David Beckham, Kent & Curwen’s business partner, and Daniel Kearns, its Creative Director, have opened a new store in Covent Garden.
Situated in a building that was a boys’ school in the 1860s, the interior design references a sports locker room, while exposed brickwork, and metal and brass details give a contemporary flavour to the space. Chairs are upholstered in the same woollen fabric from Fox Brothers that is used for the Kent & Curwen army great coat.
Covent Garden’s Floral Street has a distinctly different mood to that of Kent & Curwen’s old home of Savile Row, but this, says Beckham, is intentional. The idea is to make a Kent & Curwen store accessible and welcoming, a mood that is in-keeping with the relaxed sportswear-influenced collection.
Speaking of the clothes, Brummell asked the duo for their top tips for the season.
Daniel Kearns: I think there’s a few, but probably for the top half it would be any of the blousons. There’s a varsity one with all the badges and it’s quite a significant piece because it feels contemporary but it’s got quite a lot of heritage to it. It’s aged; it’s easy to wear trans-seasonally.
David Beckham: It’s very Rolling Stones, you can see Mick Jagger wearing it back in the day. DK: Or Brian Jones, or any of them – you can imagine them wearing it. Even if they were here today you can imagine them wearing it, I think. And then I’d say probably the peg-shaped pants, which we’ve managed to get David to wear a couple of times.
DB: Yeah, he managed to get me into them finally.
DK: We’re going to carry them through to next season – we’re suggesting you wear them long for spring/summer. They’re really versatile – you can wear them short with boots and they feel quite military, or wear them long with trainers to create a more elegant silhouette. I think they feel contemporary. And then also the lounge cashmere-mix sweats and pants, which I think are great for travel.
DB: For me the military coats are really iconic pieces. And the bombers – I’m a huge fan of them. So is my son Brooklyn, I saw him riding his bike in one the other day. Also, the military jackets. And the peg-shaped trousers that Daniel finally got me into. I think I prefer them slightly longer, personally.
DK: With trainers is cool. DB: Yeah, I’ve got some on today which are the longer version, and slightly less baggy. But then the shorter version works with a great pair of boots, like a pair of Dr Martens, or something like that.
DK: Sweats and rugby shirts were our starting point; and then for this winter collection the outerwear has been a strength. The collection is constantly evolving. So, for next summer we’ve got a big expansion into denim. We’ve also done cricket pants – we showed the original Fox Brothers’ flannel in the summer show and made it into contemporary tracksuit pants with tape-down legs. For Kent & Curwen it’s always that mix between heritage and something contemporary. It’s all helped by the accessories too – sneakers, shoes and bags. Full tailoring will also be part of the expansion of the collection in the future. And I believe we have really established a store-design DNA here with this opening that complements the collection. So, we are discussing next steps in New York, Paris and Milan. This is the only Kent & Curwen store outside of Asia.
DB: We’ve actually got 100 stores in Asia, so there’s a lot. Obviously, having established the DNA of this new store we now want to slowly create this shopping experience in our others. As Daniel said, we’re looking at possibly opening in New York, we’re looking in Paris, we’re looking in different parts of Asia and the US – LA and Venice Beach, for example. We’re very excited to see where we can open next.
Kent & Curwen, 12 Floral St, London WC2E 9DH; kentandcurwen.com