The romance between Eric Kent and Dorothy Curwen started when they met on Savile Row in the 1920s and led to two partnerships: the founding of their brand Kent & Curwen in 1926, and their subsequent marriage in 1932.
The company made its name with neck attire, supplying ties to universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, the finest clubs in London, the country’s best schools, and British regiments throughout the Empire. In 1932 Kent & Curwen went on to purchase a knitwear factory in London to create the first ever cricket sweaters, a style that would solidify their reputation. Since then, the Kent & Curwen cricket sweater has become a global standard.
It is fitting then that the brand’s evolution in the 21st century has seen creative director Daniel Kearns team up with David Beckham to come up with a fresh take on English heritage.
Beckham is the archetypal Kent & Curwen man, celebrated as much for his style as his achievements. His intuitive sense of style is emblematic of the new British attitude at Kent & Curwen. British sporting and regimental traditions have been reimagined to present renewed pride in the roots of Kent & Curwen based on the charm and strength of character of British men across the decades.
Just like David Beckham, Eric Kent had a distinctive style that inspired men around the world. When designing ties, he would throw flowers on the atelier floor to discover unexpected colour combinations. Kent flaunted conventional dress codes and was fond of mixing sportswear with formal suits. His friendships and influence went transatlantic in the 1930s, with Kent & Curwen dressing the likes of Cary Grant and the Hollywood Cricket Club, whose members included Errol Flynn and Laurence Olivier.
To continue the legacy of Kent & Curwen in the 21st century, Kearns has drawnon the authenticity of its legacy to rework the classic hallmarks of British sporting pastimes, mixing them with menswear staples to form the foundation of the Kent & Curwen wardrobe.
Kent’s presence in the brand lives on in its logo, the insignia of the three lions, taken from his family crest. As an emblem adopted by English sporting teams since the 19th century, the logo offers an unbreakable link with the company’s proud British heritage.
To embrace the 21st century, Kent & Curwen has reimagined the distinctive three lions and English rose logos to bring modernity to heritage. The ambition is to create a modern lifestyle brand based on the authenticity of its legacy, exemplified by instinctively wearable clothes for men all around the world.
‘I feel that we should be proud of where we come from,’ David Beckham explains. ‘I want to reinforce that sense of history and heritage which we’ve had since 1926. The Union Jack, the English rose, the three lions… those things mean something to people.’
KENT & CURWEN 11-12 FLORAL STREET, LONDON WC2E 9DH