Here at The Rake, we’ve always been firm believers in supporting independent brands and due to our Head Quarters being in London, we’ve always been positioned firmly behind British manufacturing. More often than not, it’s the lesser established brands and makers that give us real pleasure. Those who are doing something to exemplary standards with diligence, a finely-tuned attention to detail and with a warm smile.
When we were told that Bennett & Winch was moving into the world of bricks and motor as it was opening its flagship store, a small cheer erupted in Rake Towers. It was just further evidence of the extremely hard work of founders Robin Bennett and Robin Winch, and their creative director Rupert Shreeve, was starting to pay off. Founded in 2014, like most great entrepreneurial ideas, it came by way of an encounter at a bar. Sketches were drawn up on a napkin and in the space of four years the brand’s offering has expanded significantly from the cardinal design, the Weekender Bag. There’s now briefcases, totes, commuter bags, the ingenious S.C Holdall, which combines a suit carrier and a weekend bag, all of which are proudly Made in England.
The Bennett & Winch store can be found on Duke Street in Mayfair in the basement level of Private White V.C., another fine exponent of British manufacturing. Already in good company, its wares are synergistically displayed alongside mannequins adorned in Private White garments and Kirk Originals eyewear. On-hand each and every day are both of the founders, who are there to really explain the nuts and bolts of their designs that are constructed from either 24oz cotton canvas that’s as robust and durable as it sounds, or full-grain vegetable tanned leather that takes on a wonderful patina over time. Both materials are brought together seamlessly using top-end hardware, culminating in a receptacle that’s ergonomic, functional and stylish.