Step inside Bennett Winch’s brand new Savile Row store

The first luggage brand in history to open on the world-renowned street, we took a trip to Mayfair to unpack the secrets and story behind Bennett Winch’s latest store…

Every piece of Bennett Winch luggage, whether it be the brand’s ‘Weekender’ or ‘Watch Roll’, is as trimly-tailored and meticulously-made as the very best bespoke suits. So it makes sense that, this year, the British brand has become the first ever luggage label to open an outpost on Mayfair’s world-renowned Savile Row.

“We’ve only been open for two weeks,” brand co-founder Robin Winch tells Gentleman’s Journal, “but it’s already clear that we’ve found the perfect new home for Bennett Winch on Savile Row. People who frequent the Row are obviously looking for British-made goods paired with the highest level of quality and service, and this is exactly what we offer”.

The new 600 square-foot flagship, found at 34 Savile Row, sits in the centre of the street — and is one of several freshly developed stores on the famously debonair thoroughfare. But Bennett Winch has more than met the stylish standards of the Row, acknowledging the timeless traditions and techniques of the street by installing a cutting table-inspired workbench in the centre of the store.

Step through the front door — itself flanked by a pair of characterful curved windows — and that expansive table is the first thing you’ll see. And, front-and-centre of the store, sitting pretty on the hardwood tabletop, is Bennett Winch’s signature piece of luxury luggage; ‘The Suit Carrier Holdall’.

It’s the perfect piece of Savile Row-worthy kit, crafted from weatherproof cotton canvas, and featuring a lightweight suit carrier section that securely wraps around and affixes to the holdall with quick-release fasteners. For those at fittings in nearby tailoring houses, it’s an ideal investment; a provision for the protection of their fine future suits.

Elsewhere in the store, the flagship’s additional furniture continues to pay homage to the heritage of Savile Row. There’s a 1920s tailor’s mirror propped up against the wall, and a selection of chic mid-century pieces — that display the brand’s smaller leather goods — invoke retro cool.

“We are hugely respectful to the traditions of Savile Row,” adds co-founder Robin Bennett, “and the exceptional tailors who have become our neighbours. The nods we’ve given to tailoring through our store design is a mark of this, and it’s been a pleasure to meet the wide array of characters, cutters and business owners who have welcomed us — and something a bit different — arriving on the Row”.

Simple shelves, gridded up by black metal bars, span the west wall — and neatly divide the five colourways on offer at Bennett Winch. These shades (Olive, Black, Chocolate, Sand and Navy) are splashed across products including ‘The Brief’, ‘The Weekender’ and ‘The Backpack’. And, in the corner of the room, a sleek black sofa is cut from the same Italian leather that details the brand’s bags. It’s a soft, sophisticated touch.

But the central ‘cutting’ table remains the star of the store. Once a common feature in cloth merchants’ shops — and still readily used down the Row by bespoke cutters and tailors — it offers customers a perfectly practical way to get hands-on with Bennett Winch’s products. Rather than awkwardly exploring the holdalls and bags by the shelves themselves, buyers are actively encouraged to take products to the vast table for a tactile inspection of every inch, illuminated by the vintage lamps that swing above.

And there’s much to admire. From the burnished brass zips of the ‘Cargo’ collection to the detachable waterproof pouch of the ‘Commuter’ holdall, Bennett Winch’s designs are deftly tailored to contemporary life — and crafted using traditional textiles and skills. The store was built bespoke with the same attention to both detail and materials; with one statement wall particularly catching the eye of Gentleman’s Journal.

At the back of the store, a chunky green-tiled wall juts out towards the till point. Inspired by the glossy facades of traditional London pubs — but with a hint of high-shine, old-age tube stations about it — it perfectly encapsulate’s the great British brand’s approach to this new store. It’s a twist on the traditional; classic designs made minimalist.

“Our hope,” explains Winch, “is that we can introduce our brand to new customers. But, ideally, I want to get to a point where our customers come down to buy a bag — and leave with a bespoke fitting booked, or some ready-to-wear from one of our neighbours. And, knowing our customers, there’s no reason why, given time, this can’t happen”.

Want to learn more about the British luggage brand? Here’s what makes the Bennett Winch Cargo range ready for anything…

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