Connolly: Restrained Elegance

Long-standing proprietors of the finest leather goods, Connolly are now in a new phase of forward-thinking clothing design, whilst keeping its motoring heritage firmly intact.
Connolly: Restrained Elegance
Connolly’s prestige as the undisputed and best-loved suppliers of leather to the UK’s most veritable car manufacturers still stands as their core identity. However, the brand’s impression on luxury through its owner, Isabel Ettedgui, is an entirely personal and unique one, which is a refreshing paradigm shift from its beginnings. Founded in 1878 as a small family saddle-maker, the brand went onto become the sole supplier of superior leather skins for the luxury automotive industry. Over the years their rostrum of clients have included Bentley, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce, whilst Aston Martin and Ferrari are existing patrons. Such was their reputation during the 20th Century, Connolly leather covered the benches and seats of the Houses of Lords and Commons, and the Coronation coaches of the British Royal Family.
Nowadays, Connolly reconsiders the idea of a luxury lifestyle and clothing brand through their magnificent early Georgian three-storey townhouse on Mayfair’s Clifford Street. Connolly is a brand that has no particular code – a juxtaposition of timelessness and contemporary twists. Each room is an elegant space – curated unlike any other shop. In one room you will see an exquisite wall piece (of Georgian proportions) on the back wall as part of an Exhibition by Viennese artist Max Freund, who Isobel discovered by chance via Instagram. In the downstairs chamber, some of their ready-to-wear collection hangs in artistic fashion. From the ground level and above, references to motoring heritage are aplenty, whilst you can’t help but gaze into the glass cabinets housing an eclectic mix of chic antiques, artworks and sculptures. The shop envelopes a museum-quality, except everything is for sale, apart from the odd personal treasure of Isabel's.


Connolly embraces the new; whether it be a long tailored jacket cut with a cinched waist, which works equally for men and women or a red ox-blood leather coat that either gender could sport for a touch of European flair. In response to a global decline in pace, French designer Marc Audibet has produced a collection of restrained elegance, where nothing is overstated. Amongst their new creations which is tantamount to the rest of their assortment in terms of comfort is a sand shearling jumper/jacket. Exquisitely soft inside and out, it is left authentically unlined, and comes in a relaxed boxy shape inspired by its flying days, which the brand is well-accustomed to. If it’s a brisk wintry morning on the exposed airfield, any one of their wool drop-back car vests would act as perfect layering pieces. Rendered in 100% Austrian Merino wool, whilst being naturally water repellent, you will be in no danger of succumbing to inclement weather.
Connolly’s driving collection is usually not without luxurious Scottish cashmere sweaters. A Connolly classic, their beige driving sweater balances functionality with style, whilst their dark green cashmere cable knit is warm enough to wear on its own in the Spring with a pair of jeans and leather boots. Wrapped up in the softest materials is something to lust after in the bleak winter months. Well-renowned for their romance imbued in Scottish cashmere apparel you will be able to find the fabric in their bomber jackets, drawstring pants and blousons. Elsewhere, in corduroy there is wide-leg trousers and a Hunting blazer, and for a chance to tap into their regal motoring history there's accessories in the form of coin purses, key rings, washbags and wallet, which are all crafted from their highly regarded tannery in Cadiz Province, Spain. Connolly’s approach to style is forward-thinking, eliminating any possibility of being typecast. There’s an elegant balance of ‘continental' which is evident in the brand’s designs which imbue a contemporary taste, whilst being firmly grounded in its traditional British roots. Constantly creating utterly unique designs with each collection, we can’t wait to see what Connolly come up with next.