‘Beautiful investment pieces, skilfully designed and impeccably crafted to stand the test of time and be passed from one generation to the next.’
There can be few, if any, luxury brands with a history as illustrious as that of Asprey. Founded in 1781, based on core values of innovative design, understated English elegance and the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail, it is still a force to be reckoned with in today’s global luxury world. It all began with handcrafted silver, crystal and leather – and it was the leather goods that attracted the attention of Queen Victoria, who awarded the company a Royal Warrant in 1862 for supplying her with dressing cases.
Her son, Edward VII, was so delighted with a monogram Asprey designed for him that he tried to have it embossed on pillar boxes.
He, too, bestowed a Royal Warrant in 1889, and the business has held one for every monarch since – as well as for several foreign heads of state. By the early 1900s, Asprey had added fine jewellery and china to its repertoire, eventually incorporating timepieces and decorative objets for the home. The New Bond Street premises, which Asprey still occupies, became a place to see and to be seen, and also to receive the best service in London. Asprey became the go-to destination for heirlooms of the future – beautiful investment pieces that were always skilfully designed. To reinforce this consistency, Asprey has retained its on-site workshops, and continues to nurture apprentices, encouraging a younger generation to believe that such highly skilled jobs are as relevant today as ever.
They learn that Asprey doesn’t rush things: that exceptional products take time to create (the Pagoda cocktail shaker, for example, takes over 100 hours to complete in the silver workshops). Today, as much as ever, Asprey’s clients tend to be sophisticated, well-travelled tastemakers from all over the world, with a penchant for entertaining and a love of British style. For red carpet events, the company has provided fine jewellery for Dame Helen Mirren, Angelina Jolie, Rosamund Pike and Rita Ora among many others.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been photographed wearing Asprey’s jewellery collections, too: the Woodland Charm and the 167 Button pendant.
Although Asprey’s backstory is the envy of many luxury brands, the past is no guarantee of a successful future. So it’s a measure of this brand’s staying power that it is still pushing the boundaries of innovation – creating meaningful narratives that are captured in a series of short films devoted to each product category. Spring/summer 2018’s leather handbag collection references Asprey’s famous 20-year-old boutique in The Beverly Hills Hotel, while its jewellery collection features rare coloured diamonds. In barware, Asprey has been carving out a niche since the art deco ‘moderne’ golden age of cocktail-making, and its playful cocktail shakers – the Racing Car and the Pagoda – show how this company continues to define the meaning of ‘modern’. This year the company opens a flagship store in the most prestigious Ginza district, Tokyo, in partnership with the venerable Sun Motoyama.
ASPREY 167 NEW BOND STREET, LONDON W1S 4AY +44 (0)20 7493 6767