McCarron & Co. This has ensured its continued growth, allowing it to develop a diverse portfolio of wares, including a range of immaculately executed custom-made furniture for individual spaces. From strong British roots, Smallbone’s stock is rising as a directional, high-end, international lifestyle brand, with an impressive increase in overseas sales as well as significant growth in the British market. Major international projects sporting Smallbone interiors are appearing on the global stage and raising interior design benchmarks. Across the Atlantic, upmarket architects and developers are proving hungry for both the Smallbone brand name and its visionary contemporary design ingenuity. These include residences in New York City in a clutch of topflight developments, from New York’s Central Park Tower – now the tallest residential building in the world – and One57 to 1010 Park Avenue

From strong British roots, Smallbone’s stock is rising as a directional, high-end, international lifestyle brand

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The iconic and evolutionary Original Hand Painted collection; the Mulberry collection’s sleek design epitomises New York cool; Naples, elegant grey stained cabinetry with champagne gold metal finishes; every piece of furniture is handcrafted by its master craftsman in Wiltshire; bespoke leather-lined drawers for optimal storage solutions


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and 210 West 77th Street. Smallbone’s covetable kitchens and elegant bedrooms, wine rooms, libraries and dressing rooms have added substantial value to these headline-hitting buildings and have contributed to the breaking of Manhattan residential real estate price records. In the Arabian Gulf, recent clients include topend developer Emaar, which favours Smallbone cabinetry in numerous rooms of the home, including kitchen spaces, dressing rooms, media rooms and butlers’ pantries. Stellar architectural collaborators in the region include the likes of renowned architects Jean Nouvel and Bill Sofield,

widely recognised as the world’s foremost creator of masterpiece skyscrapers. In 2020, its new creative and managerial direction will see Smallbone of Devizes rolling out elegant new flagship showrooms in London’s Knightsbridge and Manhattan – set to be the best places to absorb the new look and feel of Smallbone’s signature cabinetry. Lux Group Holdings is also making a million pound investment in the brand’s workshop, as a precursor to a massive investment in a best-ofclass operation at a new facility in the near future. What will never change, however, is Smallbone of Devizes’s commitment to meticulous and exacting personal service, with each commission a close collaboration between designer and client, from concept through to the finished work. The essence of the brand, of course, is the consummate skill of its crafts people, with each piece inscribed with the name of the joiner who created it. The workshop itself is set within the honeyed hills of Devizes, where, from the Bronze Age onwards, locals carved the outlines of horses into the chalky faces of the rolling downland. Those mythical symbols are referenced in Smallbone’s beautiful new logo, which traces the outline of a horse’s head. The message is clear: this British trailblazer may be having a stellar time, but it is not about to forget its roots.

Smallbone of Devizes +44 (0)20 7589 5998 smallbone.devizes


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Great British Brands 2020


TED TODD FINE WOOD FLOORS Timber detectives and creators of fine wood floors for over 25 years

‘E Ted Todd Fine Wood Floors London Design Centre 79 Margaret Street London W1W 8TA +44 (0)20 7495 6706 ted_todd_floors

verything we do starts with respecting and valuing the wood we work with.’ This is a philosophy that has remained consistent in the 26 years since Robert Walsh, founder and owner of Ted Todd Fine Wood Floors, first started restoring and selling wood floors recovered from 19thcentury industrial buildings. Respecting the wood and working with it to create trends means that the company is constantly bringing something new and exciting to floors, walls and ceilings. An extensive offering means clients can look to Ted Todd for new, engineered wood floors and Woodworks by Ted Todd for the finest in reclaimed, antique and handmade wood floors with a story to tell. Says Robert, ‘Our designers and craftspeople are always looking for the best way to showcase

each piece of wood they work with. The end results are breathtaking. We’ve perfected making floors that are “perfectly imperfect”: once fitted, they look like they have been in place for decades or centuries, even though we’re using new seasoned wood. Galion, a new English oak floor from Woodworks, is a prime example. It blends seamlessly into the background delivering an elegant, understated look.’ The company also offers a unique bespoke service, working with clients to source the right species, tone, construction and finish of new and antique wood. It goes beyond just selling a floor – customers are involved every step of the way, from sourcing and selecting the wood to ensuring it perfectly meets the requirements of their project. ‘We recently sourced all the wood for the restoration of a 1930s motor yacht, gaining


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‘We recently sourced the wood for the restoration of a 1930s motor yacht, gaining us the nickname “The Timber Detectives” for our “no stones unturned” approach’

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Tolland; Seaforth Pine; Sapphire; Galion – all woodworks by Ted Todd

us the nickname “The Timber Detectives” for our “no stones unturned” approach,’ says Robert. ‘The wood used included pitch pine from dock buildings in Liverpool that were once owned by a wood importer and old growth Burmese teak from India that was reclaimed from colonial-era buildings after a year-long search. We were working to the exacting requirements of the owner – the same approach we apply to all the floors we make.’ Ted Todd also partners with wood floor specialists around the country and works with leading interior designers and architects on residential, commercial, heritage and marine projects, both in Britain and internationally. The brand’s biggest challenge this year is to get more people to understand that buying a good wood floor is an investment in the fabric of the building rather than part of the furniture. ‘You have to look beyond the surface of the wood to consider the raw materials, construction and finishing details that aren’t always visible. These are intrinsic considerations for us when making and restoring wood floors. We’re also excited about using more new native British wood as it has a distinctive look that works perfectly in period restoration projects,’ says Robert. A good wood floor should be able to be restored or even reclaimed again in another 100 years’ time. ‘We’re determined to continue to deliver elegant, carefully considered floors that will last and don’t have a negative impact the environment,’ says Robert. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 281

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Great British Brands 2020



Retail as you’ve never experienced before


n September 2018, Timothy Oulton opened its worldwide flagship at Bluebird on London’s King’s Road. It quickly challenged retail’s norms by being far more than a regular store, with a yellow submarine in an enormous fish tank, a giant glowing rock crystal, a spaceship and other extraordinary things for customers to experience. ‘People often wonder if they’ve walked into a bar or club,’ says Timothy Oulton. ‘Hospitality is massively important to us and we offer our customers a glass of champagne or tea in a vintage china cup with a little Union Flag napkin – we want them to feel like guests in our home. We always aim to create a space which really touches and inspires people because, increasingly, people want memorable, meaningful experiences and connection – it’s something we’ve always believed very strongly in and will continue to focus on.’ That belief has stood Timothy Oulton in good stead. Since opening his first store in LA in 2008, he now has 40 galleries, from London to New York, Sydney, New Delhi, Mexico and Hong Kong. ‘We’re very proud of our British heritage but we have a global outlook,’ he says. ‘Our ethos is rooted in the idea that beautiful interiors support the creation of hosted and social experiences, and that’s something which resonates with people whether they’re in Britain, America or Asia.’ The Timothy Oulton story began in 1976, when his father opened an antique shop near Manchester, where Oulton later worked in the ’80s upon leaving school. ‘It’s where

Timothy Oulton blends a passion for time-honoured craftsmanship with a fearless quest for innovation, going by the mantra, ‘Be relevant or be dead’


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Launch night at Bluebird; Westminster Jack’dN Brok’n sofa and vintage trunk collection; Founder & Creative Director, Tim Oulton

I fell in love with the classic British craftsmanship ethos that pervaded the late 19th and early-20th century, when things were built to last; built for Empire,’ says Oulton. ‘There was a golden age when British artisans had access to beautiful materials from all over the world and the stuff the British made had this sense of permanence and purpose. That’s what we try to embody in our own designs, creating them to last generations, not just a season.’ Yet Timothy Oulton blends a passion for timehonoured craftsmanship with a fearless quest for innovation, going by the mantra, ‘Be relevant or be dead’. In 2018 the brand launched its Noble Souls collection, a modular sofa range, and this year has been working on its latest Apollo space lounge, showcasing Apollo No. 5 at the Architectural Digest Design Show in Mumbai. The original Apollo is

displayed at the Bluebird Gallery and the brand is currently working on No. 6. ‘We’re also always looking to expand into new territories and to collaborate with like-minded brands, people who value authentic creativity and who are prepared to invest significant time and effort to create something special,’ says Oulton. Meanwhile, Timothy Oulton will continue to host regular events, from meditation evenings to live music and art exhibitions, at its Bluebird flagship. ‘I don’t know anywhere else in London where you can sit in a spaceship and drink champagne,’ says Oulton. ‘A lady came into the store recently and said she loves visiting us because it’s her “happy place”. Ultimately that’s what it’s all about – we want to inspire people.’

Timothy Oulton Bluebird 350 King’s Road London SW3 5UU +44 (0)20 3150 2024 timothyoulton


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Great British Brands 2020


THE WHITE COMPANY Beautiful, stylish and affordable designs for every day


019 was a vintage year for The White Company. Not only did its founder, Chrissie Rucker OBE, receive a highly coveted Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in May, but the brand also secured a new partnership with prestigious US department chain Nordstrom, as well as opening a summer pop-up in the Hamptons. Quite something for a lifestyle brand launched from a kitchen table 25 years ago. Since its beginnings as a 12-page mail-order brochure, The White Company has grown into one of British retail’s great success stories, with 1,600 employees and 60 stores across the country, two in Ireland and two in the US. In peak periods the brand processes up to 10,000 orders a day. In 2017 The White Company opened a flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, selling a curated selection of homeware, clothing and lifestyle products. A few months later, the company joined other global brands in New Jersey’s exclusive Short Hills shopping mall. Chrissie explains: ‘We are constantly inspired by the warm reception and love for the brand when we expand into new areas and we have actually found that our American customers have the same wants and tastes as our British customers.’ If the US had to wait rather a long time for the brand to arrive, that’s because The White Company is not given to rash moves – after all, it didn’t open its first physical store in London until 2000. As Chrissie comments, ‘My motto has always been “strong and safe”. The business remains 100 per cent privately

Since its beginnings as a 12-page mail-order brochure, The White Company has grown into one of British retail’s great success stories with 1,600 employees and 60 stores


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owned, which means we’ve grown more slowly than if we’d had outside investors, but I’m really glad we’ve done it this way. It’s about keeping the brand’s integrity intact.’ For The White Company, integrity means retaining Chrissie’s original, kitchen-table core values: to sell beautiful, simple, stylish designs in a white and neutral palette that are great quality, really work and are affordable. Chrissie says, ‘It’s crucial to stay true to your brand’s DNA. The market is very cluttered and noisy and the world of retail is changing so fast. You have to have a “customer first” approach and surround yourself with the best people for your business.’ It’s an ethos that clearly works, and having been awarded an MBE in 2010, in 2018 Chrissie Rucker received an OBE for services to retail. Equally close to her heart is The White Heart

Foundation, which Chrissie launched in 2014. The foundation splits ten per cent of the profits from a selection of The White Company items between Refuge, Place2be and The Prince’s Trust where she is founding patron of the Change A Girl’s Life campaign for Women Supporting Women. As for the future, continued expansion is very much part of the plan: the company is looking to double the size of the business over the coming five years, with Europe and Australia next on the ‘to-do’ list. Chrissie says, ‘I read a great piece once which said stop trying to achieve a perfect work/life balance because it doesn’t exist. Instead, create a handful of goals for the year ahead; do them, enjoy them and know that is success.’

The White Company 2 Television Centre 101 Wood Lane London W12 7FR +44 (0)20 7361 6800 thewhitecompany


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Great British Brands 2020



A racing experience like no other


ounded by Queen Anne in 1711, Ascot Racecourse remains a pillar of British sporting and social culture. Welcoming over 600,000 guests each year, Ascot’s stature, reputation and famous sense of occasion is admired the world over. As one of the largest and most prestigious racecourses in the world, Ascot has hosted some of the finest racing events for more than 300 years. With 26 annual race days and several other events throughout the year, Ascot has something for everyone, encapsulating the thrill of horseracing and the many other experiences to be enjoyed there, from Michelin-starred fine dining to live music and entertainment. In addition to Royal Ascot, the flagship summer occasion, other racedays include the King George Weekend, QIPCO British Champions Day, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup & Concert, the Festival of Food & Wine Racing Weekend, a Fireworks Spectacular and family events including the Christmas Racing Weekend. With a history as rich as it is long, Royal Ascot sits proudly as the jewel in the crown of horse racing. With five days of unparalleled racing, high fashion, fine dining and pageantry,

Ascot Racecourse Ascot Berkshire SL5 7JX +44 (0)3443 463000 ascotracecourse


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With five days of unparalleled racing, high fashion, fine dining and pageantry, the Royal Meeting creates an unforgettable experience

the renowned Royal Meeting creates an unforgettable experience. It is Britain’s most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world’s finest racehorses to compete for millions of pounds in prize money (£7.33m in 2019) and its races have made household names of Royal Ascot winners such as Black Caviar, Frankel and Yeats. Each year the meeting is broadcast to audiences globally, yet to experience it in person is something truly special. It’s an experience shaped by special moments; whether it’s the arrival of the Royal Procession at 2pm sharp, six world-class races throughout the afternoon or communal signing around Ascot’s bandstand, each day is an unforgettable whirlwind of pageantry and excitement. The Queen, a passionate racehorse owner and a lifelong lover of the sport, has attended Royal Ascot every day, every year since her coronation in 1953. In 2013, The Queen’s filly, Estimate, famously triumphed in Ascot’s showpiece race, The Gold Cup – the first time the race had been won by the reigning monarch. Royal Ascot is the perfect occasion for socialising and celebrating special occasions in one of four separate enclosures, each with its own ambience and energy. A wealth of dining options, from threecourse à la carte luncheons, gourmet picnics, Champagne afternoon tea or fine dining in one of Ascot’s restaurants offer differing cuisines and views of the racecourse. Royal Ascot is also synonymous with sartorial elegance, with guests welcomed to contribute to the sense of occasion by dressing in accordance with the famous dress code decreed by Royal Ascot’s Style Guide. It was famous dandy Beau Brummell who, at the turn of the 19th century, dictated the dress for men in the Royal Enclosure and his sense of style is still reflected in Royal Ascot fashions today. Each year the racecourse is awash with colourful classic and contemporary fashions as well as the most magnificent and spectacular millinery creations. It really is ‘like nowhere else’. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 289

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Great British Brands 2020



West London’s football club


hink of Chelsea and think of Sloane Square, the King’s Road, and Stamford Bridge, happening pubs, trendy shops and Saturday afternoons at the football. Stamford Bridge is a Mecca; a place of pilgrimage for the tens of thousands of devoted Chelsea fans who come, week in week out, to watch their sporting titans perform on the hallowed turf within a stone’s throw of Fulham Broadway. Chelsea is proud of the fact that it has a strong British core running through the club from top to bottom. The manager is the young, dynamic Frank Lampard, a Chelsea man through and through. He played almost his entire career at the club, winning every domestic competition and remains the club’s leading goal scorer to this day. The club champions young British talent with the heart of the team made up of Chelsea academy graduates, who in few years time will form the spine of the England football squad. While Chelsea Football Club and Stamford Bridge occupy a totemic place in the cultural identity of London, its position is not unchallenged. It faces competition from other sporting events: in 2019 the sporting public’s attention was diverted by the cricket and rugby World Cups, competitions in which the England side both reached the final. In 2020 the European Championships will be taking place in England. Domestically, too, there are many London football clubs with devoted followings; the recent opening of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium was a reminder of the ever-present competition for the match day offering. Anti-bribery

The club champions young British talent with the heart of the team made up of Chelsea academy graduates


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legislation and associated compliance restrictions make the hospitality and entertainment market more competitive with a smaller pool to draw from in the corporate sphere. The club works hard to ensure that it continues to enhance standards in guest experience, encompassing new technology and always keeping its brand premium from enquiry stage through to delivery. This is accomplished through product investment, a rolling programme of refurbishment and continual innovation in new hospitality experiences. Feedback and consultation through forums and questionnaires with the club’s fanbase continues to ensure that it delivers what its fans expect of it. Chelsea FC champions equality and diversity. Following the repositioning of its brand values,

it has a defined tone, direction and ethos at every level of the club, which prioritises teamwork, integrity and pride in all it does with a drive to succeed. The club is acutely conscious of the importance of its fanbase. It has long operated quarterly Fans’ Forums with season ticket holders and hospitality members, supported by an annual independent fan satisfaction survey. The club is passionate about treating its fans and members as individuals, listening to their feedback and acting upon it. The rebranding has been carried out collaboratively, following communication with the fanbase to ensure that it is at the heart of everything the club does. The club puts on regular fan engagement events, offering the opportunity for fans to get closer to the players and the club’s ambassadors. Chelsea FC is the pride of London.

Club Chelsea Stamford Bridge Fulham Road London SW6 1HS +44 (0)3718 111955 chelseafc


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Great British Brands 2020


E.J. CHURCHILL The multi-award-winning brand encompassing the entire shooting experience


.J. Churchill is not a brand to rest on its laurels when it comes to the development of both its shotguns and its experiential shooting offer, and this year is no exception. The brand has recently taken on a new shooting ground in North Yorkshire on the Swinton Estate, where a huge potential audience awaits a worldclass shooting ground on its doorstep. As the brand further develops, the new shooting ground is just the start of an expanding portfolio as E.J. Churchill continues to research further development opportunities across other British regions. E.J. Churchill is again to host the World English Sporting Championship for the fourth consecutive time. The 2020 event promises to be truly exceptional, generating significant entries. Each time the brand delivers the championships for this biannual event, which alternates between the USA and Britain, it works tirelessly to ensure it improves the occasion and 2020 is set to be the best yet. Retaining existing clients is an important consideration and requires constantly devising new ideas and innovation. E.J. Churchill has spent many years concentrating on its facilities at the shooting ground and is currently building a new centre of excellence for British Shooting to train on, in addition to an area to entice new up-and-coming shooters into the sport. A key part of its ongoing strategy is to invest in and develop its online presence – an opportunity to reach a wider

E.J. Churchill is again to host the World English Sporting Championship for the fourth consecutive time. The 2020 event promises to be truly exceptional


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sir Ian Botham Charity Shoot; the cascades at the estate where elevenses is served; clays at the ready

audience and to become fully accessible to the online consumer. Working with British Shooting and the GB athletes, plus welcoming the country’s elite shooters remains a great honour for the brand. Continuing and developing relationships with other notable British brands too, such as Promatic, Troy UK and Bremont, are also a key focus and an important route for mutual development. Hosting the World Championships is a notable flag-waving exercise for the E.J. Churchill team, who work very closely with sports governing body, the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA): this represents a fine opportunity to show why Britain leads the way when it comes to running the very best championship events that the world can offer. The brand’s association with George Digweed

MBE as Global Shooting Ambassador continues to develop. One of the greatest shots ever to have lived, Digweed is in charge of The E.J. Churchill George Digweed Academy and works with the team to offer the finest lessons on the best facilities of their kind, providing an unparalleled opportunity for clients to benefit from his knowledge and unique skill set. The Academy now additionally boasts five instructors who are fully qualified to teach and pass on George Digweed’s method of shooting. The brand has received the 36th Gold Medal Award from the Management Committee of FITASC, in honour of its services and for hosting the 41st World Sporting Championships last year. This is a very special award and rarely given out – a point of great pride and a credit to an exceptional brand and its highly accomplished teams.

E.J. Churchill Park Lane, Lane End Buckinghamshire HP14 3NS +44 (0)1494 883227 ejchurchill


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Great British Brands 2020


GREAT BRITISH RACING INTERNATIONAL Opening the door to the ‘Sport of Kings’ for those in search of high-octane excitement


Great British Racing International 75 High Holborn London WC1V 6LS greatbritishracing gbri_uk


wning a racehorse in Britain is an aspirational pursuit steeped in tradition, which offers unrivalled excitement. While it can be commercial, it is more commonly a luxury enjoyed by those with disposable income. Great British Racing International (GBRI), a not-for-profit subsidiary of the British Horseracing Authority, offers a comprehensive service to clients wanting to become involved in the exciting world of British horse racing. It opens doors to potential investors, granting those interested in the ‘Sport of Kings’ an extraordinary insight into its inner workings. GBRI can provide the ultimate raceday experience, help clients to buy thoroughbred horses for racing or breeding and arrange commercial sponsorship agreements. The increasing involvement of wealthy American investors in British racing is a particular cause for optimism. The love affair between owners from across the pond and Royal Ascot has never been more intense, and the recent expansion of the US turf racing


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A tender moment between a mare and foal at the Gloucestershire based Tweenhills Stud; Tattersalls Bloodstock Auctioneers, the world’s oldest thoroughbred auction house; racehorses exercising on the grass gallops in Newmarket; Her Majesty The Queen presents Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al Thani after ‘Roaring Lion’ won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot Racecourse; winning owner Tanya Gunther with ‘Without Parole’ after he triumphed at Royal Ascot

Owning a racehorse in Britain represents a tantalising opportunity to get involved in a sport in a special way

programme has seen the desire to buy into Britain’s most renowned pedigrees skyrocket. GBRI’s concierge facility is popular with internationals from around the globe and this area of the business looks set to grow further in 2020 as it hosts more high-net-worth individuals and racehorse owners. Yet Royal Ascot is not the only race meeting that Britain can be proud of and, in 2020, GBRI looks forward to enjoying several other flagship festivals at Britain’s most famous racecourses during the summer months. In 2019, the Qatar Goodwood Festival – affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’ – celebrated its first-ever Japanese runner. The filly, Deirdre, overcame the home team to win the Group One Nassau Stakes, thereby proving that valuable opportunities for international visitors do exist beyond Royal Ascot. GBRI looks forward to spreading this message in 2020 as racing becomes an ever more global sport. The economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit may have some racehorse owners pondering the need to keep horses in training and may also unsettle commercial breeders if demand from domestic buyers dwindles. On the other hand, such a scenario would present those less affected by Brexit – as well as international buyers taking advantage of the weak pound – with an unmissable opportunity to buy into the world’s most treasured pedigrees more reasonably than ever before. Owning a racehorse in Britain represents a tantalising opportunity to get involved in a sport in a special way. While enjoying GBRI’s unparalleled access to one of Britain’s most historic stud farms, a guest explained: ‘When you own a racehorse, the sport gets under your skin in a way no other sport does. You are not only a spectator, but you can own a player. You cannot buy Messi or Ronaldo, but you can buy a competitor to race in your own silks, and further down the line you can nurture a whole team to compete in racing’s equivalent of the Premier League. It is quite simply spell-binding.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 295

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Great British Brands 2020


HOLLAND & HOLLAND Shooting grounds, beautiful guns and quality clothing

A Holland & Holland gun can take up to two years to complete, as each gun is carefully created for and fitted to the client

Holland & Holland 33 Bruton Street London W1J 6HH +44 (0)20 7499 4411 hollandandholland


olland & Holland has been making guns since 1835, has earned two Royal Warrants and is one of Britain’s most eminent shotgun and rifle manufacturers. Holland & Holland’s highly skilled craftsmen have been making bespoke British guns under the same roof in its Kensal Green factory since 1890. All its craftsmen train and practise for more than ten years before becoming masters in their field. A Holland & Holland gun can take up to two years to complete, as each gun is carefully created for and fitted to the client. Quality runs deep: ‘It’s not only to do with the engraving and the beautifully cut wood,

if you open up a Holland & Holland gun, it’s just as beautiful and well-executed on the inside as it is on the outside.’ In addition to its standing as a gunmaker, Holland & Holland’s clothing has been given a timely reinvention by creative duo, Stella Tennant and Isabella Cawdor. Holland & Holland clothes are fit for purpose and appealing to the touch and eye. ‘Everything should have a function; Holland & Holland aspires to both use and beauty,’ says Tennant. Working with British manufacturers like Harris Tweed, Barrie Cashmere and Lock & Co., the collections are designed to work as well within an urban setting as out on the moors, remaining stylish without compromising on technical excellence. Set in 130 acres of open countryside, the Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds have been providing world-class tuition since 1932. The Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds offer unparalleled country experiences for private or corporate bookings. Whether you are seeking peace and quiet or a place to spend time with your family, the grounds offer the perfect escape from the city without venturing outside London. The Shooting Grounds cater to both game and sporting shots with a wide range of simulated game and clay pigeon targets. Its 100-yard outside rifle range provides full facilities to test, zero and practise rifle shooting in preparation for stalking. As well as lessons, it offers unrivalled gun-fittings and a range of courses to improve performance in the field. New additions to the layout of its grounds include wildflower meadows and a cosy bothy to relax in between stands. Benefitting from extensive renovations, the lodge now offers a wealth of new facilities. Holland & Holland’s rifle Shooting Cinema, unique to the UK, allows you to practise on interactive film clips of running boar and other quarry with live, fullpower ammunition. The sumptuous club house and well-stocked copper-top bar serve a British Menu created by chef Joshua Hunter. Light breakfasts, afternoon tea and lunches are all made with locally-sourced ingredients and can be enjoyed by the fire or outside on the terrace after shooting. While the events spaces can seat up to 200 people for private and corporate events, for more intimate gatherings the exquisite new Bordeaux Wine Room can host dinners for 16 people, boasting 1,184 bottles of red Bordeaux wine, on display across one wall. Mainly featuring Château Canon and Rauzan-Segla, as well as Château Mouton Rothschild, Berliquet, Cheval Blanc, Lafite, and Leoville-Barton among other wines. A cigar-tasting lounge is soon to follow.


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Take a walk on the wild side with the home of country clothing

tanding at the gateway to the Highlands, ten miles north of Pitlochry just off the A9, The House of Bruar is a unique retail destination spread over a picturesque 11-acre site in rural Perthshire, which has expanded and thrived as the home of country clothing over the last 25 years. With the largest knitwear collection in Great Britain, The House of Bruar is without rival when it comes to colour, choice and comfort. All the colours of its Highland home are reflected throughout its expansive Menswear and Ladieswear Halls. Rich russet reds and sumptuous sky blues come to life in pure cashmere, fine merino and lamora, while verdant greens and mellow umber find their perfect expression in premium pure new lambswool.

Scotland’s cultural heritage is captured in an extensive collection of plaids and pure new wool British tweeds, with everything from traditional designs to boldly contemporary creations represented in a cascade of expressive designs. Quality materials and impeccable style are hallmarks of the country clothing collection, featuring double-faced sheepskin, fine nappa leather, mohair bouclé, pure silk and supple suede – the sheer wealth of materials on offer leaves customers spoiled for choice. With much of its range created by its in-house design team, The House of Bruar has created an exclusive yet accessible brand that’s a world away from the high street. Discover works from some of Britain’s leading wildlife artists in the Art Gallery, while the Fishing Shop is a must-visit


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SPORTING for anglers. The Country Living Department and Present Shop provide plenty of ideas for home and garden and can even help create a bespoke wedding list for your special day. Matching the scope and range of the country clothing collection is the food offering, bringing together the best of Scotland’s natural larder as well as exotic treats and tit-bits from across the continent and beyond in the Food Hall, Delicatessen and Drinks Hall. The multi-award winning Butchery offers homemade pies, sausages and burgers, as well as seasonal smoked meats and game, including grouse, pheasant, duck and venison sourced from nearby estates. Grab a bite to eat in the Restaurant or the all-new Bakery, which stocks everything from artisanal bread to Scottish ice-cream and freshly made sugar ring donuts. The House of Bruar

Great British Brands 2020

also recommends sampling battered squid and chips in its Fish and Chip Shop, now with extended opening hours to serve hungry travellers on the A9. The House of Bruar can also bring its exclusive brand of country style direct to your door with its Autumn/ Winter Textile and Hand Made Gift catalogues, as well as a website featuring the best of its clothing, food and home ware collections. More expansion plans are in the pipeline following the successful opening of its Jewel in the Crown jewellery department this year, and it will certainly be interesting to see what this inventive and imaginative retailer throws into the mix next. One thing’s for sure – The House of Bruar’s relentless pursuit of quality will see it remain Scotland’s premiere independent country clothing store for many years to come.

The House of Bruar Pitagagowan, Blair Atholl, Perthshire PH18 5TW +44 (0)1796 483236;; thehouseofbruar


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Great British Brands 2020



The heart of British racing


orseracing is one of Britain’s oldest and most thrilling sports. Supported by a long line of monarchs, as well as the majestic performances of powerful thoroughbreds, racing has developed over centuries to captivate millions of people. The Jockey Club has been at the heart of British racing since 1750. Innovation and a modern approach are as integral to its identity as its rich heritage. Founded by a group of passionate racing aficionados, today The Jockey Club offers the chance to enjoy aspirational lifestyle experiences nationwide. Across its 15 racecourses, The Jockey Club stages some of the nation’s most important sporting events: The Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, which is regularly attended by its Patron, Her Majesty The Queen; the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree and The Festival™ presented by Magners at Cheltenham. In Newmarket – ‘The Home of Horseracing’ – The Jockey Club Rooms form a unique members’ club and hotel, possessing one of the world’s most impressive and valuable collections of equine art. The Jockey Club runs three major training centres in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs, as well as owning The National Stud, where newborn foals gambol in the paddocks. The Jockey Club also runs Racing Welfare, the only charity that supports all people in British Racing. The Jockey Club Live is one of Britain’s largest music promoters thanks to its huge open-air concerts on racecourses across the country; last year Paloma Faith and Jess Glynne were among the many artists who performed.

While The Jockey Club remains synonymous with what has historically been one of Britain’s most exclusive sports, its events and venues are accessible to all


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Mares and foals at The National Stud in Newmarket; some of the 40 runners in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree line up ready for the start; Pete Tong and The Heritage Orchestra perform after racing at Sandown Park; summer racegoers at Epsom Downs; The Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket

While The Jockey Club remains synonymous with what has historically been one of Britain’s most exclusive sports, its events and venues are accessible to all, with memberships to suit everyone. Under 18s are welcomed on racedays, completely free of charge, and there are incentives for 18 to 24-year-olds to go racing through the Racepass scheme. Although hitherto owning a racehorse has, quite wrongly, been perceived as the preserve of the well-heeled, The Jockey Club is now helping hundreds of people to get involved through shared ownership schemes. Now, for the first time, The Jockey Club is capitalising

on its reputation as one of Britain’s most exclusive, yet accessible, brands by expanding into new areas with exciting licensing opportunities. A long history of successful collaborations and an extensive and diverse customer base offers potential new partners compelling opportunities in 2020. Passionate about expanding as a globally recognised and relevant consumer lifestyle brand, The Jockey Club continues to thrive in the horseracing, entertainment and leisure industries with an increased digital and physical presence. Customer experience and fan engagement remain key priorities, with immersive experiences on racedays and events at all of The Jockey Club venues giving visitors thrilling days out. While time spent with The Jockey Club is about escapism, enjoyment and celebration, its mission is to ensure the survival of a way of life and a healthy sport for hundreds of years to come. If racing is life, The Jockey Club is proudly its beating heart.

The Jockey Club 75 High Holborn London WC1V 6LS +44 (0)20 7611 1800 thejockeyclub


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Great British Brands 2020



One of the oldest surviving gun and rifle manufacturers in Britain

The company is proud to number among its former clients audacious sportsmen such as Ernest Hemingway and the Maharaja of Alwar Westley Richards & Co. 130 Pritchett Street Birmingham B6 4EH +44 (0)1213 331900 westleyrichardsandco


estley Richards has been making guns by hand in the heart of England since the Napoleonic Wars. Founded in 1812 by William Westley Richards, it is now the last-remaining gunmaker in Birmingham’s once-famous gun quarter and one of the oldest surviving gun and rifle manufacturers in Britain. The brand has established a reputation for making guns of the highest quality and sporting firearms whose technical refinement is matched only by the artistry of their decoration. The company is proud to number among its former clients such well-known, audacious sportsmen as Ernest Hemingway, Stewart Granger, and the Maharaja of Alwar. Westley Richards has an important place in the history of gunmaking, being responsible for several revolutionary innovations. One such invention was in 1875, the ‘boxlock’ action – a hammerless cocking mechanism – first introduced in the shotgun and later used in double rifles. The method was a worldwide success, quickly becoming the dominant form

of double-barrelled shotgun action, one whose influence is still apparent today in modern sporting guns. The company’s guns are renowned for the intricate, beautiful engraving with which they are decorated, so much so that Westley Richards is now regarded as the home of the ‘Art Gun’. The engravings made on the gun and rifle’s metalwork come in a variety of styles and handcrafted techniques. They range from the time-honoured ‘house scroll’, to the ever more popular ornate designs depicting scenes of game animals with gold inlay, and even settings containing precious stones. The Westley Richards name is synonymous with safari and Africa, with the beautiful landscapes, breathtaking wildlife and awe-inspiring people for which the continent is justly famous. Proud of this long association, which sets it apart from its rivals, the company has recently launched a ready-to-wear collection of safari clothes. Created with the needs of the company’s clients and the demands of the African bush in mind, the designs are classic in style and construction yet modern in their functionality and materials. One half of the company’s factory is devoted to the guns, the other to the burgeoning leather goods business. The West Midlands has been a centre of leather-making since time immemorial, so it is fitting that Westley Richards should have moved into the business. It began with the manufacture of high-quality slips and cases to protect clients’ guns but is now expanding into other areas, offering a wide range of traditionally tanned and exotic leather goods to adventurous travellers and field sports enthusiasts alike. As Westley Richards moves into 2020 and beyond, the company has exciting plans to establish itself as the foremost manufacturer of the finest British-made leather goods with the skill and artistry for which the company is widely recognised. Walking through its factory today is a great privilege: with centuries of knowledge and experience in its hands, Westley Richards’ master gunmakers and leather craftsmen and women are bringing to life their clients’ next most-prized possession.


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LEFT TO RIGHT: Westley Richards Sutherland travel bag in antique brown alligator; Westley Richards .600 museum quality sidelock double rifle engraved with historical hunting scenes

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Great British Brands 2020


ASTON MARTIN Motoring legend powers into the future

The launch of the DBX is the clearest reason for optimism because it gives the company the entrée into the fastestgrowing segment of the market Aston Martin Banbury Road Gaydon Warwick CV35 0DB +44 (0)1926 644644 astonmartinlagonda


his is an important year for Aston Martin. Continuing last year’s progress, the company’s Second Century plan is now in full execution mode; three of the seven new cars have now been launched – the DB11, the Vantage and the DBS. Aston Martin is looking forward to the launch of its first SUV, the DBX, and its entry into the mid-engined hypercar market with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, both of which are significant developments for the company. The launch of the DBX is the clearest reason for optimism because it gives the company the entrée into the fastest-growing segment of the luxury car market. It’s a milestone moment for the brand. The car made its debut with a film by Creative Director Daisy Zhou. ‘The SUV is the biggest opportunity to connect with consumers around the world, especially in the United States, China, and the Middle East where SUV’s are “hot”,’ says Simon Sproule, Chief Marketing Officer. ‘DBX is bringing British craftsmanship to new audiences.’ On the other hand, Aston Martin is new to the sector and will be selling its customers

something they’ve never previously had from the company. Another reason for optimism is the launch of Aston Martin’s first mid-engined car, the Valkyrie. Developed with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, this hypercar embodies the British values of technology and the use of advanced materials, both spin-offs from Formula One and the aerospace industry. The Valkyrie will be the first of three mid-engined Aston Martins – the others being the Valhalla and the Vanquish Vision Concept – to bring F1 technology and know-how to the world of production cars. These two new cars will be central to Aston Martin’s message in the coming year, each striking its own note. The SUV has evolved from the company’s existing product line and respects its luxurious traditions, whereas the Valkyrie is a standard bearer for technological innovation. The other notable development in 2020 is the opening of Aston Martin’s new plant at St Athan in South Wales. A former Ministry of Defence establishment, five years ago it was a Royal Air Force service centre full of Hercules aircrafts. ‘It’s going to be a remarkable facility,’ says Sproule. ‘The manufacturers have done an incredible job: there’s now a paint shop and production line, which will start producing cars in April.’ Britishness lies at the heart of Aston Martin and will continue to do so as the company expands. This finds its expression in the craftsmanship, in the materials, and in the creativity that go into all the cars. The leather comes from Scotland, the badges are made in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter, while the cars themselves are manufactured in Britain. Nowhere is the Britishness of Aston Martin better embodied than in its longstanding association with James Bond. The new Bond film, due in April, will continue 007’s love affair with his favourite car. As Sproule says, teasingly, ‘It’s like a wedding isn’t it? Something new, something borrowed, and something blue.’ Very Bond, very Aston Martin.


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Aston Martin Valkyrie enters the mid-engined hypercar market; Aston Martin’s first luxury SUV, the DBX; like all Aston Martins, the leather interior of the DBX is sourced from Scotland, and is as thoroughly British as the rest of the car


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Brompton Electric on the streets of London; Brompton Bike Polo in full swing; even if a Brompton bicycle can’t get you from A to B on its own, you can still take it with you every step of the way

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Changing the future of urban transport

Brompton bikes have become an increasingly familiar sight in city streets all over the world as the brand goes from strength to strength

Brompton Bicycle Unit 1, Ockham Drive Greenford London UB6 0FD +44 (0)20 8232 8484 bromptonbicycle


s 2020 approaches, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the gloomy uncertainty associated with Brexit might be sinking the spirits at Brompton Bicycle. Far from it! There is a spring in the step of its staff as the latest innovation, Brompton Electric, developed with Williams Advanced Engineering, rolls off the line. Andrew Ritchie conceived Brompton in 1975, developing early prototypes in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory. Today, with 16 Brompton Junction stores globally, as well as on-demand Brompton Bike Hire across

Great British Brands 2020

Britain, Brompton bikes have become an increasingly familiar sight in city streets all over the world as the brand goes from strength to strength. Export markets have always been important to Brompton, since customers in traditionally cycling friendly nations, like Germany and the Netherlands, were early adopters of the brand. Customers in the Far East, from Japan and Korea to Singapore and more recently China, have also fallen for Brompton’s high-quality British engineering, with all frames still being hand-brazed in Brompton’s West London factory. Brompton is undoubtedly making big inroads into international markets and reaching new consumers. Its increasing popularity was driven initially by passionate owners clubs, from Dubai to Jakarta, and a roster of fun events like the Brompton World Championship races or bike polo in the Sahara desert. The small-wheeled bike is also attracting aficionados via its collaborations, like with British clothing brand Barbour; with ex-pro cyclist David Millar and Japanese social media brand, Line Friends. Actor Owen Wilson, architect Richard Rogers and designer Tom Dixon are among an estimated 300,000 owners globally. As cities around the world become more congested, mayors are increasingly focusing on how to improve air quality and mobility. Brompton believes passionately in its role as part of a global solution and after a decade of rapid growth is looking forward to the next decade with optimism. At home, its growing voice will continue to be a force for good in any debate about city mobility, while Brompton is thinking how best to showcase its product during the Tokyo Olympics, given Japan is already a strong market for the brand. ‘The age of the motor car as the primary form of city transport is over,’ explains CEO Will Butler Adams. ‘Individuals are waking up to the damage that a lifetime of being sedentary is doing while governments are recognising their responsibility to make busy urban areas safe and pleasant to move around in. Bikes are an incredibly efficient and fun way to get around, and the introduction of battery powered cycling opens it up to more people the world over. Our biggest market, by city, is still London but we export over 70 per cent of our bikes and I can’t see why cities like New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and Berlin won’t be full of Bromptons in ten years’ time.’ As Brompton positions itself as the brand capable of providing cities with flexible and clean, solutions to their pollution and congestion problems, its future has never looked rosier. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 309

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Great British Brands 2020


MORGAN MOTOR COMPANY Celebrating 110 years in style


hen a company enters its 110th year of business, its history books begin to burst at the seams. The Morgan Motor Company is no exception and, since its beginnings in 1909, has become a staple of the British automotive landscape. However, when observers look back in another century, 2019 will surely shine through as one of Morgan’s truly defining years. Central to this milestone year was the launch of the Morgan Plus Six, which stunned public and media alike when it was revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Although retaining the recognisable Morgan silhouette, under the skin almost every component was redefined and re-engineered. Underpinning the Plus Six is an all-new aluminium platform, twice as rigid as before yet exceptionally lightweight, allowing the whole car to tip the scales at a mere 1,075kg. Power comes from a 3.0-litre BMW engine producing 335bhp, enough to take the Plus Six from 0–62mph in just 4.2 seconds. Emissions standards have become a major challenge for the car industry and its low CO2 figure of 180g/km makes the Plus Six one of the cleanest Morgan cars ever produced. It is a testament to the work of the small team who developed the car at the company’s factory in Malvern, Worcestershire. Despite its technically advanced architecture, the Plus Six doesn’t cast aside the qualities that make every Morgan so special.

It’s a car that inspires you to take it for a drive, even when there’s no destination in mind


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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The all-new Plus Six was released in two first-edition specifications, Emerald and Moonstone; craftsmen at Morgan’s factory painstakingly punch lourves (cooling vents) into an aluminium bonnent; the 3 Wheeler is unlike any other car on sale today

Each car is hand built by highly skilled craftsmen, and uses the brand’s core materials of aluminium, Britishgrown ash and leather. These materials, combined with the rare skills and passion required to apply them, result in a car that is unique within the marketplace. A Morgan is also defined by its unmistakable driving experience. With an unadulterated connection between driver and road, effortless power on tap and the wind in your hair, it delivers a thrill like no other. It’s a car that inspires you to take it for a drive, even when there’s no destination in mind. That applies equally to Morgan’s whole range of models and, for an experience that’s the complete antithesis to sanitised, modern motoring, there’s the Morgan 3 Wheeler. It may not be a first choice for long distance travel, yet it exudes a remarkable sense of adventure that compels owners to embark

on road trips across countries and even continents. 2019 also saw a majority stake in Morgan acquired by Investindustrial. The European investment group, whose automotive CV includes Aston Martin and Ducati, will support Morgan’s future development while remaining true to the company’s heritage. The Morgan family will continue to act as brand stewards and retain a minority shareholding. Morgan also celebrated its 110th year with a range of 110 Anniversary Edition models,as well as a limitededition bicycle created in collaboration with another celebrated British brand, Pashley Cycles. But it doesn’t stop there: Morgan’s Research and Development teams are flat out and growing, working on future sports cars and even an all-new body style. 2020 is already shaping up to be an even more exciting year for Morgan.

Morgan Motor Company Pickersleigh Road Malvern Link Worcestershire WR14 2LL +44 (0)1684 573104 morganmotor


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OYSTER YACHTS The yacht no owner ever wants to part with

I Oyster Yachts 55 Baker Street London W1U 8EW Sales: +44 (0)1473 851 436 Charter: +1 401 225 1216 oysteryachts

n March 2018, the entrepreneur Richard Hadida became the proud owner of Oyster Yachts. He was inspired by a life-long love of sailing and a deeply held belief, supported by many in the sailing community, that Oyster yachts are simply the best in the world. Founded in 1973, Oyster has always been an authentically British brand, making it well placed to weather all the political turbulence of the last year. While rooted in Britain, the brand has a truly international clientele and, with a depreciating pound, Oyster yachts are an even more appealing prospect for overseas buyers. The brand takes pride in contributing to its local economies, employing 290 staff across its shipyards in Southampton and Wroxham and investing substantially in its employees to develop their skills.

Whether circumnavigating the globe, exploring every tiny bay in the Mediterranean or setting off on an epic adventure to a farflung tropical paradise, Oyster has precisely the right yacht. Comfort and safety are so inherent to the Oyster design that every journey becomes the destination to be shared with family and friends. Oyster builds yachts made to last a lifetime, of such impeccable quality that an Oyster owner will never need to buy another yacht. ‘We are delighted that this is the case, but it does present us with a very peculiar challenge!’ says Richard Hadida. ‘Despite this, existing owners cannot help but be lured by the new range’s features and the continual improvements to design, safety and comfort’. Oyster Yachts are working on a new


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The new Oyster 565 was launched, sailing under Tower Bridge on the River Thames at sunset as Oyster owners celebrated at a party on the walkways above

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Raisedsaloon, Oyster 885; Palma Regatta 2019; Oyster World Rally 2019, Bora Bora; master cabin, Oyster 745

integrated tracking system that alerts the Oyster aftercare team to a faulty component before the owner is even aware of it. The freshwater systems have been upgraded to increase shower pressure and produce puretasting onboard mineral water. The lighting systems can be controlled through touchscreens and keypads and Oyster has installed all the latest AV, mediaand hi-fi systems. When it comes to interior design, Oyster has embraced the trend of full customisation, so all furniture and fittings are modified to suit every individual. During the last year, Oyster has launched two new models, extending its range that now stretches from just under 60 feet to 123 feet. There was the launch of the entirely custom made 123foot Oyster 1225, the ultimate super sailing yacht. Then in May 2019, the new Oyster 565 was launched, sailing under Tower Bridge on the River Thames at sunset as Oyster owners celebrated at a party on the walkways above. At just under 60 foot, the Oyster 565 is an all-ocean yacht for anyone setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. Oyster’s plan for the years ahead is simple but ambitious: ‘We’re looking forward to 2020. We plan to build a sustainable British company that will be around for years to come,’ says Hadida, ‘and we are optimistic that our impeccable quality, design and safety standards, for which we’re historically renowned, will enable us to do this.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 313

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ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS Building the world’s best car


n 2020 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will embrace the same challenge it has since its inception in 1904: simply, to build the best car in the world. The marque’s proven ability to meet the very highest standards of engineering and manufacturing excellence and integrity, while delivering aesthetic perfection and superlative comfort, continues to delight its clients. Rolls-Royce’s patrons are imaginative and idiosyncratic, and their exacting requests can test the mettle of the company’s pioneering Bespoke Collective to its limits. The company responds in the spirit of its founder, Henry Royce and his famous maxim, ‘Take the best that exists, and make it better’. In its quest to keep redefining what a motor car is capable of, Rolls-Royce continues to elevate its clients’ expectations. It then proceeds to meet and even surpass them, which in turn raises the bar still higher. There is much to celebrate in 2020. There will be further investment in enhanced production facilities after 1 January, marking the 17th anniversary since production began at Goodwood. Rolls-Royce chose Goodwood as its home for its deep automotive roots and quintessentially English setting in the heart of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex. 2020 will also see an increased focus on investment in Rolls-Royce’s future talent, following the recent announcement of a record number of places for the company’s Apprenticeship Programme. Rolls-Royce will continue to build on the extraordinary

The company responds in the spirit of its founder, Henry Royce’s famous maxim, ‘Take the best that exists, and make it better’


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: An array of Rolls-Royce in a pastel hue; Phantom off duty; the Cullinan, effortless everywhere

success of Cullinan, its SUV launched in 2018. Cullinan perfectly demonstrates the company’s renowned ability to create new motor cars that respond to the changing needs and tastes of its customers, while remaining true to Rolls-Royce’s core values. There have been further additions to the marque, like the Wraith Eagle VIII Collection and Black Badge family, which have attracted new, younger and self-made individuals, as well as intriguing and exciting existing ones. The marque now has a vast following via social media, which provides the perfect showcase for all the latest design and technical innovations from the Bespoke department, such as personalised versions of the Starlight Headliner. The original was created in 2006 for a client suffering from such sensitivity to light that he was only able read

his newspaper by starlight. He requested a similar ambience in his Rolls-Royce and the Bespoke team duly obliged, fitting hundreds of hand-trimmed fibre-optic threads into the leather ceiling liner to give a subtle twinkling effect. The Starlight Headliner is now extremely popular and patrons can request that their Headliner exactly matches how a constellation appears on any given day. Birthdays are a favourite choice along with shooting stars – aptly enough the stars that wishes are made upon. Yet for all its increased popularity and recognition globally, a Rolls-Royce motor car remains exceptionally exclusive. Rolls-Royce’s focus is not that of massluxury brands, to focus on volume, but to create the best in the world. It is optimistic that it will continue to do just that throughout 2020 and beyond.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars The Drive Westhampnet Chichester West Sussex PO18 0SH +44 (0)1243 384000 rolls-royce rollsroycecars


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O Rally Preparation Services Unit 8, Cotswold Business Park Range Road, Witney Oxfordshire OX29 0YB +44 (0)1993 358009 rpsrally

xfordshire-based Rally Preparation Services (RPS) builds and restores vintage and classic cars which compete in endurance rallies all over the world, tackling some of the most challenging terrain in the remotest of areas. But the job doesn’t finish when the car drives out the workshop. RPS offers training to the crews to make sure they are as prepared as the cars they are driving. The RPS team has been known to jump on a plane to the other side of the world with parts to fix a problem during an event. The team has travelled from Oxford to the Himalayas, from Peking to Paris and from Moscow to Monte Carlo and the depths of Africa, fixing cars on the roadside and using whatever is at hand to get the car and the crew back in the rally. Endurance rallies are fast gaining popularity

outside of the historic motoring community, with adventure-hungry couples enjoying the escapism they provide. Crews range from partners, siblings, parents and children to best pals. The recent political and economic uncertainty hasn’t hampered RPS’ business – in fact the company has received more interest from overseas clients where the exchange rate is in their favour. This is an opportunity that RPS hopes to build on in 2020 as it continues to look for fresh ideas and locations for its clients to stay ahead of the competition – both on the road and in the workshop. ‘The company was founded 12 years ago and we’ve developed a good roster of clients in the USA, Europe and even Australia,’ explains RPS managing director, Simon Ayris. ‘In 2019 our business grew by 30 per cent with overseas business expanding considerably.’ RPS


Supporting endurance rally cars and teams the world over


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The RPS team has been known to jump on a plane to the other side of the world with parts to fix a problem during an event

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Freshly built RPS 1937 Chevrolet Fangio; making a splash on the RPS Tin Cup 2018; the RPS workshop; Simon greets the crew at the finishing line

is gaining fresh new international clients almost weekly, strengthening its presence in the USA and creating a new client database from Switzerland. ‘This is definitely an area we’ll continue to focus on in 2020, not just in terms of the physical work but also brand recognition as RPS becomes more involved in on-event services,’ says Simon. ‘Our clients know we don’t just create the cars they rally, we’re out there rallying in the car next to them.’ The company also engages with customers by hosting its own events. ‘For RPS’s tenth anniversary, we ran the Tin Cup – tin being the appropriate symbol – a year-long Rally championship that culminated in a two-day rally in Britain,’ adds Simon. ‘This allowed us some valuable face-time with clients on a highly sociable level but also introduced them to like-minded rallygoers. The friendships formed often result in these groups going on events together. As a team, we provide support to rally organisers, so we’re often on the road with our clients on events like Le Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, the Trans-Himalayan Adventure and Gstaad Palace Challenge.’ Other businesses might be sitting tight awaiting a more stable political climate, but RPS is speeding ahead with its continued growth and development plans, optimistic for 2020 and confident it is supplying a growing community of enthusiasts with an unmatchable service to both cars and the teams that drive them. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 317

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Away from the Ordinary Primrose Cottage Aird Bernisdale, Portree Isle of Skye IV51 9NU +44 (0)20 8279 8645 awayfromtheordinary


way from the Ordinary specialises in providing one-off, tailor-made holidays in Scotland, trips structured around its clients’ wishes and interests, whatever they may be. Scotland has an enormous amount to offer the visitor: its long history, its stunning scenery, its cultural heritage as well as its status as the cradle of golf and the birthplace of whisky all contribute to the attraction which draws people from all around the world. Scotland also has world-class museums and galleries, revered walking and climbing, firstrate fishing and shooting as well as any number of wonderful hotels, large and small, in which the visitor can relax and unwind. After years of planning, Aeneas O’Hara founded Away from the Ordinary in 2017. Working in financial technology and travelling six months of the year, he saw an opportunity for a curated travel service for the discerning traveller. He wanted to create the type of travel company he had been craving, focusing on travel design, instead of travel booking. Being a Scotsman from the Western Highlands, starting a company offering Scottish holidays seemed an obvious choice. Away from the Ordinary does not specialise in one type of holiday, regarding itself instead as ‘a specialist in the level of detail of the trips,’ as Aeneas puts it, or ‘hyper-personalisation.’ The company creates individually tailored escapes based on the client’s personal tastes, using expert local knowledge and a little black book of Scottish contacts built up over many years, to take maximum advantage of the huge variety of attractions and activities on offer in Scotland. The company’s services include organising exclusive hotels, private country houses, travel and activities with specialist guides and private access to sights. The team has spent years understanding what 21st-century clients want from their holidays, and work to build an experience like no other. In our fast-paced world, people are drawn to the traditional Scottish values of hospitality, honesty and discretion. An escape in Scotland is an antidote to the stresses of the modern world, a chance to recharge and reflect. Away from the Ordinary’s local Scottish partners take great pride in their friendly, professional approach and prize clients’ happiness above all else. Whether it’s the chauffeur, or the private chef working in a secluded Victorian lodge in the Highlands,


Tailormade holidays in Scotland


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In our fastpaced world, people are drawn to the traditional Scottish values of hospitality, honesty and discretion

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A beautiful view awaits you around every corner of the Scottish Highlands; client helicopter pick up in the Cairngorms National Park; client picnic at Glenfeshie Estate

all the guests experience the feeling that people have time for them, and genuinely care that they experience the best that Scotland has to offer. Golfers can play many of Scotland’s famous championship golf courses; Royal Dornoch being a favourite. Whisky lovers will be treated to VIP distillery tours or foodies to foraging trips. For history buffs, there are castles galore from picturesque ruins to inhabited ancestral homes, while Orkney possesses some of the finest prehistoric tombs in Europe. Clients can stay in world-renowned hotels, for example Glenfeshie Lodge in the Cairngorms National Park or The Balmoral in Edinburgh. As the company grows and prospers it is creating a community of clients who have an emotional bond with Scotland and its people. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 321

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BLACK TOMATO Curating experiences down paths less travelled


hat’s in a name? For the founders of Black Tomato, the awardwinning, experience-led travel company, the answer is everything. This unusual moniker came to define the company in 2003 when friends and founders, Tom, James and Matt, ate black tomatoes in a small Moscow restaurant. Cooked properly, the black tomato is the kind of rare local delicacy that is only ever discovered by having real insider’s knowledge of a destination. For the business partners and close friends, it was a metaphor for everything their carefully curated journeys stood for. Anyone can book a flight or hotel online, but Black Tomato prides itself on gaining access to a genuine insider track, which has accelerated its growth into global markets over seven continents. Black Tomato’s experts circulate among real people and know exactly how to get beneath the surface of a local community. Long before they start advising customers, they have slept in the hotels, met the guides and trekked the routes themselves so they can cut out all the chaff, while steering well clear of over-burdened tourist traps. Black Tomato customers are time poor and adventurous, wanting to squeeze the most out of every minute. Ultimately, they are as curious to experience the kitchen as the restaurant itself. This commitment to detailed local knowledge allows Black Tomato to offer a series of exciting and innovative experiences. ‘Get Lost’ safely drops clients in the middle of nowhere and challenges them to navigate to an eye-opening secret destination, like the rugged, isolated volcanic Jebel Saghro mountain range on the northern edge of the Sahara. ‘Blink’ sets up luxurious temporary camps in some of the world’s most beautiful, untouched and remote environments, from Iceland to the Argentinian Andes, before the camp is sustainably whisked away in the blink of an eye. The brand has been stoic in the face of challenges, from the rise of DIY travel to the power of the influencer, but it has many

reasons to remain optimistic. Its cosmopolitan, savvy, inquisitive clients are delighted to have found a brand that offers true adventures and genuine immersion in authentic local cultures and communities, without sacrificing an iota of style or comfort. A further key to Black Tomato’s continued growth is its appetite for careful collaboration. In 2019 it signed a fresh partnership with SoulCycle, focusing on the intrinsic link between wellness, fitness and travel. With Eater it created new food focused travel itineraries, lifting the lid on the best dishes around the world and teaching customers to create them for themselves. It also forged a content partnership with the heritage publication, Travel + Leisure, creating a series of ‘New World Wonders’ itineraries that visit the extraordinary and the undiscovered. These collaborations are helping Black Tomato to open even more closed doors, giving access to rarely trodden pathways. Occasionally, these roads turn towards home and in 2020 the brand will be celebrating this concept by selling more British holidays, from exquisite food tours of the Lake District to rustic forays into the Scottish highlands and islands. All roads, after all, must eventually lead home.

‘Get Lost’ safely drops clients in the middle of nowhere and challenges them to navigate to a secret destination

Black Tomato 4–14 Tabernacle Street London EC2A 4LU +44 (0)20 7426 9888 blacktomatotravel


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Gigjökull glacier, Iceland, in the shadow of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Many of Black Tomato’s Icelandic itineraries lead to this otherworldly place

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COOKSON ADVENTURES Extraordinary experiences limited only by the bounds of imagination


Cookson Adventures 2 Clearwater Terrace Holland Park W11 4XL +44 (0)20 7736 0452 cooksonadventures

enry Cookson was inspired by the British explorers who had come before him. As an ex-investment banker with little experience of Antarctica, he was an unlikely member of the first expedition to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility and the most remote point on earth – by foot. The journey’s success fuelled Henry’s desire to explore and so he founded Cookson Adventures with the vision of injecting travel with a sense of adventure. Ten years later, Henry’s growing team of travel consultants shares his natural tenacity and curiosity. Above and beneath the waves, Cookson specialists know this planet’s furthest reaches better than most, allowing them to open closed doors and deliver world-first experiences to their guests. They know that being a true adventurer means exploring destinations beyond the ordinary. From the rarest to the most remote, they search the planet for the next big discovery, while not forgetting that there’s some serious fun to be had. Delivering a small number of exclusive adventures each year means that each one is meticulously crafted and no two are ever the same. The company’s discerning clientele require not just exceptional quality but a completely personalised itinerary every time, reflecting their interests, ambitions and curiosities. Whether it’s an around the world educational journey for a family or a conservation project deep within the Colombian jungle, Cookson refines every detail to match the character of its client. Their offering has also inspired other luxury brands from across the globe, who have put Cookson’s exclusive travel experiences in front of their own clientele. Naturally, Cookson’s knowledge spans all corners of the globe. An extraordinary network of scientists, archaeologists, marine biologists, conservationists, award-winning photographers and many more, contribute to the company’s innovative approach to developing fresh ideas. Cookson has also mastered the art of using yachts as launch pads for adventure. A growing demand for Cookson’s yacht-based expeditions resulted in the company hiring leading experts in the yachting industry, including an ex-yacht consultant from Monaco and a submersible pilot. The voyages have already led to scientists documenting a rare, unknown type of killer whale off the coast of Cape Horn and a Roman shipwreck in southern Italy.


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The voyages have led to scientists documenting a rare, unknown type of killer whale off the coast of Cape Horn

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A surprise lunch set-up in Svalbard after a morning of tracking polar bears; exploring in a submersible; exploring Gasa Dzong after a challenging hike with Cookson Adventures in Bhutan

Conservation is a significant thread woven into the company fabric. Cookson works to protect the pristine nature of the untouched places it visits and often arranges for clients to contribute personally to curated local charities as part of their trip. As a result, clients have helped complete important work tagging sharks deep in the Pacific and contributed to a crucial rehabilitation project for rhinos in Kenya. In its constant bid to push the boundaries of adventure, Cookson also engages with local authorities to gain access to some of the least visited locations on earth. A past expedition to the Galรกpagos required multiple meetings with national park officials so that 250 juvenile giant tortoises could be flown via helicopter to a volcano usually closed to the public. This meant the species was reintroduced to a region it had been absent from for over 200 years. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 325

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Four truly iconic British hotels


hink of a quintessentially British luxury hotel and the chances are it’s one of the four properties in Iconic Luxury Hotels’ exclusive collection: Cliveden House, a majestic stately home on the banks of the River Thames; Chewton Glen, a tranquil haven on the edge of the New Forest; historic Lygon Arms in the rolling Cotswolds; or 11 Cadogan Gardens, an urban retreat in the heart of London. What makes all the properties in Iconic Luxury Hotels’ collection so successful worldwide is their shared commitment to delivering outstanding experiences in exceptional surroundings while each one maintains its unique, often quirky, highly individual style. They all exemplify what it is to be a truly great hotel. Immensely proud of its British heritage, Iconic Luxury Hotels partners with other like-minded companies, such as award-winning skincare specialists Oskia and heritage brand Hunter. It has also forged relationships with many local artisan producers – Hampshire-based Naked Jam even forages in the large kitchen garden at Chewton Glen. Equally, many of the ingredients used in the hotel restaurants are sourced from a matter of miles away, making this a truly British company. CLIVEDEN HOUSE: This five-star National Trust property sits in 376 acres of magnificent Grade I-listed formal gardens and woodlands, just 40 minutes from London. The hotel recently

What makes all the properties in Iconic Luxury Hotels’ collection so successful worldwide is their shared commitment to delivering outstanding experiences


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FROM BOTTOM LEFT: Iconic Luxury Hotels’ collection includes Chewton Glen in the New Forest, 11 Cadogan Gardens in Chelsea, The Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds and Cliveden House in Berkshire

unveiled a glorious new spa, while for those who prefer to be out and about, there’s the option of a leisurely boat trip along the Thames, followed by afternoon tea in the main house. The Cliveden Dining Room offers a menu of exceptional dishes, while The Astor Grill is perfect for a relaxed lunch. CHEWTON GLEN: This is a true English original, offering 72 bedrooms, 14 romantic treehouses, an award-winning spa and leisure facilities and a state-ofthe-art art James Martin cookery school. Ninety minutes from London, close to the south coast and on the edge of the New Forest, the 130 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland that surround the hotel are home to a tennis centre, nine-hole golf course, heritage orchard, 70 working beehives, kitchen garden and croquet lawn. THE LYGON ARMS: Set in the pretty village of Broadway, this charming old

coaching inn is perfectly placed for exploring the surrounding Cotswolds. Boasting a rich history coloured by the many characters who have stayed here, the hotel offers a range of dining experiences, from brunches and drinks in the Lygon Wine Bar to a seasonal British menu in the Lygon Bar & Grill. There is also a new spa tucked away in a tranquil corner. 11 CADOGAN GARDENS: Overlooking a quiet street behind Sloane Square, this boutique property is the ideal London base for a shopping trip, romantic weekend away or a city break. Comprising four townhouses, the hotel is an intriguing maze of corridors and staircases, with interiors as dramatic as they are elegant. The hotel’s new all-day restaurant, Hans’ Bar & Grill, has proved hugely popular with guests and locals alike.

Iconic Luxury Hotels Christchurch Road New Milton Hampshire BH25 6QS chewtonglen clivedenhouse lygoncotswolds 11cadogangardens


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The natural jet lag remedy taking small steps to make a big difference face. I love it!’ International Brand Consultant and Luxury CMO Pam Bristow talks of her dread of a business meeting hours after landing from a continental red-eye. ‘You fight it with pots of coffee and a cold shower to no avail. Unacceptable when you have to be “on”. Enter Jet Candy. It gives you back your best self. A total reset. Day or night. It’s as essential as your passport.’ With such ringing endorsements, the brand would be forgiven for resting on its laurels but it continues to innovate and 2019 saw the launch of a Jet Candy ‘turn-down’ version as a gift for hotel guests. The brand has recently gained the attention of astronauts wishing to sample Jet Candy’s benefits. Despite its international outreach, Jet Candy remains a British-made brand. ‘Being British means having a love of travel and adventure with a good sense of humour,’ says Ros. ‘Jet Candy is a brand with a modern, fresh take – certainly never boring. Its mission remains as clear as the day it was dreamed up – to make jet lag a thing of the past. The brand never stops and makes me touch new dimensions daily.’

‘I wouldn’t attempt a long-haul flight without it now. It’s life-changing for the long-haul traveller,’ says actor Hermione Norris

Jet Candy 2A Thornton Road London SW14 8NS +44 (0)7380 343456 jetcandytravel



n our age of international travel, who has not wished that they could hit the ground running without jet lag? Whether you turn right or left on a plane and however restrained you are with the in-flight champagne, jet lag can affect every single one of us. So, welcome to a new golden age of travel with Jet Candy, an all-natural, revolutionary remedy to combat jet lag. Jet Candy helps the circadian body rhythms adjust to different time zones and alleviates anxiety, fatigue, weariness, travel sickness and disorientation. It helps with deep vein thrombosis and is even known to help after a night out. It really works, as the brand’s founder, Rosalind Milani Gallieni, knows: ‘The remedy was created for me when I was running the Ferrari Formula One sponsorship department at Asprey with Edward Asprey. I was travelling relentlessly to Grands Prix across the globe. It was so good that I kept on taking it once I started travelling for my own PR company in 1999, and I gave it to colleagues, hotels, friends and family.’ Ros founded Jet Candy Travel in 2008, with British company Helios Homeopathy creating the bespoke all-natural remedy, comprising mini ‘pillules’ in a travel-sized dispenser. Three years ago Ros formalised the business in earnest with website, social media, product branding, marketing and more, launching officially at the International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes. Since then Jet Candy has gone on to feature at some of the travel and hospitality industry’s foremost events. Travellers, from business executives, journalists and influencers to celebrities, all endorse Jet Candy’s remarkable benefits. ‘This magic product literally saved my bacon flying to and from Australia recently,’ says actress Hermione Norris. ‘I wouldn’t attempt a long-haul flight without it now. It’s lifechanging for the long-haul traveller.’ Another fan is celebrity make-up artist Mary Greenwell who says, ‘Jet Candy has served me so many times. Without it, I would have fallen asleep while making up a beautiful


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Great British Brands 2020


THE LANGHAM, LONDON Iconic luxury and a spirit of innovation

Deemed Europe’s first Grand Hotel – the raft of facilities and services it introduced totally revolutionised the burgeoning industry

The Langham, London Regent Street London W1B 1JA +44 (0)20 7636 1000 langham_london


ondon is one of the world’s most innovative and competitive locations when it comes to hospitality. No hotel in the capital can afford to rest on its laurels. Lucky then that The Langham, London has innovation in its DNA. Opened in 1865, the hotel was deemed Europe’s first Grand Hotel – and the raft of facilities and services it introduced then, including hot and cold running water, air conditioning and afternoon tea as a meal, totally revolutionised the burgeoning hotel industry. Today The Langham, London’s flagship hotel (of a group which numbers 16 properties on four continents) maintains this creative spirit, while not forgetting its history. It might be outwardly traditional, but there are quiet revolutions aplenty going on within its walls. From the city’s most spacious and elegant Club Lounge, the concept driven award-winning cocktails at Artesian and the city’s best pub, The Wigmore, which opened just two years ago, to the recently opened

cookery school, Sauce by The Langham, every year brings with it new ideas and experiences. Equally revolutionary is The Langham’s commitment to the environment. It is the only London hotel to have won an internationally recognised award scheme, Earthcheck, at gold level for five consecutive years, so you can be sure that food is responsibly sourced, all waste environmentally disposed of and all supplies carefully chosen. This environmental focus is a pillar of the brand as a whole – a brand that has entered an exciting new period of growth. This winter saw the opening of The Langham Nymphenburg Residence, Munich, a stunning manor within the imperial estate of Nymphenburg. In 2020 The Langham, Boston will reopen after a historic yearlong renovation, repositioning it as one of the most prominent properties in the group’s US portfolio. Further in the future, Langham will open a stunning building by Kengo Kuma, Tokyo in 2024 and a year later a distinctive Renzo Piano tower in San Francisco. But what links each Langham property around the world? A sense of Britishness and a focus on fun and celebration – a theme echoed in a new advertising campaign that encourages us to ‘Celebrate the Everyday’. As Stefan Leser, CEO of Langham Hospitality Group says, ‘Being in the luxury level does not mean one has to be stuffy, conventional and staid. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – I believe that true luxury lies in the freedom to express joy and humour, and at The Langham we can help create and share those endearing moments for our guests.’ There are distinctive tangible features to enjoy at every Langham too: beautiful pink roses gracing the lobby, an expertly curated art collection reflecting each hotel’s design and location and, as befits the group that first established the tradition of afternoon tea, a tea that is contemporary, sustainable and delicious. Could there be a nicer, or indeed more British, way to celebrate?


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: One of The Langham’s elegant bedrooms; the imposing Victorian building at the top of Regent Street; Sauce by The Langham, the hotel’s fun, new cookery school


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: On board Indonesian yacht Silolona; do something different with an air stream camper; a French escape at Mas de Quatre Saisons


RED SAVANNAH Travel curators of extraordinary journeys and breathtakingly beautiful villas


Without ‘substance’ a brand cannot exist. British brands tend to have a quiddity that often forms the very essence of trust

Red Savannah Eagle Tower Montpellier Drive Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL50 1TA +44 (0)1242 787800 +1 855 468 5555 redsavannahhq


n this fast-moving, connected world, people desire two things: time to themselves, and the opportunity to travel – interacting with local people and experiencing places that are truly authentic. This is where Red Savannah comes in. From heavenly villas in Provence and Tuscany to sandbank picnics in Zanzibar and hillside honeymoons in Laos, Red Savannah is in the business of making travel dreams come true. ‘Perfectly curated, flawlessly executed,’ reads one discerning client’s comment from among hundreds. The brand is entering 2020 an unprecedented 60 per cent ahead of the same period last year. ‘While markets

Great British Brands 2020

can and do change fast,’ says George MorganGrenville, founder and CEO, ‘currently the sustained and robust level of interest we are seeing is giving us immense optimism for the future.’ The brand is not unaware of wider concerns around travel, in an era when it is accepted that the planet is under threat from climate change. ‘It must be taken in context,’ says Morgan-Grenville. ‘The travel industry employs one in every ten people in the world and is responsible for one in every five jobs created in the last five years. It accounts for 10.4 per cent of the world’s GDP. Stopping travelling would devastate many emerging market economies. In response we have introduced Green Savannah, our philanthropic arm that pushes the company to obtain carbon neutrality and also offsets all our staff and clients’ flights by donating to Rainforest Trust. We have already protected over 9,500 acres of rainforest.’ Red Savannah is also optimistic about opportunities for growth, and is currently engaged in two potential acquisitions and a major affinity deal. For 2020 it has introduced a series of riding trips in Patagonia, Spain, Romania and Botswana, alongside walking safaris and the opportunity for wild swimming from a former warship deep in the Norwegian fjords. ‘Many people want to be able to exercise and feel the freedom of a destination,’ says Morgan-Grenville. Red Savannah’s service is very personal, not only addressing interests and special occasions but also delving deep into its clients’ individual motives to understand their travel expectations. Becoming a trusted brand, it says, has a lot to do with being British: ‘Without “substance” a brand cannot exist. British brands tend to have a quiddity that often forms the essence of trust. Testament to this is an almost 40 per cent increase in foreign nationals using the brand and becoming loyal clients.’ Like other travel companies, Red Savannah is battling an often-mistaken perception that it is cheaper to book online. ‘It is increasingly common to read about people being scammed on online booking sites,’ says Morgan-Grenville. ‘Our challenge is to assure clients they are getting value for money, while still providing highly imaginative and authentic content. Within our luxury villa programme, for example, we are now offering a “best price guarantee” on every villa.’ This reassurance, coupled with Red Savannah’s experience, careful attention to detail and expertise in the markets in which it operates are not lost on its growing client base. ‘Couldn’t have done it without you,’ writes one traveller, recently returned from Vietnam. ‘Amazing trip. Absolutely fantastic. We are now Red Savannah addicts.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 333

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Great British Brands 2020


THE THINKING TRAVELLER The most exceptional villas in the heart of the Mediterranean


n a recent poll, consumers in the US were asked to define what British brands stand for and the most frequent answer given was “quality”. Quality is at the core of what we do.’ Huw Beaugié is talking about The Thinking Traveller, the company he founded with his Sicilian wife, Rossella, back in 2002. Voted the world’s number one villa rental company four years in a row by readers of Condé Nast Traveller, the brand offers exclusive access to the most desirable rental properties in Sicily, Puglia, the Ionian and the Sporades Islands and Corsica. Properties are exclusive to The Thinking Traveller, meaning you will not be able to book them through anyone else, which allows its local concierges to work with villa owners to ensure that when clients check in, everything is perfect. So if quality is truly the definition of a British brand then this, coupled with unrivalled local knowledge and expert personal service, indicates a company that is very British indeed. ‘Britishness is also about inclusivity, diversity and open-mindedness,’ says Huw. ‘Our clients come from over 90 countries, while our team is a truly multicultural crowd who hail from all over the world, from New

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Rocca delle Tre Contrade, Sicily; Don Arcangelo all’Olmo, Sicily; Trulli Andrea, Puglia; Adina in Skopelos, Sporades

The Thinking Traveller The Old Truman Brewery London E1 6QL +44 (0)20 7377 8518 thethinkingtraveller


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‘Britishness is also about inclusivity, diversity and open-mindedness. Our clients come from over 90 countries’

Zealand to Russia, South America to South Africa. So this year we’ll be celebrating our Britishness by continuing to embrace our international DNA.’ For The Thinking Traveller 2020 will also be about continuing to develop the ecologically sustainable side of the business. Villa holidays are an inherently sustainable form of tourism, particularly if those villas have solar panels for hot water and electricity, LED lighting and organic kitchen gardens, orchards and olive groves, as many of The Thinking Traveller’s villas do. Huw says: ‘We invest in local economies, as do our clients who stay in small, off-the-beaten-track communities; we participate in conservation projects – we are, for example, a partner of the Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund – and we raise awareness of the cultural and socio-historic aspects of our destinations. We are also doing our bit in our London and New York offices, where we have initiated several projects aimed at reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible.’ There’s no doubt that this is a brand with many reasons to be cheerful about the future. ‘The strong reputation of The Thinking Traveller, built over years of careful investment and sustainable growth, is allowing us to move ahead with optimism in these uncertain times,’ says Huw. Finally, the company will be continuing to embrace the trend for unique, tailor-made holidays with world class-leaders in their fields, such as culinary weeks with Michelin-starred chefs, photography courses and luxury wellness retreats, with other exciting partnerships in the pipeline for 2020. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 335

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Great British Brands 2020


THE TURQUOISE HOLIDAY COMPANY Travel inspired by blue-sky thinking


he year 2002 – with the second Gulf War looming and bird flu at its zenith – was, on the face of it, not an auspicious time to launch as a tour operator. But fast forward to 2015, and The Turquoise Holiday Company was rewarded for its tenacity by scooping one of the biggest awards in travel: Best Tour Operator at Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Travel Awards. It has since received this accolade twice more, adding Best Tour Operator at The Telegraph Travel Awards 2018. The company has come a long way from when its founders left their comfortable but unfulfilling jobs and set up with just one computer and a world of ambition. Their aim was to create an innovative, upmarket brand that put the glamour and romance back into travel and the name was inspired by the colour of the oceans surrounding their favourite destinations. ‘Though we’re a small company, we punch above our weight, delivering memorable trips time and time again,’ says managing director James Bell. Achieving this consistency depends partly on understanding the evolving luxury travel market – and Turquoise is constantly redefining what ‘luxury travel’ means. ‘For

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Go with The Turquoise Holiday Company for a sapphire escape – a pearl farm in Tikehau, Tahiti; Milaidhoo Island, Maldives; biking in Zanzibar; Finolhu, Maldives; Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan, Thailand

some, it’s five-star service, fine dining and chandeliers; for others it’s remote outposts and off-grid getaways. For many, it’s a mixture of experiences, people and places. We have tried to ensure that we suit each individual’s style and needs, and following an amazing response, we are looking to grow this tailormade offering in 2020 and beyond.’ Despite the political unease of Brexit causing uncertainty in terms of travel agreements, honeymoon, celebration and family holiday bookings are still robust going into 2020 – even though clients are typically booking later. Turquoise has also found that over the past year, consumers are consciously looking to buy from and work with British brands that share their values.

A more constant challenge is that, with so much information available to consumers online and through social media, and other companies selling what appear to be similar holidays at lower prices, it is not easy to succeed as an entirely consumer-driven, service-led business. Despite this, more clients are coming in to Turquoise’s London and Beaconsfield shops for a drink, to get the maps out and to have a friendly chat about all things travel. ‘We adore this face to face interaction,’ says Bell. In the same vein, 2019 saw the brand launch its first journal, CANVAS, featuring the Samburu mamas of Laikipia in northern Kenya, who run a small business making crafts and jewellery through the Samburu Trust. ‘We commissioned the mamas to make us a turquoise beaded bracelet to send to our clients with their copy of CANVAS.’ As a Turquoise traveller, you will receive your documents tied up with a turquoise ribbon and a handwritten ‘happy holiday’ note in turquoise ink. For this family-owned and run business, it’s all about the detail. ‘I am proud we’re discovering new places,’ says Mr Bell, ‘along with good old-fashioned customer service to make the perfect holiday for every client. I am proud of our company and the brand we have created.’

The Turquoise Holiday Company 4 Bakery Court London End, Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire HP9 2FN +44 (0)20 7147 7087 turquoiseholidays


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Great British Brands 2020


VIRGIN LIMITED EDITION Luxury and charm in wonderful locations

There are many reasons to be optimistic. The most compelling being the professionalism, charm and sincerity of the staff

Virgin Limited Edition +44 (0)20 8600 0430 VirginLimitedEdition


020 is a year of double celebration: it marks the 20th anniversary of Virgin Limited Edition and, remarkably, 50 years since Sir Richard Branson founded the Virgin Empire. A highlight of the year will be the opening of Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands, which Sir Richard bought in 2007, two miles from his beloved Necker Island. When the work on Moskito Island is finished, it will be home to ten private estates, including Richard’s threevilla complex. Many of the estates on the island will eventually be available for rent, with the Branson Estate being the first to welcome guests from March 2020. Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s home, will be fully restored to its former glory after two-and-a-half-years’ reconstruction, following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma. Guests booking the island from April 2020 will be among the first to see its new Bali-Hi complex, allowing the island to offer 20 rooms exclusively, or individually, during one of its

popular Celebration Weeks. For the first time, guests will also be able to stay on a shared nonexclusive basis. The opening of Moskito Island will bring the number of properties in the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio to eight. As well as Necker Island, the group offers hotels and retreats in some of the world’s most desirable locations. There is Mahali Mzuri, a luxury tented safari camp in Kenya’s worldfamous Maasai Mara, right in the path of the annual Great Migration. In South Africa there is Ulusaba, which consists of two game lodges, Rock Lodge and Safari Lodge, in the Sabi Sand Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park and, for a complete change, Mont Rochelle. This spectacular hotel and vineyard in Franschhoek, an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is a foodie’s paradise. Combining South Africa’s wildlife with its winelands is the ultimate adventure and it’s easy to experience the morning game drive at Ulusaba yet be at Mont Rochelle for pre-dinner drinks. In the foothills of the Atlas Mountains is Kasbah Tamadot, a divine hideaway designed to evoke the spirit and charm of Moroccan culture. Renowned for its traditional Berber hospitality – 98 per cent of its staff are from the surrounding villages – the hotel has an enviable reputation for its work in the local community. The Son Bunyola estate on the northwest coast of Mallorca covers 680 acres of stunning landscape and includes three villas, which can be rented for the perfect getaway with friends and family. Finally, there is The Lodge in Verbier. Perched high in the Swiss Alps, it is an alpine paradise, both in summer and winter. One of the biggest challenges the brand will face in 2020, much like the rest of the British economy, will be the effects of Brexit. There are, nonetheless, many reasons to be optimistic, the most compelling being the professionalism, charm and sincerity of the staff. They are what make the destinations so special, the real stars of the show and the reason why guests return year after year.


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Mahali Mzuri in Kenya; Necker Island in British Virgin Islands; Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco


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Great British Brands 2020



The private members’ club for business


et in an imposing, six-storey building in the heart of Mayfair, 12 Hay Hill has pioneered ‘club-working’ as a modern way to do business. Conceived as a private members’ club for business, 12 Hay Hill is the first to provide professionals with five-star service and a high-specification curated environment in which to meet, entertain, base their enterprise and conduct business. In an age where technology is increasingly blurring the line between work and home-life, 12 Hay Hill modernises the very British concept of the private members’ club as a hive of professional activity and leisure. While many other modern clubs shun business activity, 12 Hay Hill’s Director, Stephanos Issaias explains that club-working offers the exclusivity, leisure space and social networking of the private City clubs of old, combined with an unashamedly work-friendly environment. It’s this combination that makes 12 Hay Hill unique. 12 Hay Hill is internationally focused in both its membership and outlook and has had an exciting year of development. Its fast-growing membership comprises a diverse community of business leaders, influencers and innovators, across multiple industries and disciplines. From finance to fashion, the club prides itself on being a hub of inspiration where ideas are born and nurtured, deals are signed and business flourishes.

Members speak approvingly of 12 Hay Hill as a place where they are able to work, meet and impress clients seamlessly. The club’s restaurant offers delicious seasonal menus throughout the day, while the basement bar provides the perfect place to unwind with friends and colleagues. 12 Hay Hill now also boasts a fabulous roof terrace, with views overlooking Berkeley Square, which members can enjoy year-round. Nine meeting rooms offer private areas for board meetings, confidential conversations or private dining for members. Each has a distinct style, allowing members to choose the perfect environment to suit any client. Art connoisseurs will appreciate that the club curates an everchanging backdrop of spectacular artwork, most of which is for sale, and not just to admire. Events for members feature some of Britain’s finest minds and range from lively discussions by business leaders, to insights from leading brands on cultural, political and industrial developments. One particular highlight of the club’s annual calendar is the 12 Hay Hill Davos Debrief, created in partnership with

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12 Hay Hill Mayfair, London W1J 8NR +44 (0)20 7952 6000 12hayhill

the Financial Times. The Debrief provides members and guests with thought provoking content from leading experts, politicians and celebrated Financial Times journalists straight from the summit itself. It’s not all business though, as the team at 12 Hay Hill also runs a series of social events from wine and spirit masterclasses through to regular supper and cigar clubs – all of which are carefully curated for members with an interest in fine quality and unique experiences. Due to the increase in demand for membership both locally and overseas, Issaias is looking at plans to take the pioneering concept of 12 Hay Hill’s ‘club-working’ to other parts of the world, with sister clubs being considered in Continental Europe, the US, Middle East, China and Singapore. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 343

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Great British Brands 2020


BOMBAY SAPPHIRE The world’s number one premium gin inspiring creativity globally


t the peak of its popularity, the gin market reached an incredible 50 per cent growth. After such a remarkable, sustained boom, it was inevitable for sales to stabilise, so Bombay Sapphire’s challenge for 2020 is to maintain momentum. It’s a challenge the brand is optimistic about meeting and, as more drinkers enter the market, Bombay Sapphire remains buoyantly optimistic. After all, by value, Bombay Sapphire remains the number one premium gin in the world. Bombay Sapphire’s tantalising, complex taste is based on a 1761 recipe that combines ten botanicals, from Moroccan cubeb berries to West African Gains of Paradise. Though gloriously exotic, every drop of Bombay Sapphire gin is made in the brand’s home distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire. While ordinary gins boil their botanicals directly in the spirit, Bombay Sapphire uses the Vapour Infusion process via its refurbished 1830s Carterhead stills, Tom and Mary, alongside Henry and Victoria, two state-of-theart 12,000 litre copper pot stills. In April 2019, the beautiful, rural Hampshire setting was the inspiration behind English Estate, the first of a series of Bombay Sapphire Limited Editions to be introduced over the coming years. Ivano Tonutti, Master of Botanicals, added three new botanicals, pennyroyal mint, rosehip and toasted hazelnuts, to give a subtle edge, redolent of the surrounding hills and hedgerows, to the familiar flavours that gin aficionados know and love Bombay Sapphire for. The result was a bright, sunny, summer-inspired gin, which was greeted with enthusiasm by gin drinkers and bartenders alike. In August 2019 Bombay Sapphire launched its Discover The Possibilities Within campaign, representing the brand’s global mission to encourage everyone to unlock their artistic and creative potential. It was inspired by the insight that everyone is born creative but that,all too often, everyday life chips away at our artistic instincts.

The brand collaborated with Russell Tovey and Robert Diament on their podcast Talk Art, inviting people to explore Edinburgh’s cultural hotspots over the summer. In October it partnered with artist Yinka Ilori to set up its Stir Creativity lounge at Frieze London. Here images by Yinka and Bombay Sapphire were fed into an AI algorithm to create original works of art, pushing boundaries with a new creative medium. Bombay Sapphire also commissioned a partnership between Global Street Art (GSA) and HYPEBEAST to produce four vibrant murals across London, Manchester, Brighton and Edinburgh, intended to brighten up their cityscapes and inspire creativity in the everyday lives of passersby. Throughout 2020 Bombay Sapphire will continue to provide a global platform for creative activity. ‘From day one, the brand has always done things differently, working with artists, architects and designers,’ says Victoria Morris, Global VP, ‘but you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. That’s why we are on a mission to Stir Creativity. We want to inspire more people than ever to tap into their own creative spirit: it can be something as simple as adding your own touch to a gin and tonic or creating a bold new artwork – it’s up to you!’ There are no creative limits with Bombay Sapphire.

Bombay Sapphire remains the number one premium gin in the world

Bombay Sapphire bombaysapphire


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Bombay Sapphire, English Estate. The first in a line of limited edition gins, inspired by rural Hampshire and distilled with three new botanicals – pennyroyal mint, rosehip and toasted hazelnuts

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Great British Brands 2020


CHASE DISTILLERY Championing British field-to-bottle spirits


n 2008, William Chase, the man behind Tyrells, founded Chase Distillery. The farm distillery is based in Herefordshire, which boasts some of the richest farmland in the world. Here it grows King Edward, Lady Claire and Lady Rosetta potatoes which are distilled into its range of award-winning spirits. ‘It is so important to us to produce only the best premium spirits which have true provenance, sustainability and importantly taste. Nothing we use in our products is artificial,’ says William. William prides himself on his family business model and every batch of spirits is signed off by a family member. Today, his sons play a key role in the business. Harry, his eldest, manages Chase Farm and 300 acres of potatoes while James, as head brand ambassador, travels the world spreading the field-to-bottle message. ‘We’re one of the very few family-run and owned drinks brands operating in this very saturated marketplace,’ says William. The distillery is housed in a converted hop kiln barn where Chase adopts traditional methods using a bespoke copper batch pot called ‘Fat Betty’, ‘Maximus’, one of the tallest rectification columns of its kind standing at 70 feet, and ‘Ginny’, a carter head still. Unlike most distilleries, Chases makes its spirits from scratch rather than buying in a ready-made neutral grain spirit. It believes if people care about the terroir of their wines or the barrel-ageing of their whiskies, so why shouldn’t they care about the traceability of their white spirits?

Chase believes in a truly sustainable approach to farming and creating spirits, which is why it lets nothing go to waste. It creates its own energy from an on-site bio-boiler, ‘Huxley’, which is powered using the prunings from its apple orchards. All of the farm’s potato waste goes to fertilise its fields or feed the herd of pedigree Hereford cattle. Wherever possible the fresh ingredients used in its products are sourced from the family farm or from local and trusted Herefordshire suppliers. As farmers at heart, Chase values the countryside, every inch of it, from field to bottle. Chase makes a wide selection of vodkas and gins but is best known for its Original Potato Vodka and GB Gin. The Chase Vodka is of exquisite quality and made from home-grown potatoes and water from Chase’s own borehole. Two-hundred and fifty potatoes go into the making of every bottle and it is distilled for a pure, rich taste. The smooth and creamy flavour profile is perfect for the ultimate martini. Chase GB Gin is Britain’s first field-to-bottle gin and is crafted by copper pot distilling Chase Potato Vodka with ten botanicals; juniper, coriander seed, bitter almond, cinnamon bark, ginger, cloves, angelica root, liquorice root, lemon peel kibbles, and

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Chase family in the potato fields; Chase GB&T; James and Maximus; Chase Distillery; Chase Potato Vodka

Chase Distillery Chase Farm Rosemaund Hereford HR1 3PG +44 (0)1432 820455 chase_distillery

cardamom. This smooth yet bursting with flavour extra dry gin is perfectly balanced with juniper, spice and citrus. Chase recommends pairing this gin with lots of ice, a premium tonic and a fresh slice of ginger to enhance the natural flavours of the botanicals. Chase exports its awardwinning spirits to over 40 countries around the world. In 2010 Chase won the title of ‘World’s Best Tasting Vodka’ at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition and, in 2016, its Chase GB Gin was voted ‘double gold’ and best in class at the San Francisco Spirits Competition. ‘I truly believe it’s the rich, red Hereford soil and the field to bottle mentality that have led to some of our spirits being named the world’s best,’ William says. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 347

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Great British Brands 2020


HATTINGLEY VALLEY Creating award-winning sparkling wines in Hampshire

‘With over 90 medals and three World Champion trophies, we’ve defined a clear direction in our winemaking style and our identity as a British brand’

Blanc de Blancs won ‘World Champion’. Hattingley’s 2014 Rosé was successfully awarded the World Champion Rosé trophy at The Italian Wine Journal Challenge Euposia XI edition 2018–2019. In 2016, in partnership with The Worshipful Company of Vintners, Hattingley created Britain’s first Apprentice Winemaker, supported by its distributors, Enotria & Coe and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Zoë Driver was awarded the two-year apprenticeship and is now Assistant Winemaker. The apprenticeship was so successful that The Worshipful Company of Vintners’ supported a second apprenticeship, awarded to Andy Wiles, who recently enjoyed completing his first wine harvest. Under Emma Rice’s leadership, the team has expanded rapidly from two to 20 today and Hattingley is now one of the largest wineries in Britain. In 2015 Gareth Maxwell joined the family as Commercial Director. He quickly established a successful worldwide distribution network, with the result that Hattingley is probably the widest distributed English sparkling wine in the USA. Most recently, Hattingley is proud to have collaborated with British Airways on the July 2019 launch of a Blanc de Noirs sparkling



attingley Valley’s founder, Simon Robinson always wanted to create something quintessentially British and was inspired to pursue his dream when he heard a radio programme in 2000 on the rapidly developing English wine scene. With family encouragement, he turned over 25 acres of chalky, south sloping fields in Hampshire to vineyards and the continuing presence of the beautiful, rare Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly, indicates the extent of the vineyard’s biodiversity and healthy environment. Simon employed the latest laser-guided planting technology but also recognised the need for an expert winemaker. Emma Rice joined the team in 2008 and launched Hattingley’s first wine in 2013. Emma was among the first to obtain a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology from Plumpton College and then honed her winemaking skills in Australia and California. Hattingley’s vines have continued to grow so successfully under her expert care that Emma won UK Winemaker of the Year in 2014 and 2016, the first woman to have won this prestigious prize twice. Hattingley Valley has also been recognised in competitions across the globe. In 2014, its 2011 Rosé was awarded ‘Best Vintage Rosé’ at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships and, in the same competition in 2017, its 2011


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Loading grapes into the press; laying out crates in the vineyard at harvest; multi award-winning English sparkling wine; assistant winemaker, Zoë, punching down Pinot Noir Précoce grapes to keep the cap wet; grapes are handpicked and sorted in the vineyard

Hattingley Valley Wines Wield Yard Lower Wield Alresford Hampshire SO24 9AJ +44 (0)1256 389188 hattingleywines

wine for its First Class cabins and lounges as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations. In 2020 Hattingley celebrates its tenth anniversary. ‘We’re extremely optimistic looking ahead and proud of what we’ve achieved,’ says Gareth Maxwell. ‘With over 90 medals and three World Champion trophies, we’ve defined a clear direction in our winemaking style and our identity as a British brand. Despite current uncertainty, we continue to drive forwards and take advantage of opportunities. Competing at a premium level as a small, family-owned business isn’t always easy but our dedicated team puts in 100 per cent effort to produce stunning wines that we can be proud to drink here as a nation and also promote on the world stage.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 349

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Great British Brands 2020


HEDONISM AND HIDE Superb British food and wines with a global reach


or Tatiana Fokina, CEO of Hedonism Wines, being a contemporary great British brand celebrates the union between what British brands are traditionally known for – high quality, integrity and superb customer service – with the ability to reach a truly global audience. ‘This is the remarkable thing,’ she says, ‘and for me, this cohesion of tradition and global appeal defines cult British brands. Our aim is to convey this across the brand ethos of both Hide and Hedonism.’ Hide is a new London Michelin-starred restaurant by the team at Hedonism Wines, which means that there isn’t a restaurant mark up on wines, just a corkage fee on top of its retail price, which makes the wine list not only one of the most extensive in the world, but a best value one. Wines can also be delivered from the Mayfair shop within ten minutes from its guests selecting them in the restaurant. Regardless of all the current political uncertainty, the above restaurant will set out to obtain a second Michelin star. Hide’s head chef, Ollie Dabbous, works tirelessly to perfect and evolve the menus across both floors and is confident that the team

Hedonism Wines 3-7 Davies Street London W1K 3LD +44 (0)20 7290 7870 hedonism_wines

HIDE 85 Piccadilly London W1J 7NB +44 (0)20 3146 8666 hide_restaurant

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sommelier Julien Sarrasin decanting a bottle of US iconic Sine Qua Non; Riedel glass lighting feature, trademark of Hedonism Wines; Stair Stalk by Atmos Studio, connecting three floors of HIDE restaurant; Ollie Dabbous’ signature ‘nest egg’ dish, part of the tasting menu at Hide Above


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One customer wanted a whisky collection to be delivered to the airport on Christmas morning. The CEO and owner delivered the order themselves

at Above is the strongest it has ever been and can rise to the challenge. After all, he has cause for optimism since Hide was awarded multiple accolades in 2019 by The World of Fine Wine’s Wold’s Best Wine Lists, including Three Star Wine List, Best By-the-Glass Wine List Without Coravin® and Best Spirits List in the World 2019. Hide has many clients who have become an almost permanent fixture there, returning again and again for something very specific. One international guest is particularly fond of the sausages that are part of Hide’s English breakfast. When he’s not in London he misses them so much that every couple of months Hide ships a special batch to his residence abroad. Hedonism is a company with great ambition, forever looking to grow and look at new ways of diversifying its business model. In addition to its retail offering, Hedonism is currently exploring the opportunities of fine wine and whisky investment. It has just redeveloped its website and is predicting a growth in online shopping. As the world of wine becomes smaller, overseas customers from the US and Asia are increasingly shopping with Hedonism online. Hedonism takes great pride in its customer service that goes above and beyond, to an almost concierge level. Once, a customer wanted a whisky collection to be delivered to the airport. This in itself was nothing extraordinary, apart from the fact that it needed to happen on Christmas morning. As the CEO and the owner at Hedonism are Orthodox and celebrate Christmas on a different date, they delivered the order themselves. ‘We believe that no matter what is happening in our world, British luxury brands will always do well – they are timeless and aspirational, allowing us to take comfort in turbulent times,’ says Tatiana. ‘I think optimism is a very necessary sentiment for this time.’ COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 351

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Great British Brands 2020



A world-famous whisky created by an act of blending mastery


enowned British wine and spirits merchant, Justerini & Brooks, based on St James’s Street in London, has built an enviable reputation supplying the highest quality wines and spirits to its customers for over 270 years. J&B Rare, known as the ‘wine merchants’ whisky’, was created by Royal Warrant Holders Justerini & Brooks in the early 1930s, happily coinciding with the end of Prohibition in the US, where the whisky became an overnight success. J&B Rare – created at a time when Scotch whisky tasted notoriously rough – was an act of blending mastery, bringing together the sophisticated flavours of single malts with lighter grain whiskies to give a fresh and vibrant finish. This lighter, blendable style suited a new generation of whisky drinkers, and was ideal for drinking neat on the rocks or mixing in long drinks and cocktails. In the 1950s and ’60s, J&B Rare became a favourite of the Hollywood ‘Rat Pack’, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Their wider group

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Iconic J&B Rare bottle since 1933; elegant and well-balanced, the J&B Rare Raspberry Sour; the classic whisky cocktail, J&B Bobby Burns by Jason Scott; a modern J&B twist, the apple Whisky Sour

J&B Rare 61 St James’s Street London SW1A 1LZ +44 (0)20 7484 6400 JBRareWhisky


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In the 1950s and ’60s, J&B Rare became a favourite of the Hollywood ‘Rat Pack’, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr

encompassed JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote, who always ordered a ‘Justerini & Brooks’, calling the whisky by its full name. J&B Rare had a reputation as the drink of the influencers and innovators of the day. The iconic bottle remains virtually unchanged from the 1930s. Its striking red and yellow label and retro design gives the whisky standout appeal on the shelves in the world’s top bars, from Shanghai to New York, and then back to London. J&B Rare retains the same signature blend of 42 prestigious single malt and grain whiskies, featuring ‘heart malts’ from the famous distilleries of Knockando, Auchroisk, Strathmill and Glen Spey. Matured in oak casks for a minimum of three years, the finer malts are aged for longer to add fullness and depth of flavour, creating the unique taste of J&B Rare. This year J&B Rare continues to be enjoyed as a great British brand in innovative and unexpected ways. With its light flavour profile, it is perfectly suited to today’s drinks connoisseur looking for cocktails and longer drinks. You can find J&B Rare being served in highend bars and restaurants across Britain and a series of whisky cocktail masterclasses will be running throughout the country to showcase the versatility of this whisky. J&B Rare provides an excellent canvas for those popular cocktails including the J&B Whisky Sour, a J&B Mint Julep and the traditional whisky and soda. In 2020, J&B Rare is experimenting and exploring alternative pairings, including working alongside botanicals and different flavoured tonics. New serves include J&B and Tonic, mixed with Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic and a slice of ginger, as well as long drinks made with sparkling Rosemary Water and a fresh rosemary garnish. J&B Rare may have been created by a traditional prestigious British wine merchant nearly a century ago, but the Scotch retains its global appeal as a contemporary, on-trend brand – testament to a rich history of mavericks and innovators who pioneered a new style of whisky perfectly suited to the drinks connoisseurs of today. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 353

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Darjeeling, India; JING Dragon Well Green Tea; Ed Eisler, founder of JING

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Purveyor of authentic high-quality teas that celebrate their flavour of origin

Behind every JING tea is a single garden and a close relationship with the people at origin. JING provides higher returns for its partner farmers and their communities

JING Tea 18–19 St Christopher’s Place London W1U 1NN +44 (0)20 8103 6733 jingtea


simple ritual, such as taking the time to infuse and drink a highquality cup of tea, can become a mindful and fulfilling indulgence. Having observed the cultural importance of the tea ceremony on his many trips to Asia, Ed Eisler founded JING in 2004 to encourage the world to enjoy tea at its best. His mission was to enhance the drinking experience by putting great tea at the centre –

Great British Brands 2020

leaves with character, natural purity, depth of flavour and seasonality, which express their origin and their maker. All JING teas are carefully picked, meticulously selected, expertly made by masters using traditional skills handed down over generations, then packed for optimum freshness. Behind every JING tea is a single garden and a close relationship with the people at origin. By supporting skilled production and upholding quality, JING provides higher returns for its partner farmers and their communities, benefitting the supply chain and ensuring a good life for the tea garden workers and their families. ‘Traceability is a growing consumer requirement,’ says Eisler. ‘People want to know where their food comes from. JING’s direct relationships ensure that each tea can be traced back to its single garden of origin.’ In the company’s early years, Eisler forged relationships with leading chefs and high-end restaurants and hotels. Today, international tastemakers – from Per Se in New York to Arzak in San Sebastián, Amber in Hong Kong and The Berkeley in London – make JING their tea of choice. It is JING that is served at ‘the highest high tea in the world’ – the 828m Burj Khalifa in Dubai – and to first and business class passengers on Cathay Pacific – including teas with more ‘umami’ that maintain an authentic flavour at altitude. Although JING has always been available online – resulting in a loyal global customer base – it was only at the end of 2019 that the brand, with much excitement, opened its first retail store. A doublefronted space in pedestrianised St Christopher’s Place in London showcases JING’s carefully selected single garden teas and aesthetic teaware in a contemporary environment that encourages exploration, learning and a real connection with the provenance of tea. At the in-store tasting bar, trained JING experts demonstrate how to make the perfect cup of tea using the brand’s modern teaware designs that simplify the process. Immersive ‘Tea Flights’ take small groups on a 45-minute sensory journey of the people, places and artisan processes that make JING teas exceptional. ‘The opening of our first shop and tasting bar is a huge milestone for JING. It’s the next step in inspiring people to choose teas which express the unique character of their origin and tea maker,’ said Eisler at the opening. Further retail developments are planned so that the definitive tea experience can be shared across Britain and hospitality partnerships are growing in parallel with consumer developments. With premium tea driving the growth in tea sales (around £13 billion out of a total global turnover of £33 billion), business is good – and tea drinking has never been more enjoyable. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 355

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Great British Brands 2020



Mayfair’s discreetly elegant private members’ club


hen it comes to choosing a private members’ club these days, it’s hard to see through all the noise. There are wellness clubs, womenonly clubs, clubs for creatives, entrepreneurs, or philanthropists. But what if you want something a little bit more classic? A club where its members aren’t there to be seen but to enjoy an elegant home from home. Step in Mark’s Club, which opened in Mayfair in 1973 as a sophisticated alternative to the old guard of gentlemen’s clubs. Today it continues to exude the same warmth that has garnered it a loyal following. In a fastmoving, ever-changing world, it’s institutions like this that provide a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of London life. Members and staff alike appreciate and respect the club’s values: namely, its sense of discretion, timeless elegance and understated style. A thoughtful membership selection process helps to preserve the ambience. To ensure a good fit with the club’s philosophy, prospective members require a proposer, who in return can vouch for their suitability and appreciation of the club. Members are represented by an incredibly supportive and forward-thinking

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Mark’s Club terrace; The Indian Room; The Circus Room; Mario Pederzolli and one of the Mark’s Club’s resident dogs, Mark IV

Mark’s Club 46 Charles Street, Mayfair London W1J 5EJ +44 (0)20 7499 2936 marksclubmayfair


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Members and staff alike appreciate and respect the club’s values: namely, its sense of discretion, timeless elegance and understated style

members’ committee, who ensure the club remains relevant in its members’ lives, with opportunities to attend exclusive events and meet fellow, like-minded industry leaders. This truly is a place of home comforts and charm. In the evenings, members will most likely be welcomed by the Club Host Jackie, as well as by her three dogs, who welcome members from their vigil next to the fireplace at reception. Jackie and one of her dogs Arty, were once finalists on Britain’s Got Talent – championed by Simon Cowell himself. The current resident dogs at Mark’s Club include Panda, a ten-year-old Rescue Corgi/Tibetan Spaniel/Jack Russell mix. Tonka, a ten-yearold Yorkie and majestic Mark IV, a poodle. Gourmands are well catered for here. The dining offering is truly one of Mark’s Clubs’ greatest strengths. The first-class team is headed up by Nicolas Laridan, whose Michelin-star pedigree speaks for itself. He worked for the Roux brothers for ten years and was previously Head Chef of Le Gavroche. Furthermore, the Club has many restaurant areas to choose from, with all year-round possibilities – nothing can beat dining on the terrace when the sun shines or hunkering down in the Red Room in the winter. The club also hosts unique culinary events for its members, hosting an annual Chef Series with guest chefs that have included Margot Henderson, Elizabeth Haigh and Nieves Barragan. The Regional Dinner Series is not to be missed, intimate supper clubs themed by region that will take place seasonally at the club. Despite proudly upholding traditions, Mark’s Club is moving with the times. 2020 will see the evolution of its cigar offering, which will provide members access to exclusive new releases and the opportunity to store purchased collections at the club itself. It will continue to build upon its successful events programme, including the launch of a new chef series. But most importantly, the club will remain a consistent bastion of the Mayfair scene. Always discrete, always committed to its founding values. This is a Mayfair haven cherished by its members. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 357

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Great British Brands 2020



Creating the best British chocolates and taking them global


019 gave Prestat the element it needed to secure its future. The brand was already extremely happy with its past: founded in France in 1895 and creators of the world’s first chocolate truffle recipe, Prestat’s first London shop opened in 1902. Ever since, Prestat has firmly established itself as a Great British Brand. It’s been awarded two Royal Warrants, from HM The Queen (1975) and the last Royal Warrant HM The Queen Mother awarded (1999). Prestat was also official chocolate sponsor of Prince Harry’s Walking With the Wounded tour to the South Pole. ‘We’re so proud of our heritage,’ says Nick Crean, who runs Prestat with his brother, Bill Keeling, ‘but the one thing lacking was true excellence in the chocolate itself.’ That changed dramatically in March 2019 when Gruppo Illy brought the brand and married Prestat up with its chocolate company Domori. ‘Its peers recognise Domori to be among the best manufacturers of chocolate in the world,’ says Nick. ‘The ultimate connoisseur of couverture production, Domori has pioneered a unique, low impact manufacturing process, roasting and milling at low temperatures.’

‘Prestat always brings back childhood memories of sharing, gifting and laughter’

‘Most chocolate manufacturers sell off their cocoa butter to the cosmetics industry,’ says Bill, ‘but Domori’s couverture keeps in the cocoa butter and all the aromatics, adding real depth and flavour.’ Prestat’s couvertures are created from single origin Cote d’Ivoire cocoa beans traceable to plantation and purchased directly from the farmers’ consortium. Domori enhances farmers’ income by paying a premium to the world market price for its cocoa. Prestat is known and loved for its Rose and Violet Crèmes, distributed at the great fashionista Isabella Blow’s memorial service, and for its truffles, adored by the great Roald Dahl. Far from resting on the laurels of its considerable reputation, Prestat continually innovates. It has brought in the young designer, Storm Athill, who has reinterpreted the bright colours and whimsical nature of Prestat’s packaging for a new generation. It has developed vegan friendly recipes, like its Dark and Stormy Bar, 73 per cent of astonishingly pure dark chocolate and the luscious 63 per cent Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds and Cocoa Nibs. In 2020 there will be a new range of cocktail truffles and a relaunch of the classic jewel box in a new design based on Queen Victoria’s private chocolate box, plus the introduction of a brand new product – cocoa beans panned and roasted then smothered in chocolate. ‘There’s nothing on the market like them,’ enthuses Nick, ‘they represent the ultimate in vegan goodness and deliciousness.’ ‘We are always learning from the brilliant expertise of Gabi Kohler, Head of Production, who knows more about chocolate than anyone else in Britain,’ says Nick. ‘By joining forces with Domori we’re handing on to the next generation, giving our team a sense of greater certainty and the opportunity to take our great British brand across the world.’ Bill concludes, ‘Though not a children’s chocolate company, Prestat always brings back childhood memories of sharing, gifting, laughter and romance.’ Prestat 14 Princes Arcade London SW1Y 6DS +44 (0)20 8961 8555 prestatfinesttruffles


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Great British Brands 2020



Giving properties exceptional and beautifully styled exposure

Each project is tailored to the client’s lifestyle and its team of experts offers a comprehensive service selection, from interior styling, space planning and design to full-scale construction

needs, from furnishing individual rooms to curating accessories for an entire property. The team has the support and resources of all the luxury home brands in Harrods, as well as relationships with many international brands and bespoke suppliers. Each project is tailored to the client’s lifestyle and its team of experts offers a comprehensive service selection, from interior styling, space planning and design to full-scale construction. Responding to client demand, it introduced the Interior Stylist Service in 2020, representing a collaborative approach built on expert knowledge across home products and trends. A stylist works with clients to create tailored solutions to suit any design aesthetic, whether working from a blank canvas, complementing an existing design or dressing a property for a special occasion. Recently, Harrods Estates and Harrods Interior Design teamed up to dress and shoot a highly exceptional property for sale, creating a portfolio of beautiful photography. To highlight the space, different areas of the property were imaginatively dressed, drawing on themes that ranged from breakfast in Capri to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The resulting images



n what are proving to be sensitive times for the prime London property market, it is more essential than ever to work agilely to give clients’ properties exceptional exposure to the right audience. The uncertain political climate has proved challenging for the entire British property market, especially within prime central London. There has been a distinct pricing adjustment, enabling clients without an urgent need to sell to hold onto their investments until there is more certainly within the market. Harrods Estates is part of the Harrods Group. The original Harrods Estates was founded in 1897, tucked away behind furnishings on the ground floor of the store. As the business expanded, it moved to new premises across the road and now has two prime central London locations in Knightsbridge and Mayfair. Today Harrods Estates works collaboratively with all Harrods sub-divisions to ensure its properties are broadly exposed to the entire Harrods audience. By working together, the world-renowned brand is further strengthened, demonstrating it can truly provide its clients with anything they desire. A prime example of this is Harrods Estates’ collaboration with Harrods Interior Design. Harrods Interior Design is a full-scope interior and architecture design studio creating high-end bespoke residential and commercial spaces. It provides solutions for all decorative


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Harrods Estates 82 Brompton Road London SW3 1ER +44 (0)20 7225 6506 harrodsestates

stood out from traditional property photography and featured in a number of campaigns from editorial in interior and property publications to extensive print and digital advertising. As an organisation, the Harrods brand is going through massive redevelopment. The recent recreation of the Harrods Beauty Rooms, as well as the revamp of the famous Food Hall, the Home & Interior Design divisions and other areas, mean that the store is even more of a go-to destination than ever before. This exciting revitalisation, combined with the expectation of a more stable political and economic climate, make 2020 an exciting year to look forward to for the entire Harrods family. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 363

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Great British Brands 2020



Seven generations of international property consultants


night Frank, the world’s largest independent property consultancy, is headquartered in London, with a deep British heritage and an outwardlooking global service. Founded over 120 years ago, the partnership was built on creating solid, long-term relationships with clients whose property interests span the globe. The business now numbers over 19,000 people across 60 territories and 500 offices: a truly worldwide operation covering residential and commercial property – including farms, new-builds, historic estates, lettings, senior living villages, student accommodation and even marine consultancy. Despite this scope, the firm still strives to maintain the ‘family feel’. Long-term legacy-planning for private and corporate investors is a key component of Knight Frank’s service. Through its latest Private View magazine, the firm has recently explored developing the theme of legacy, aligning with British heritage brands like Boodles, Huntsman and Purdey, and dynasties like the Hindujas, the (‘Downton’) Carnarvons and Formula 1’s Williams Martini Racing. ‘Clients are increasingly looking to us to advise on their succession strategies,’ says Lord Andrew Hay, Global Head of Residential.

‘It’s about being a good ancestor, planting trees you’ll never see. Knight Frank is now in its seventh generation and, like all institutions with a legacy, it is essential we evolve’ 364 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: House and garden at Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge; bedroom, kitchen and outdoor space at Kelso Place, Kensington

Of the firm’s own legacy, he says, ‘It’s about being a good ancestor, planting trees you’ll never see. Knight Frank is now in its seventh generation and, like all institutions with a legacy, it is essential we evolve, be agile and invest, to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.’ Challenges to the business – and equally to its clients – are global. They include the slowing world economy, Brexit and international political headwinds. But where there is challenge, the firm sees opportunity. Clients are demanding the earliest market information, detailed advice and evidence upon which to base their investment decisions and Knight Frank’s experience provides it with the opportunity to engage with both established and new clients. Valuable insights are gained from those

working day-to-day in the local markets worldwide, as well as through the renowned in-house research department. Together they form a fully-integrated real estate advisory team that can advise and transact for high-net-worth clients, family offices and their advisers. Clients benefit from one point of contact, high quality service and a long-term relationship that will span family generations to come. Looking to 2020, Knight Frank’s investment in staff has never been greater. Nor has its investment in the technological platforms that empower staff to be tirelessly client-focused. Above all though is the firm belief that technology must not overshadow the human element, still pivotal in the emotional world of real estate transactions. Knight Frank has remained steadfast to being a partnership. Lord Andrew Hay cites this as a key differentiator: ‘Clients like the idea that we’re invested in our own success. It’s really powerful. And it’s come right back into fashion. We’ll turn over approaching $1 billion this year, so not only are we reaping the benefit of previous generations, but we’re making certain that the next generation is taken care of.’ Due to retire in 2020 after 37 years, Hay considers his personal legacy: ‘The lesson I’d like to pass on to my colleagues and for the benefit of our clients is, “Do the maximum”.’

Knight Frank 55 Baker Street London W1U 8AN +44 (0)20 8033 5217 knightfrank


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Great British Brands 2020



A magnificent 3.5-acre island site fit for the 21st century


n a neighbourhood known for its iconic architecture, luxury shopping, desirable real estate, five-star hotels and proximity to Hyde Park, The Knightsbridge Estate is being transformed into the 21st century’s answer to urban life, where residents and visitors alike will soon be able to shop, live, dine and work, without ever having to leave its beautiful buildings. This transformation has seen The Estate attracting some of the world’s most established luxury and premium brands as tenants, including Watches of Switzerland, Tommy Hilfiger and Italian leather goods brand Furla, among many others. All of these changes are contributing to a welcome sense of community on The Estate. The most important enhancement

to The Knightsbridge Estate is underway at the junction of Brompton Road and Sloane Street. Here, world-class architects Fletcher Priest have designed a mixed-use scheme that will sit behind the retained and restored heritage façades, maintaining the unique character of the area, while delivering a brand-new building that meets all its occupiers’ needs. Designed by architects that understand modern retailing, the scheme will deliver seven exceptional stores, with the first letting, 1 Sloane Street, having already been agreed with a major luxury British brand. In addition to the flagship retail space, superb Grade A, open-plan commercial space, set over 66,000 sq/ft is being developed. Set back from a landscaped

World-class architects Fletcher Priest have designed a scheme that will sit behind the retained and restored heritage façades, maintaining the unique character of the area 366 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Artist’s impression of the retail units at 1–5 Sloane Street; aerial view of The Knightsbridge Estate; artist’s impression of 1 Sloane Street, prelet to a luxury British brand

pocket garden, with direct tube access and benefiting from a private roof terrace from the fifth floor, it will provide an unparalleled address for any business seeking state-of-the-art offices in one the most exclusive areas of central London. A stunning rooftop restaurant with panoramic views will open its doors in 2021. Reached via dedicated lifts, this spectacular restaurant will provide elegant, all day-dining for visitors to The Estate. In addition, the restaurant will operate a deli and café at street level for food-to-go and casual eating. In 2022, 34 luxury apartments will be available for rent only. Built around a private courtyard

garden, many with dual aspect, these apartments will all be beautifully designed by Taylor Howes and provide for its residents to experience the ultimate lifestyle in Knightsbridge. These residential tenants, together with the remainder of The Knightsbridge Estate’s tenants and the wider Knightsbridge community, will benefit from the improvements The Knightsbridge Estate is making to the public realm. In particular the two new tube entrances that are being created, including one providing step-free access to the platforms, as well as the widening of the pavement along Brompton Road and Sloane Street. Welcome to the Knightsbridge of the 21st century.

The Knightsbridge Estate 50 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0NA +44 (0)20 7290 2388 theknightsbridge theknightsbridgeestate


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Great British Brands 2020


NATIVE LAND Capital developments with British flair

N Native Land Ltd The Pavilion 118 Southwark Street London SE1 0SW +44 (0)20 7758 3650 nativeland_ltd

ative Land is one of London’s leading property development companies. Since the company’s formation in 2003, it has been responsible for some of the capital’s most acclaimed residential and mixed-use developments. The company’s best-known project is NEO Bankside, a stunning scheme on the South Bank of the Thames which, following Tate Modern’s lead, has breathed new life into what was once a very industrial area of London. Native Land prides itself on creating spaces of the highest standard in partnership with Britain’s best brands, designers, architects and landscape architects. The challenge is to meet the needs of the most discerning residents and occupiers, by combining quality and privacy with access to exceptional services and amenities.

These values are exemplified by the penthouses at the heart of two of the company’s leading projects. The penthouse at Burlington Gate, designed by Hudson & Mercer, is located in the heart of Mayfair. The custom-made furniture displays a reverence for materials and an attention to detail worthy of the proudest traditions of British furniture making. Wool, silk and leather give a softer, tactile edge to solid frames of oak and bronze, generating a warm, sophisticated ambience. The spaces are filled with works of art ranging from small sculptures to larger-scale paintings. The duplex penthouse on the seventh and eighth floors features a generous open-plan living space, three ensuite bedrooms and spacious terraces offering exceptional views across central London. The penthouse at Holland Park Villas, Kensington, is located in one of the most charming corners of London, and will be launched in spring


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The company’s bestknown project is NEO Bankside which, following Tate Modern’s lead, has breathed new life into what was once a very industrial area of London

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Entrance hall in the Studio Ashby designed apartment at Holland Park Villas; penthouse living at Burlington Gate, interiors by Hudson & Mercer; Burlington Gate penthouse furnishings; bedroom details in the Studio Ashby apartment at Holland Park Villas

2020. Its vast terrace, designed in collaboration with Marcus Barnett, offers uninterrupted views across Holland Park. Residents will have access to a library, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a 20-metre swimming pool with Jacuzzi, a gymnasium, a spa and a yoga studio. Bankside Yards is Native Land’s flagship development. Consisting of nine buildings comprising 1.4 million sq/ft of mixed-use space, it represents a diversification for the company, which has hitherto concentrated on residential development. At Bankside, Native Land’s developers are applying the principles of residential development to the creation of office space. Arbor, an office building, is the first to be completed in the Bankside Yards project. Another high-profile project is the redevelopment in conjunction with Transport for London of South Kensington Underground station. The project, which is now in its planning and design phase, will eventually provide a large amount of mixed-use space above and behind the existing Victorian station including new, ramped access to the platforms. Native Land is proud to be working with Britain’s best interior designers, including Sophie Ashby, Jonathan Reed, David Collins Studio and Hudson & Mercer. Likewise, the company supports British brands such as Miller Harris, Noble Macmillan, Jeroboams, Rockabye, Foffa Bikes, Harper and Tom’s, Playlister and Daunt Books. In partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts, Native Land has created an exhibition window in the arcade at its Burlington Gate development, which will show work by young RA students. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK /GBB | 369

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Great British Brands 2020


OCTAGON DEVELOPMENTS Building the future


019 was a year of solid achievement for Octagon, with the company going from strength to strength and continuing to expand. The Octagon brand is still very much in demand, something that the company is conscious that it cannot take for granted in the current climate. Its high reputation is the result of continued and uncompromising attention to detail, consistently delivering the highest quality homes in the very best locations. While Octagon continues its programme of speculative building projects across London and the Home Counties, its Bespoke division is busier than ever, working with clients to build their dream home, from planning and design to construction and interiors. Clients are not only looking to build their own home from scratch, but also to extend, convert and restore existing buildings, sometimes including some very specific elements. John Pope, Director of Octagon Bespoke, explains: ‘Many clients are now looking for an alternative to traditional wine cellars – rather than hiding away their best vintages, the latest trend in wine storage puts prized collections front and centre, displayed in a sleek glass cabinet, complementing a modern luxury interior look. ‘The wine wall is a fully insulated, temperature-and humidity-controlled fitted cabinet, that is as practical as it is attention grabbing. Our clients are increasingly requesting for these wine galleries to be installed alongside bars and seating areas, establishing an elegant, eye-catching entertaining

Its high reputation is the result of continued and uncompromising attention to detail, consistently delivering the highest quality homes in the very best location


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Eagle House, Wimbledon Village; a custom-built leisure suite at an Octagon supermansion; the entrance to Broadoaks Park, West Byfleet

space in which to enjoy an evening of fine wine. The only catch is that, to look its best, a wine wall requires constant re-stocking – however that hasn’t led to any complaints from clients just yet!’ Octagon’s dedicated and highly skilled restoration team also faces new ventures at the brand’s latest flagship site, Broadoaks Park in West Byfleet, Surrey. As well as new-build homes, the 125-unit, 25-acre scheme includes a Grade II listed manor house, coach houses and lodges, all of which are being restored and converted into magnificent homes and apartments. This follows other award-winning restoration projects in the past year, such as Grade II* listed Eagle House in Wimbledon Village, and an exquisite stucco Regency property in Knightsbridge. 2020 is an exciting time for Octagon, with the brand continuing to diversify through the building

of a broad range of properties at Broadoaks Park – from two-bedroom apartments to six-bedroom family homes – a collection that showcases the extensive skill accumulated over 40 years in the industry. The launch of Phase One was deemed a resounding success, with over 350 guests attending the event, resulting in a significant number of off-plan reservations. Whether a half-million-pound apartment or multi-million-pound superhome, Octagon homes are distinctive, and it is this trust in the design and build that underpins the entire business. Broadoaks Park will be a key focus for the Octagon team as the first buyers move in from spring 2020, but the landbuying team are always on the lookout for new sites across London and the Home Counties, continually welcoming new challenges of all types.

Octagon Developments Ltd Weir House Hurst Road East Moseley Surrey KT8 9AY +44 (0)20 8481 7500 octagondevelopments


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Great British Brands 2020



Blending heritage with innovation


successful architects’ practice with a young and creative workforce, PDP London is taking a glasshalf-full approach to the future. Challenges to its core activities – namely an over-supply of high-end residential stock, and potential supplier disruption caused by Brexit – have prompted it to diversify, expanding its interior design and urban design/master-planning portfolios. ‘This climate offers an opportunity to build on our many specialist skills: expanding into new sectors and geographical regions, turning research into projects, growing the use of three-dimensional tools to sell ideas and prototypes, and moving more quickly from inception to completion,’ comments Partner, Pedro Roos. ‘Our London office has a reputation for its acute understanding of place-making, space, flexibility and technology. Based on this we have secured international contracts and even opened an office in Madrid. Innovation and flexibility seem to be the answer in a fluctuating market and we feel positive, knowing that British design remains highly respected globally.’ For PDP London, being British means combining key values of professionalism, integrity, quality, respect and honesty with innovation, creativity and cool design, to result in a vibrant, internationally recognised feel and ‘brand’. Nor does this ‘Britishness’ confine it to a particular aesthetic: it’s a melting pot of heritage, international influences, collaboration and excellence. It is about creating lasting and timeless design. Consequently, the practice is proud to have worked on a number of prominent developments within the capital in 2019, which not

Principles have been moulded to the desires of 21st-century buyers, who crave lateral space, open-plan living and leisure


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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: PDP London’s HQ, at Eccleston Yards; Regent’s Crescent grade I-listed new-build; Chelsea Barracks town houses

only celebrate tradition and heritage but which are also forward-thinking, contemporary architectural statements that have gained international press and recognition. The 13 townhouses within the Chelsea Barracks development for Qatari Diar aim to reintroduce the idea of the London townhouse while simultaneously expressing a new architectural language, with cues taken from the garden squares and terraces of Georgian-era London. These principles have been moulded to the desires of 21st-century buyers, who crave lateral space, open-plan living and leisure complexes. At Regent’s Crescent (London’s only grade I listed ‘new build’), the company has had the rare opportunity to honour John Nash’s creative vision by remastering the iconic Regency Crescent, preserving it while meeting the demands of 21st-century living. From the faithfully reinterpreted façade and the uncovering and preservation

of a subterranean 18th-century ice house, to the generous 4.2m ceiling heights, 9,000 sq/ft of amenities and access to landscaped gardens, this project represents the best of traditional British heritage and contemporary innovation. With a number of projects in the pipeline, PDP London has recently relocated its London HQ to Eccleston Yards, Grosvenor’s new creative hub on the boundaries of Belgravia and Victoria. It is now part of a vibrant community of innovative and exciting brands. ‘This location allows us to attract and retain talent, by immersing both the practice and the physical office (which we have completely renovated) in an environment that promotes health, wellbeing and creative interaction,’ comments Partner, Alec Howard. ‘We are optimistic about the change in our work environment and processes – it represents an exciting update to our brand – and we are eager to see how this shapes our evolution.’

PDP London 5–6 Eccleston Yards London SW1W 9AZ +44 (0)20 7730 1178 pdparcitechs


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Great British Brands 2020



A boutique precious metal partner with global reach


old has been prized for its unique properties for thousands of years. And now, against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty, investors are once again seeking it as a long-term physical asset, set apart from the highs and lows of equity markets. Sharps Pixley is a full-service precious metal brokerage focused on bringing this most traditional asset into the 21st century. From its state-of-the-art showroom in London’s West End, clients can buy, sell and store gold bullion, just as they have for centuries. Sharps Pixley’s roots date back to 1778 and drawing on the best of British tradition, the firm offers impeccable service, absolute discretion and top security to its global base of private clients and institutional investors. Increased demand from international clients has driven strong growth for the firm, which enjoyed a 75 per cent increase in trading revenue in 2018 and is on track to achieve

Fulfilling its clients’ growing expectation for agility, access and transparency in their investment decisions and trade execution

a further 40 per cent rise this year. Maintaining this momentum, while adapting to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile client base, presents a challenge to which it is rising with confidence. Sharps Pixley is building on its strong foundations by transforming its digital capabilities to help perfect its client offering. With a new website launching in 2020, the firm is revolutionising how clients manage their investments – all without losing the traditional touches that are the hallmark of the Sharps Pixley service. Clients can have 24-hour access to their relationship manager and transact digitally in the currency of their choice. With these enhancements, Sharps Pixley is fulfilling its clients’ growing expectation for agility, access and transparency in their investment decisions and trade execution. Alongside these important developments, Sharps Pixley is mindful not to lose focus on the core British values that differentiate it from its global peers. The firm refreshed its brand identity in 2019, emphasising and celebrating its heritage as a quintessentially British company. Although much has changed since 1778, it’s the same combination of integrity, respect, transparency and utmost discretion that keeps clients coming back – sometimes for generations. In keeping with these traditional values, Sharps Pixley never underestimates the role of its showroom and vault, which clients like to visit as gold is possibly the most tangible investment asset. Sharps Pixley’s open-door policy plays an important part in the succession planning for wealthy families, with clients often bringing their successors into the vault to view the family holding. Seeing the gold in person often conveys a gravitas that a number on a spreadsheet cannot. For many family offices it is gold’s enduring nature that appeals. One family office client is now in its 12th generation: a remarkable achievement as research has shown that family wealth is often depleted within three. It is even more remarkable that this family’s approach has not changed in that time, with its investments split evenly across gold, property and art. Its reverence and respect for this most ancient of investment assets underpins everything that Sharps Pixley does, and will do for generations to come. Sharps Pixley 54 St James’s Street London SW1A 1JT +44 (0)20 7871 0532


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Sharps Pixley is located in London’s St James’s

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Great British Brands 2020

Index A Alexander McQueen Allect Amanda Harrington London Andrew Martin Annoushka Anouska Hempel Design Ascot Asprey Aston Martin Away from the Ordinary

E 68 204 156 208 140 210 288 184 306 320

B Bamford Barbour Barbury Kitchens Barnard & Westwood BelleCell Bergman Interiors The Bicester Village Shopping Collection Black Tomato Bombay Sapphire Boodles Brompton Bicycle Brook + Wilde Brookmans by Smallbone Brora Burlington Arcade

70 72 240 242 158 212 186 322 344 142 308 244 246 74 188

C Cadogan Charlotte Tilbury Chase Distillery Chelsea Barracks Church’s Clements and Church Club Chelsea The Conran Shop Cookson Adventures Coze Crockett & Jones Cudoni Cutler and Gross

190 160 346 192 110 76 290 248 324 250 112 78 114

K 292 118 166 218 168

F Fairfax & Favor Favourbrook Foster & Son

252 254 214 80 162 164 116

Katharine Pooley Knight Frank The Knightsbridge Estate

R 220 364 366

L 120 82 122

1508 London The Langham, London Lark & Berry Life Kitchens London Sock Company Loomah Louise Bradley

202 330 146 266 128 268 222

G GP & J Baker Grace Han Great British Racing International Guava & Gold

256 124 294 170

H 12 Hay Hill Hackett London Haddonstone Hamilton & Inches Harrods Harrods Estates Hattingley Valley Hay Festival Hedonism and Hide Heirlooms Fine Linens Holland & Holland The House of Bruar Hunter

342 84 258 144 194 362 348 196 350 260 296 298 86

Iconic Luxury Hotels Iffley Road Indian Ocean

J&B Rare Jamb Jet Candy Jing Tea The Jockey Club John Smedley Johnstons of Elgin Joseph Cheaney & Sons

M Mark’s Club Martin Kemp Design Morgan Motor Company Mulberry

356 224 310 94

270 368 96 226 272 172

O Octagon Developments Oyster Yachts

274 228 102 332 130 314 316 230

S Sabina Savage Salon64 Savoir The Shard Sharps Pixley Sims Hilditch Smallbone of Devizes Sports HAI Stephen Webster Sunspel

132 176 276 198 374 232 278 178 150 104


N Naim Audio Native Land New & Lingwood Nina Campbell Noble Macmillan Nostara

Rachel Vosper Randle Siddeley Really Wild Red Savannah Rigby & Peller Rolls-Royce Motor Cars RPS Rally RWD

Taylor Howes Ted Todd Fine Wood Floors Theo Fennell The Thinking Traveller Timothy Oulton Tricker’s Turnbull & Asser The Turquoise Holiday Company Tusting

234 280 152 334 282 134 106 336 136

370 312


I 326 88 262


D Dale Rogers Ammonite David Hunt Lighting Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour Donna Ida Dr Rita Rakus Dr Sebagh Duke + Dexter

E.J. Churchill Edward Green Elemis Elicyon ESPA

352 264 328 354 300 90 92 126

Virgin Limited Edition

P Paper PDP London Penhaligon’s Positive Luxury Pragnell Prestat

98 372 174 100 148 358


W Westley Richards The White Company

302 284

Y Yiangou Architects



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25/11/2019 06/11/201816:54 15:49



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Profile for Country & Town House Magazine

Great British Brands - 2020  

In this, the fifth issue of Great British Brands, the watch word is optimism. At the start of the new decade, adopt a 2020 vision to look ah...

Great British Brands - 2020  

In this, the fifth issue of Great British Brands, the watch word is optimism. At the start of the new decade, adopt a 2020 vision to look ah...

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