Last night was the launch of Walpole's 2015 Brands of Tomorrow, hosted in association with Mishcon de Reya at the Savoy. Walpole is an alliance of Britain's most highly regarded luxury brands; their mission is to promote, protect and develop the British luxury industry, both at home and abroad. To fulfill this objective, each year Walpole welcomes an elite group of carefully selected new companies that are changing the landscape of the luxury industry, and this year was no exception. As a member of the Walpole Program in Luxury Management offered through my school (London Business School), I was also lucky enough to be in attendance.
The evening showcased twelve new brands participating in this year's class, each one as impressive as it is different from the next. I feel a small sense of pride for one particular brand, Emilia Wickstead, since I have been working with them for a few months now and am thrilled to be on a team as dedicated to the craft of luxury womenswear as Emilia's. Her crisp perspective to the oft-overlooked art of elevated tailoring is refreshing, and the attention paid to fine detail in the finishing of each garment lends itself to her sophisticated and contemporary designs.
In addition to Emilia Wickstead, the remaining eleven highly deserving brands revealed are:
BEETLES+HUXLEY - art gallery specialising in classic and contemporary photography
Bionda Castana - luxury footwear and accessories for women (their designs are seriously gorgeous)
Finlay & Co. - handmade eyewear (if James Bond had a wife, she would wear these sunglasses. So would James Bond)
House of Hackney - luxury interiors label
John Galvin Design - contemporary furniture and lighting products, in a range of fine woods
Marwood - luxury British accessories label, founded by designer Becky French
MULO - premium brand of slip-on shoe (I want a pair in every color)
Only Fingers and Toes - creates and distributes luxury own-brand nail lacquer
Rachel Vosper - British-designed luxury candles, sold from a boutique based in Belgravia (I mostly stood in her corner of the event all evening because it smelled so good)
RolleyGolf - handcrafted movement designed for golfers (I am not a golfer but I did get on the RolleyGolf contraption and immediately saw its potential)
14 Bike Co. - designer and supplier of stylish hand-built frames, components and complete bicycles
In addition to meeting and chatting with many of the founders behind such innovative companies, highlights of the evening included welcome remarks from Michelle Emmerson, CEO of Walpole, as well as from Jonathan Heilbron, President and CEO of Thomas Pink and Chairman of the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow Program. Jonathan succinctly summed up the purpose of the program when he said "our goal is to create a program of learning and to facilitate the exchange of exciting new ideas.”
In between sipping champagne and chasing the waitstaff for yet another lemon-meringue macaroon (I had four), I also managed to take a few photos of the displays each brand had to showcase their products.
Congratulations once again to the 2015 Brands of Tomorrow!
For more information and details on each brand, please refer to Walpole's Brands of Tomorrow brochure.