Smythson of Bond Street
Smythson of Bond Street is a British manufacturer of luxury stationery, leather goods, diaries and fashion products based in London. It’s been a renowned British brand since 1887 when it opened its first shop at 133 New Bond Street. The current flagship store is located at 40 New Bond Street. Clients have included Royalty, Queen Victoria, UK Politicians and Prime Ministers, Maharajas, Sir Edmund Hillary, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly and Madonna and many other well known stars and celebrities
Smythson customises its leather and desk product lines with gilt initials and much of the leather customisation is done in store in full view of the customers. Bespoke printing and personalisation is another important product line; particularly for weddings and parties. The highest-end stationery is often detailed with 24-carat gilded edges, hand-painted borders, custom-engraved motifs and monograms.
Although the Smythson brand may not be too familiar, and if every thing goes to plan, the name is about to become a lot more familiar. After generations as a Bond Street institution with a small outlet in Manhattan U.S., Smythson is set to grow its presence across the pond, with eight new stores including New York and Los Angeles over the next two and a half years. Smythson will have a lot of competition in the luxury sector, but believes it has an edge because Smythson doesn’t really see itself as a mainstream luxury brand.
Smythsons as a brand are very comfortable with who they are and believe in quality and aesthetic and texture, simple designed goods handmade from soft leathers in muted colours. Smythson’s refusal to command attention has won it much of the attention it enjoys today, its unassuming profile is part of its mystique, and because not everyone knows how to pronounce the name, “Smythsins”… being someone’s best kept secret is key.”
Smythson will continue to maintain a low profile and aims to get people curious about the brand, rather than opting for a huge marketing campaign. Yet, its expansion plan will involve some degree of promotion via social media and influential bloggers.
It is a clever move for Smythson to play on its legacy as it chases younger consumers, as a highly regarded heritage brands are really appealing to young adults who are always on the look out for authenticity, and at a time when many luxury brands are becoming mass. Authenticity can be a key selling point.
Smythsons, or “Smythsins” is one of the true British heritage brands that the American audience will really appreciate.