THE NEW TESTAMENT

He has known the brand forever, he says — and mainly for its socks. Now Freddie Briance is leading New & Lingwood into a challenging future. The young chief executive tells THE RAKE why the label’s ‘intangible tension’ will be key to his success…

It’s a brand that has spent more than a century and a half responding to and shaping the zeitgeist of British style: from the fabled Blitz spirit (it rose from the ashes six years after being decimated by the Luftwaffe in 1940) and the literal old-school-tie syndrome (it’s been the official school uniform outfitters for Eton for the past five generations) to its role now as a branch of a very modern form of Britishness — eclectic, cosmopolitan and exhibiting a thoughtfully executed stylistic derring-do.

Today, with a young C.E.O. at the helm — the London Business School alumnus Freddie Briance — a fresh chapter is beginning for New & Lingwood, who have provided apparel for royalty (princes William, Harry, and Michael of Kent), political royalty (David Cameron, Boris Johnson) and showbiz and intellectual figures including Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, John Maynard Keynes and Aldous Huxley.

Expect all that you love about New & Lingwood — all its glorious bold-versus-sober potency — to remain within those adjacent stores straddling Piccadilly Arcade on Jermyn Street (stand behind the Beau Brummell statue and he appears to be pondering which of its two doors to darken first). For Briance — as congenial as he is astute, articulate and driven — has one eye fixed on the establishment’s history. Also expect, however, New & Lingwood to move into exciting territory when it comes to commercial innovation.

Published

July 2020

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