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Walpole names Brands of Tomorrow class of 2017

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

24 Jan 2017


Walpole, the association for British luxury brands, has selected 12 emerging brands to take part in its Brands of Tomorrow initiative, including contemporary menswear label Agi & Sam, playful footwear designer Camilla Elphick, and womenswear label Hillier Bartley, founded by Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier.

The other brands taking part include luxury leather bags and accessories brand Troubadour Goods, footwear brand Duke and Dexter, jeweller Tessa Packard, lifestyle concept The New Craftsmen, illustrator Rory Dobner, interiors designer Helen Amy Murray, bespoke gaming designer Alexandra Llewellyn, Exmoor Caviar, the UK’s first and only caviar producing farm, and Capstar, a luxury services brand providing risk management and security, luxury travel and lifestyle services.

The scheme, in association with Mishcon de Reya and Sloane Point Partners, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and each brand will be paired with an industry mentor and will attend workshops that are focused on financial planning, distribution, strategy, branding, marketing and business management. Industry mentors will come from leaders of British luxury brands including Oliver Sweeney, Agent Provocateur, Harrods, Thomas Pink, Debrett’s and Bremont.

“We are immensely proud to be celebrating 10 years of the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow programme,” said Jonathan Heilbron, chairman of the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow, Walpole Board director and chief executive of Thomas Pink. “The Class of 2017 is a group of superb talent who we cannot wait to work with over the next 12 months, alongside a team of some of the luxury industry’s very best brains.”

Fashion brands listed amongst Walpole's Brands of Tomorrow 2017

Fashion and accessories brands lead the pack of this year’s Walpole Brands of Tomorrow class of 2017, taking five of the slots. Highlights include young British footwear brand Camilla Elphick, which launched just over two years ago and has garnered critical acclaim for her feminine yet playful aesthetic, as well as her use of ethically sourced materials and bespoke prints.

Emerging menswear label Agi and Sam, which is stocked in Dover Street Market, Joyce, and 10 Corso Como, as well as online at Mr Porter and Matches is an exciting addition. The menswear brand from designers Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton has won numerous awards including a British Fashion Award for emerging menswear and the GQ Man of the Year award for breakthrough designer of the year and recently launched a collection in collaboration with the Woolmark Company during London Fashion Week Men’s.

The womenswear label founded by Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley in 2015, Hillier Bartley, was also named a recipient. The independent British brand specialises in ready-to-wear, bags and jewellery, with a modern sense of femininity and personality.

Other fashion names include Troubadour, a London-based design house specialising in handcrafted bags and accessories made from the finest materials, such as Italian vegetable tanned leather, and British footwear brand Duke and Dexter that specialises in men’s loafers, which are all designed in London and handmade in Sheffield.

Heilbron added: “These brands, designers and craftspeople are leading the way for the future of luxury and to be able to give all of them the opportunity to grow and develop through such a unique platform is a huge honour.”

Walpole chief executive, Michelle Emmerson, commented: “The Walpole Brands of Tomorrow programme continues to go from strength-to-strength and now in its 10th year the class of 2017 is as strong and exciting as ever. This programme enables Walpole and its members to play a vital and proactive role in.”

Since its start in 2007, Walpole's Brands of Tomorrow scheme has helped over 85 emerging British luxury brands which have gone on to become international successes in their respective areas, such as Charlotte Olympia, Oliver Sweeney, Agent Provocateur, Lily and Lionel, Thomas Pink, and Miller Harris.

Walpole represents more than 170 British luxury labels including Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo, Harrods, and recent addition Yoox Net-a-Porter.

Images: courtesy of Walpole

agi and sam
camilla elphick
Hillier Bartley