Style / August 2018

Crossing the Pickett Line

Mastery and modesty are two words that, sadly, don’t often go together. Not so for Trevor Pickett, the innovative founder of his namesake brand. He gives The Rake an insight into his vision of British luxury.

Pickett's leather bags exude a thoroughly British elegance that blends seamlessly with the streets of London.

The story of British leather goods specialist, Pickett, is very much the story of its founder, Trevor Pickett. Yet – despite the unmistakable whiff of the eccentric Englishman – Trevor is no megalomaniacal creative director helming his brand with a will of steel and a fist of iron, in the manner of so many of fashion’s biggest names today. In fact, he sees himself not as a designer at all, but rather as an editor. Thus, while the history of Pickett and Trevor’s own life story are inextricably intertwined, the brand’s offering is the result not merely of Trevor’s creative genius, but of collaborative curation, of an ongoing dialogue between Trevor and the world around him. “I see our product on a journey that our customers join us on because we are not pandering to them; we are supplying their needs.”

And what a journey it’s been! It’s no surprise that Trevor is able to make the subtle distinction between fulfilling needs and humouring wishes; the former is an art that he has come to master over the past (nearly) 40 years working in retail. There were early signs of success – Trevor was a prodigious talent in his first job at Army and Navy Stores, which he took up after leaving school aged only 16. He soon landed himself a job at The Unicorn Leather Company on Burlington Arcade, where he was promoted to manager after only six months. Then in 1988 came his big break: a management buyout led to the Burlington Arcade shop going on sale. Trevor saw his chance and found himself in charge of his own brand at the age of 25. Pickett was born.

Trevor’s initiative-seizing, self-starting approach is something that he carries across to his own life too, recently taking up triathlon (he is now 55). It’s this dynamism that has characterised Pickett from its inception to the present day, leading to continuous expansion and the opening of a second Pickett store on Sloane Street in 1996. “From there, I just wanted to keep on going! The most important thing I wanted to achieve from then on was longevity selling luxury made English leather goods, which – 30 years later – I believe I have done well.” There is a thoroughly British modesty about Trevor; his modesty has not come at the expense of charm. There is a reason for his humility: “I’ve never been desperately ambitious in the sense that some people focus on global domination that can compromise on integrity.” The quality of Pickett’s products has always been this editor’s primary concern, and he has never allowed hubris to cloud his vision.

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Desmond Huthwaite

Copywriter at The Rake