Ones to Watch: Kent & Curwen

by Harry Sheff

Simon SpurrLast fall, when the classic British heritage brand Kent & Curwen wanted to reinvigorate its business and re-launch in the U.S., they tapped Simon Spurr as creative director. Spurr was a wise choice: the British-born, New York-based designer has worked for some of the biggest American names (Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger among them) and helmed his own label.

Kent & Curwen was founded by Eric Kent and Dorothy Curwen in 1926 as a tie maker for military regiments and universities, and an outfitter for cricket clubs. Spurr’s challenge was to preserve the traditions that made the brand a favorite of the Royal Family while updating it for a young, modern man.

“Kent & Curwen is currently at a very strong and exciting point in its evolution,” says Spurr. “The modernization of the brand with the fall ‘14 collection signifies a major shift in its relevance, position and awareness in the market. Over the next few seasons I hope to establish Kent & Curwen as one of the key British brands, but also help take it global with the delicate balance between creative design and stylish pieces that men actually want to wear.”

Kent & Curwen fall 2014The new Kent & Curwen is sportswear driven, explains Spurr, with some clever references to its history: Reversible cricket sweaters, some regimental stripes, and the cricket bat “splice” motif which will become part of the Kent & Curwen branding.

Tailored clothing retails for $1,395 to $1,995, shirting runs $185 to $255 and outerwear from $595 to $1,695. Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom are among the brand’s current retailers.