The Ten Best British Luxury Brands
Luxury is an overused word. On every high street, there are products that presumptuously claim to be luxury goods — chocolates, sweaters, scarves… even something as mundane as a sandwich platter at M&S. But what is real luxury? It’s hard to define, except that you know it when you see it, smell it, touch it. A luxury item is well-made using the best materials, probably crafted with incredible care in a traditional way — everything about it is exceptional, including its design, manufacture and presentation on a shop floor. Combine “luxury” with “Britishness”, another hard-to-nail quality, and what do you get? A handful of brands that reek of sophistication, presented by The Ten Best:
- Rigby & Peller: This family-run lingerie and corsetry specialist has held the Royal Warrant since 1960. Well-known for its expert bra fittings and beautiful designer lingerie and swimwear, it also offers a made-to-measure service.
- Burberry: Founded in 1856, this brand has a distinctly British attitude. Famous for its iconic trenchcoat, the company values luxury, quality and timeless style — and seeks to give these assets a modern expression.
- Mulberry: Luxury English fashion, inspired by the cool of the city and the craft of the countryside, is Mulberry’s speciality. It is proud to be one of the last luxury brands investing in a British factory.
- Barbour: Established since 1894, Barbour remains a family-owned company. Renowned for its wax jackets, this authentic British brand provides durable country-style clothes with impeccable attention to detail.
- Aspinal of London: This relatively new luxury leather brand is dedicated to quality, design and traditional craftsmanship — it creates beautiful handmade objects and accessories that smack of sophistication.
- Asprey: Selling British luxury goods since 1871, Asprey has applied its strengths — exceptional craftsmanship, design and the best materials – to jewellery, leather goods, silverware, homewares and time pieces.
- Smythson: Frank Smythson opened his first shop in 1887, selling first class stationery and leather goods. The shop’s collection of beautiful diaries, handbags, purses, wallets and stationery continues this proud tradition.
- Aquascutum: Understated British elegance is this brand’s hallmark. Famous for inventing waterproof cloth — and the raincoat — it is committed to making clothes that combine fine craftsmanship and luxurious tailoring.
- Dunhill: This company, Alfred Dunhill’s legacy, caters for the discerning man that wants to wear elegant clothing and fine fragrances and to be surrounded by luxury kit, including accessories, pens, lighters and timepieces.
- Loake: Family-owned since it was established in 1880, this shoemakers employs traditional craftsmanship to produce fine, handmade footwear for men. It currently holds a Royal Warrant of appointment to the Queen.