As well as being home to some of the world’s most influential gentlemen, Britain has produced some of the greatest – and most well-known – brands on the planet. Innovation is undoubtedly one of the best qualities the country possesses and, equally, heritage and tradition are large pieces of the puzzle that these brands always manage to work with.
Without further ado, here’s a list of 50 of Britain’s best brands that we think every gentleman should know about:
Unrivalled in every sense of the word, there’s no doubt that Barbour should be on this list. The British fashion brand has a great story behind it, and is one of the best in the game for functional and beautiful outerwear that’s guaranteed to last for years.
Private White V.C
Headed by Nick Ashley, son of one of the most successful British designers in the world, Laura Ashley, Private White V.C has become the place to head for structured and stylish outerwear.
“We’re more than just a fashion brand, not only do we design and market our garments ourselves, but we also lovingly create each of our items within our Manchester factory.” James Eden, CEO
Every sophisticated, modern gentleman should be familiar with Oliver Spencer, which has over time become one of the world’s most sought-after and followed luxury menswear brands.
Hackett is one of the most quintessentially British brands there is, combining years of second-to-none designs with perfect manufacturing and everything in between.
No list such as this would be complete without including Land Rover, which is a brand associated with all aspects of Great Britain – and for good reason too. The car brand was founded in 1948 and has been making waves off-road and throughout towns and cities all around the world ever since.
Purdey is a brand synonymous with the English countryside; one who’s heritage is at the forefront of everything that it does and produces. Purdey has been going strong since 1814 and continues to be one of the most sought-after British brands there is.
Crockett & Jones
Something you might not know about Northampton is that it’s a place commonly associated with shoemaking, and has been since the Middle Ages. Crockett & Jones was founded there in 1889 and remains wildly popular to this day for their handmade shoes and boots.
Holland & Holland
Holland & Holland is one of the best and most highly-respected field sporting brands in the world, producing guns and accessories with unrivalled distinction and some of the best materials in the world.
When many people think diamonds, they think Boodles. Customers travel from around the world to visit the luxury jewellers, whose reputation for quality and excellence has remained without parallel since it was established in 1798.
A fragrance that’s worthy of a gentleman can be a difficult thing to come by. There’s so much competition out there, but one that always steps out into a league of its own is Floris – a true success story when it comes to British brands.
Bentley is a brand that has unparalleled heritage and stature in the ever-competitive automotive world – a space that’s hard to break into, and that few do. Bentley produces some of the most coveted cars in the world, each and every one of them handcrafted in their Crewe factory.
Since 1904, Rolls-Royce has been making some of the most iconic cars around. A name that’s heavily associated with English heritage and history, no best-of British brands list is complete without it being in the mix.
Lock & Co
Top hats and fedoras are an accessory synonymous with the English gentleman and Lock & Co are the brand to go to for such an item. Heritage and tradition are at the heart of Lock & Co’s ethos, and since the brands been around since the 1600s, they play a large part in every one of their hats.
“What makes Lock so special is the unique blend of history and luxury. Every Lock hat attests to our commitment to quality and indeed our two royal warrants do too. We offer the very best: the best design, the best fabric and the best service. All set against a backdrop of 339 years which no other hatters can lay claim to. Lock is very much part of the St. James DNA, indeed we’ve been here the longest and this charm is what attracts people to us – when you buy a Lock hat you are literally buying a piece of history.” Hannah Rigby, Marketing Executive
For a brand that’s been going since 1893, Dunhill have an incredible way of staying contemporary and classic throughout every single season they put on – and their history is a massive part of their charm. Dunhill has gone from selling everything from car parts to pipes and tobacco to some of the most sought after clothing in the world.
Johnstons of Elgin
No British list such as this would be complete without the inclusion of an incredible cashmere brand, which is where Johnstons of Elgin comes in. Since it was first established in 1797, the company is still run by the same two families that started it, the Johnson’s and the Harrisons.
Berry Bros. & Rudd
If you get any English gentleman to name a wine brand, we guarantee that almost every single one of them will say Berry Bros. & Rudd. With a royal warrant from the queen, and the winner of award after award, Berry Bros. & Rudd is as British as it gets and is as prevalent a British brand as it was when it launched in 1698.
Boss & Co
Boss & Co are producers of the highest quality guns in the world, and have been for over 200 years. The company ethos is built on tradition, functionality and impeccable design and is often named as one of the most sought-after British brands in the world.
Gieves and Hawkes
When you think about traditional English Savile Row tailoring, one of the first brands that should spring to the mind of every English gentleman is Gieves and Hawkes. The British brand is so well trusted that it has been awarded three Royal Warrants by Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
Geo F. Trumper
Geo F. Trumper is a British barber than stands out time after time in a continuously saturated market, and one that works with tradition at the base of everything it does. It’s been on the scene since the 19th century and still remains to rival all other modern barbers in the country through its two locations on Duke of York Street and Curzon Street.
Mulberry is a seriously strong contender for being one of the most famous accessories brands in the world, with heritage running through its bones and remaining a huge part of the design that it’s most well-known for. You’d be hard pushed to find an Englishman or woman who isn’t familiar with Mulberry, and we have a feeling that it’s not going anywhere fast.
If you were to go to any country in the world and ask them to name a British brand, we can pretty well guarantee that they will choose Burberry every time. The brand has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry and continues to be one of the most highly sought after and respected British brands in the world.
A brand that’s been going strong since 1851 deserves to be in a list such as this. With roots hailing from the heart of Mayfair as the tailor destination to be seen at, Aquascutum later in 1895 moved to its current flagship store on Regent Street. The brand continues to create some of the best tailored items on the market and is renowned from country to country for it’s impeccable appeal.
“As a true British heritage brand, we pride ourselves on quality and innovation, and this has always been more important than following short-lived trends like so many other brands. There is a fondness that people associate with Aquascutum, with some of its garments playing a key part in the wardrobes of several generations.” Elise Hamer, Marketing Executive
When you think Savile Row, you think Hardy Amies. Sir Edwin Hardy Amies himself was best known during his time as an official dressmaker for Queen Elizabeth II. The tailor is one of the most highly respected in the world and with clients such as the Royal Family, when you purchase anything from you brand you can be sure that you’ll be in good company.
A list highlighting the best British brands would not be complete without including Loake, one of the most established and well-known shoemakers in the world. The family-run company has been going strong in 1880 and today, five generations and more than 130 years later, the brand lives on to be stronger than ever.
Belstaff is a brand that has a rich a history as many on this list, and who’s history remains well and truly engrained in every single one of the items it releases today. With roots planted firmly in Staffordshire, the brand is undoubtedly one of the best of British and their history continues to live on.
This distinctly British brand is one of the most famous and world-renowned brands in the world, with all fashion eyes firmly on the label’s every move. McQueen himself was one of the most highly respected in the industry, and before his tragic death in 2010 won 4 British Fashion Council awards proving his incredible talent.
Holding a Royal Warrant from the royal family is something that every British brand aims to have within its lifetime, and Ettinger is one brand who has successfully obtained one. Ettinger was founded in 1934 and has since then become renowned for creating luxury leather goods that will last a lifetime.
Paul Smith is one of the most successful designers in the world, and his brand is one of massive stature and success. He is constantly and unapologetically proud of his British roots, which are a massive feature in most of his collections and individual designs. Paul Smith is a name that we will continue to hear for years and years to come, as the history of the brand lives on.
Pringle of Scotland
It’s all in the name and Pringle of Scotland is one of the most iconic Scottish brands and was founded in 1815, firmly setting down its routes in the Scottish knitwear industry. The brand is one of the most trusted in the world for its impeccable cashmere, which has been worn by many British icons, including the Duke of Windsor.
As controversial in her designs as she is successful, Vivienne Westwood is the true definition of a woman proud of her roots. She’s often seen sporting a union jack in her designs, she is a true philanthropist for many British charities and is one of the most well established and well respected fashion designers in the world.
Every British household will have a little bit of Jo Malone within it; the brand is absolutely synonymous with England. Jo Malone is the very definition of sophisticated yet understated luxury and has a history as rich as some of its scents.
Henry Poole is absolutely synonymous with great British branding, and holds not one but two warrants from the royal family. Hailing from the most famous street for tailors in the world, Savile Row, in 1806, the brand still today prides itself on creating some of the most beautiful bespoke suits in the world.
Turnbull & Asser
Turnbull & Asser recently celebrated their 130th year in the industry and is another proud owner of the Royal Warrant. World renowned for making some of the finest clothing in the world, Turnbull & Asser live on to be one of the most successful and well-known brands in the world.
With the factory sitting in the middle of Gloucester in a beautiful 18th century townhouse, Emma Willis is about as British as it gets. The brand creates some of the most luxurious shirts, boxer shorts, pyjamas and dressing gowns in the world; clothes truly fit for a gentleman and bespoke items that will last you a lifetime.
John Smedley’s factory sits in Derbyshire, in the heart of the British countryside and is about as English as you can get. The building has been sitting there since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when the brand was founded in 1784 and therefore it’s impossible not to feel that every piece the brand creates holds a little piece of England within it.
Aspinal of London
Aspinal is one of the most well-known British brands for making impeccably designed and well-made luxurious leather goods. Aspinal continues to create some of the most beautiful items in the world and lives up to its name as being one of the best British brands on the market.
“Aspinal of London has remained true to it’s artisanal heritage, making hand crafted leather goods with a distinctly British style. It’s important to us that real people can afford to buy Aspinal, after all it’s not very British to be flashy about accessories. Our customers are smarter than that. They are looking for beautiful high quality pieces that are handcrafted and Made in England or Europe. Accessories that are reflective of a refined English sensibility, practical, designed and made to be loved for a lifetime.” Mariya Dykalo, Creative Director
Asprey: a brand that has been setting standards since the 1700s and who continues to hold its place in the British market today. Creators of some of the world’s finest silverware, watches, leather and handbags, Asprey firmly holds its place as one of England’s most loved and most respected British brands.
Sunspel was founded in 1822, at the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution and during a period of massive, world-wide change. Thomas Hill, Sunspel’s founder, started with a vision that still lives on in the brand today, and that was to create simple, everyday clothing from beautiful fabrics.
Kent and Curwen
Kent and Curwen was established in 1926 by two English gentlemen and began its time as a manufacturer of military, club and college repp ties that helped define 20th century British style. The brand now creates items that serves as the foundation of a gentleman’s modern day style and continues to be one of the most highly respected in the world.
Creators of some of the most incredible leather shoes in the world, Oliver Sweeney firmly holds its place, year after year, as being one of the most sought-after and well-respected English brands in the world. Oliver Sweeney have been creating incredible, comfortable and beautifully designed shoes for 25 years and continue to be one the world leaders in their field.
Every self-respecting British gentleman (and woman) will be wildly familiar with Hunter, one of the most successful and widely recognised British brands in the world. Hunter was founded in 1856 in Scotland and the brand still today has an incredible reputation for innovation and pioneering design.
Every gentleman should have a taste for the finer things in life, and that includes a beautiful bottle of sparkling wine. For over 25 years the Nyetimber Vineyard has had the aim to make the finest English sparkling wine – and they’ve succeeded.
When you think whisky, you think Glenfiddich – right gentlemen? The brand has been creating the finest dram a gentleman can drink since 1886 and with the distillery still sitting in remote Scotland, Glenfiddich is a British a brand as it gets.
It doesn’t get much more British than luxury leather goods maker Smythson; a brand that has a strong a history as can be and that has created some of the most beautiful stationary and bags in the world since its founding in 1887.
Annabel’s is a British institution that is known all around the world for its incredible, beautiful interior design and the world-famous parties that happen within it. Annabel’s is a true rival of any luxury establishment in the world, and is still as sought-after an institution as it was when it first opened in 1963.
No visit to Savile Row is complete without a trip to Kilgour, one of the finest British tailors in the world. Heritage is a huge part of the brand and year after year its collections and craftsmanship solidify its place as a true luxury establishment.
Huntsman truly defines Britain: it is home to some of the most beautifully bespoke, tailored, and a place that has been creating wonderful suits since the mid-1880s. Some of the most iconic gentleman in the world have worn huntsman, and it’s a brand that continues to live up to its expectations year after year.
William & Son
No British brands list would be complete without the purveyors of all things Britain; William & Son. The brand was been established since the late 1990s and continues to create and curate some of the most beautiful, well-made goods in the world.
William & Son are a great British brand because apart from the pillars of luxury i.e. attention to details, quality, service etc. – we have a deep ingrained heritage where individualism is highly prized. Bespoke is a crucial element of our ethos. We sum it in one expression – All things are possible, the only limitation is your imagination. Lou McLeod, CEO
There’s not one gentleman in the whole of England who won’t be familiar with Thomas Pink, who are one of the best and most successful British shirt makers in the world. The flagship store sits on London’s Jermyn Street, the home of traditional shirt making, including UK made-to-order, and is one of the most widely recognised brands in the world.