KERING, LVMH, The Valentino Group, Richemont Group, huge luxury goods conglomerates dominating the market but now there’s a new kid on the block, and one with a serious mission statement; investing in established British brands, polishing them up, in order to line the walls of a very elegant stable. Simon Petherick, Managing Director of The House of Britannia
is galvanised in a mission to ensure the longevity and global appeal of some of the world’s most beloved British institutions.
THRESHER & GLENNY
The House of Britannia recently announced a joint venture with Thresher & Glenny, Shirtmakers to Her Majesty The Queen, to produce a new range of business shirts for women designed exclusively for the company by Elizabeth Emanuel. Thresher & Glenny have held Royal Warrants since 1783 and were referred to as “The World’s Greatest Outfitters” throughout the 19th and early 20th century. The collection will launch in North America and Europe in Spring 2015 with the first season’s shirts on sale in selected department stores and online. Elizabeth Emanuel became a household name when she and her husband David designed the wedding dress for Princess Diana in 1981. Since then, she has designed for countless celebrity clients from Elizabeth Taylor to Faye Dunaway.
Another joint venture is Cornelia James, glove maker to The Queen. As Petherick says; "I have been an admirer of Cornelia James for many years. Its combination of elegance, glamour and romance has enormous potential to develop as a lifestyle brand in key global luxury markets such as China, South East Asia and the Middle East. My team and I are looking forward very much to working with the management of the company over the next few years to help it become an internationally recognised luxury brand."
Cornelia James, founded when James was but a young art and design student fleeing Vienna in 1939, found itself coveted by high society with its range of eclectic colours, a welcome respite to the dark ambience of post war rationing. But it was the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten that really secured the brand its cachet, with vivid splashes of colour contrasting to the delicate white lace of Elizabeth’s Norman Hartnell gown. A Royal Warrant was secured in 1979, and the brand is now run by Cornelia’s daughter Genevieve and husband Andrew Lawson. "We are delighted to join forces with the The House of Britannia
," they said, "to help us to reach out to international markets and further develop the brand."
Worth a staggering £127 billion worldwide, the luxury market will continue to grow apace, predicted at fifty percent faster than GDP. With the major players in danger of being overexposed, demand has risen for a whole new wave of exclusive luxury. With only one brand per product sector on its wishlist, The House of Britannia
aims to push them into the competitive international sphere. Family orientated usually means lacking in resources and this is where The House of Britannia
steps in, ‘combining capital investment with international luxury marketing expertise and retail support.’ With extensive first hand experience of the luxury goods sector
, having previously negotiated the acquisition of Hardy Amies, Petherick is certainly well placed to oversee quite such a luxe endeavour.