David Mason cuts a polished figure. When I meet with him on a rainy day in February, he is wearing a crisp navy mohair blazer and perfectly pressed charcoal flannels. He serves coffee on a silver tray and reclines into a leather armchair in his showroom in London’s Montagu Square.
Mason, who is a longstanding champion of little-known British brands, has built his career by bringing sleeping giants back to life. In 2012 he bought and relaunched Anthony Sinclair, the tailoring house that dressed Sean Connery for his on-screen appearances as James Bond. He followed this success by relaunching an early 20th-century gem, Motoluxe, which is known for its sumptuous alpaca motoring coats, and he has just relaunched the British heritage eyewear brand Curry & Paxton. Next on the list is the English shirtmaker Mr Fish, which dressed Michael Caine, Mick Jagger and even designed Muhammad Ali’s dressing gown for the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974.
It feels fitting, then, that the showroom where we sit and chat is not part of just any London townhouse but the former home of Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix. Mason snapped up the property while looking for a new base for his brands, and this connection to sixties and seventies pop culture was too good to overlook. Arguably it is this relentless pursuit of authenticity that today marks out David’s portfolio of menswear brands as unique. So what has David Mason learned in almost a decade of nurturing lost British icons back to life?