Britain; our great, green and pleasant land has produced its fair share of famous brands. From an automotive angle, we’ve fired up Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin. In fashion, houses from Burberry to Barbour have had us looking sharp for decades. And behind the bar, we’ve uncorked well-known whiskies from Glenfiddich and Johnnie Walker to The Macallan.
Most everyone will have heard of these brands. They’re big deals; bastions of British worksmanship and well-known across the world. But what about those lesser-known labels? What of the marques and manufacturers that discerning men swear by, but may not ring a bell elsewhere? Here, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite British brands. And, from an age-old fragrance house to modern luggage label, we think every man should know their names…
Floris is a worthy addition to your grooming routine
A richly scented start, where better to begin than with one of our favourite fragrance houses? Founded in 1730 by Menorcan Juan Famenias Floris, this heritage brand has been selling its aromatic wares in St. James’s for centuries, received its first Royal Warrant from George IV in 1820 — and has produced scents for everyone from Winston Churchill to Florence Nightingale.
The original shop still stands at 89 Jermyn Street; an address that happens to lend its number to the brand’s best-selling eau de toilette. But there’s more than simple spritzers available from this British brand. We also depend on grooming goods including beard oils and shower gels on a daily basis, and even occasionally light one of Floris’ fragrant candles.
No. 89 Eau De Toilette
No 89. Shaving & Beard Oil
Sandalwood & Patchouli Scented Candle
Bennett Winch will add some luxury to your luggage
Next up, purveyors of fine luggage Bennett Winch. Named for its two founders, the brand was zipped into being back in 2014, when Robin Bennett and Robin Winch met for a drink at a bar, reached for the napkins — and doodled the first sketch of the brand’s signature piece; The Weekender. Ever since, in a flurry of zips, poppers and luxury leather, Bennett Winch has gone from strength to well-travelled strength, launching pieces of luggage you never even knew you needed.
There’s ‘The Weekender’, of course; the most handsome of holdalls, available in several cotton canvas colours or even a full leather option. There’s an ergonomic, stylish spin on the classic backpack, and there’s the later innovations; from an armoured watch roll to ‘The Large Cargo’ bag for heavier-lifting luggage. The brand’s celebrated ‘Suit Carrier Holdall’ even cropped up in the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die.
The Weekender - Brown Full Leather
The Backpack - Sand
The Large Cargo - Olive
Turnbull & Asser are a cut above other shirtmakers
Like Bennett Winch above, Turnbull & Asser was born to a pair of pioneering businessmen in London. Yet the storied shirtmaker first buttoned into being over a century before the luggage brand; in 1885. John Arthur Turnbull and Ernest Asser, who were, at the time, a hosier and a salesman, originally opened as a hosiery in London’s St. James’s. Eight years later, the company relocated to premises at 71 and 72 Jermyn Street – where it remains today.
And the company has been creating sumptuous, sophisticated shirts ever since. The styles have turned the heads of many iconic men, from Sean Connery and Winston Churchill to HRH The Prince of Wales, but we’re perhaps most taken by the designs tailored for stars of stage and screen. Whether that’s Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale dress shirt, ’The Gekko Shirt’ for 1987’s Wall Street, or even the silk tie knotted by Robert Redford’s Jay Gatsby, the brand offers a wide range of cinematic styles made available to all.
Casino Royale White Dress Shirt As Seen On James Bond
The Great Gatsby Silk Tie as seen on Jay Gatsby
The Gekko Shirt with White Classic T&A Collar and Double Cuffs
Ettinger has almost a century of leatherworking experience
In 1934, Gerard Ettinger came to Britain. The designer and film producer had crossed the channel after a sparkling stint in Italy and Germany, where he had worked with dazzling stars of the big screen including Marlene Dietrich. And, using his impressive web of continental European contacts, his first order of business once he landed in London was to delve into the intricate industry of leatherworking.
Almost a century later, the brand that bears Ettinger’s name is synonymous with quality accessories. Whether it’s a bridle hide zip portfolio or a secure luggage tag, a modern man should own at least one item from the British company’s artfully crafted collection. Our personal choice? The ‘8oz Hunter’s Flask’, a stainless steel essential swathed in smooth calf leather and topped with four sharing-friendly cups.
Bridle Hide large zip portfolio
8oz Hunter’s Flask with 4 Cups Red
Luggage Tag with Security Flap in Navy
Hemingsworth is the saviour of the modern jet-setter
Another slightly newer label, Hemingsworth was founded in 2013 by Matt Jones — who was inspired by a lifetime of travel and began his brand out of a desire to set new standards in versatile, enduring tailoring. He began with stylish swim shorts, but soon broadened his brand's finely-stitched horizons, hoping to tackle everyday problems for jet-setters and globe-trotters by forming a capable capsule of travel-ready threads.
Today, the brand offers just that; a one-stop shop for wanderers and explorers. Whether you’re looking to benefit from Hemingsworth’s classic ‘Clipper’ swim shorts, or want something a little more formal, Jones’ designs have you covered. We’re particular fans of the brand’s smart-casual sweatshirts; none more so than the Breton-striped ‘Pablo’ design — inspired by Picasso’s artfully insouciant look.
Pablo Breton Raglan Sweatshirt
Clipper Swim Short Sharkfin Blue
Sirocco Windbreaker Jacket - Navy
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