This month The Hambledon came 7th out of a total 50 independent retailers from the UK and Republic of Ireland in Drapers Inspiring Independents 2011 list, voted for by readers and industry alike.
Needless to say we are all thrilled to be placed so highly amongst such dynamic and prestigious company! Here's just a taster of what they had to say about us:
'Over the past decade The Hambledon has grown from a sparsely filled retail space into an incredibly warm and welcoming emporium, which fuses beautiful antique décor with fashion offerings unrivalled'
Many thanks to Drapers and all the readers and industry professionals who voted for us!
The Universal Works story is as much about founder David Keyte, as the label's three years in business building a solid reputation for good, honest menswear. It's the kind of story we love, the sort to inspire the likes of anyone working in fashion who has ever thought "I can do this."
Twenty-five years ago Keyte was a Saturday shop boy working in a small fashion store. From there he went on to climb the industry rungs at Paul Smith before heading up Maharishi for five years. As he puts it, "I was always telling others how they were getting it wrong, and at some point you have to put your neck on the line." And in 2008, he did just that with Universal Works.
"Less interested in fashion and more in the function, fit and cut of garments" David placed these values at the heart of the Universal Works brand. Pioneering a distinctly British look, loosely based on traditional workwear, the focus is simplicity and craftsmanship rather than seasonal trends. As such, provenance is paramount and there's not a whiff of mass-produced to be had. Everything is made in small, highly skilled factories, many of which are here in the UK.
For all these reasons, we've been fans since the beginning and are pleased to bring the label's fourth collection to Hambledon menswear this Spring. Watch this space for a sneak preview.