Kent & Curwen British preppie approach is well documented, and, with a store on Saville Row and a fresh injection of capital, this traditional British heritage brand is set for bigger global recognition.
Add to that, the appointment of Simon James Spurr in September of last year. Spurr has stints at big international houses from Yves Saint Laurent to Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein as well as his own label brand so is no newbie to the vagaries of business and the realities of commercialism. As Design & Creative Director of Kent & Curwen, its obvious that Spurr and his bosses are keen on tackling that most coveted of prizes – the domination of a British brand over the American, Russian and Far Eastern markets.
The AW’14 collection trod a well known ground with a nod to the power and styling that Burberry and Belstaff have delivered so successfully. Tight smooth leathers (a key trend this season), smart Melton peacoats, duffels and macs all fitted the bill and Spurr’s styling was immaculate for the young well-groomed man-about-town.
Inspired by British naval dress uniform, double faced, Melton Peacoats were cut close to the body and trimmed with lion head crested metal buttons and leather epaulettes. Rich wool/cashmere Officer’s coats were luxuriously trimmed with rabbit fur at the lapel.
The reinterpretation and juxtaposition of iconic pieces came in droves: Motorcycle jackets, channel quilted at the lapel, paired with tuxedo trousers and set against exploded fairisle jumpers, whilst updated Duffle coats had Arran sleeves and reversible cricket sweaters came in a range of brilliant colours.
Drawing upon the tradition and sporting roots of the brand, the classic pique polo weave was oversized in proportion and become the signature pattern of the collection. Coming in geometric hexagonal prints in shirting and small leather goods or as hexagonal quilted leather jackets, the result looked masculine and modern.
Spurr executed an intentionally strong use of British suiting cloths and collaborations with British manufacturer’s such as Fox Umbrellas and Loake shoes; under scoring the brands origins from 1926. As part of the collections re branding, the cricket ‘Splice’, a powerful, angular shard inspired by the V-shaped detailing on a cricket bat, was used throughout the collection and has become a prominent mark of the re-invigorated Kent and Curwen brand.
As any budding global luxury brand knows, accessories are key to its development. An extensive range of accessories included hand luggage, portfolio cases, iPad cases, wallets, belts, driving gloves, ties, hats and scarves.
Pops of brilliant colour added a novel and an unexpected statement with a colour palette of Olive Green, Burnt Orange, Yellow, Turquoise, Prussian Blue, Grey, Navy and ‘cricket ball’ burgundy alongside graphic black and white and the signature Kent and Curwen dark racing green.