Brown in Town: A Milestone
As Bristol’s local tailor shakes off his umbrella and prepares for Brown in Town’s summer soiree (ha, ha), we reflect on our first half year and give thanks to our patrons, suppliers and collaborators.
Brown in Town was born out of a desire to do more of what we like, and, where possible, do it locally. To this end, we have thus far managed to source our suiting cloth from the South West, Umbrellas from Surrey, pocket squares from Bristol and ties from Selkirk in Scotland.
While our house cloths come from Huddersfield and also Italy, one of the most rewarding tasks in our short life has been setting up an account with local cloth merchant Lear Browne & Dunsford, in Exeter (est. 1895). Purveyors (and now custodians) of renowned cloth makers Harrisons of Edinburgh, Pedersen & Becker, H Lesser and Porter & Harding, who, in turn, are purveyors of the world famous Harris Tweed, we have to ask: Does it get any better?
Having patronised their umbrellas for the best part of 10 years, Fox were my first port of call for Brown in Town’s atelier. The oldest recorded makers of umbrellas in England, and still the best in our humble opinion, their umbrellas are still handmade and finished to a very high standard, just a stones throw from my home town of Bromley.
As if supplying Fox Umbrellas was not exciting enough, to have the opportunity to share my much loved Anthony Haines woollen ties with our patrons brought a lot of pleasure also. So many of my customers over the years have enquired after the distinctive woollen and tweed ties, finding their rich and vibrant colours both pleasing to the eye and to the touch. So, it made perfect sense to include them in our atelier offering and we are proud to do so.
We were introduced to the beautiful designs of Skibinski Textiles by mutual friend Jack Gibbon, of nomadic gallery, Antlers, fame. Given their pocket square’s art deco inspired designs, and together with their tartan ties, they were a perfect fit for our vintage inspired atelier.
And our atelier would not be complete without the beloved handkerchief. Something of a Minns family tradition, Brown in Town’s offering were hand selected from one of the oldest cloth merchants in Chennai, India – a favourite stop on my good lady’s buying trips for Toast. Chosen for their quality, but, moreover, for their traditional madras patterns, they bring a little colour and fun to life’s sniffles!
In the same way that our suppliers are part of the Brown in Town story, so are our collaborators. From the outset, it was important to me to collaborate with as many like minded, and again, where possible, local people, as possible. Brown in Town would like to thank, in no particular order, Studio Baum, with whom I swapped a wardrobe for a website and stationery – a rewarding experience which I highly recommend. The calming influence of photographic extraordinaire, Remco Merbis. Aurora print for their beautiful business cards (not an accolade oft’ afforded a business card I know, but seeing is believing). Hello Blue for their wonderful ‘Brown in Town: Coming Soon’ launch posters. And, of course, The Star & Dove, Harts Bakery, Averys wine cellars, Small St. Espresso, FCP, Instant Services cobblers, Bangshanky, The Ethicurean, and Friska Food for agreeing to display them! The Review magazine for allowing one’s alter ego, The BLT, to wax sartorial, and, occasionally, take a dower view of all things fashion and fickle. And finally, Steve Edge, and my other confidants for their invaluable advice and inspiration.
But our greatest thanks, of course, goes to our patrons, family and friends. Without your custom, your belief in what we do, your support, and your friendship, Brown in Town would not have been founded, nor go from strength to strength, as it does today.
And last, but by no means least, Brown in Town would like to thank it’s landlords, Hotel du Vin for welcoming Brown in Town into their fold. On a personal note, setting up shop in their beloved cigar humidor was the greatest coup since the name which is above our door. So, thank you Hotel du Vin, you have all been fantastic.
Right, time for our party. See you there..!