Walpole, the unique alliance of Britain’s finest luxury brands, counting the likes of Burberry, Jimmy Choo, The Savoy and Harrods among its membership, marked the official launch of its annual ‘Brands of Tomorrow’ programme on Tuesday evening. Now in its eighth year, the programme provides a year-long series of workshops and one-on-one mentorship from some of the UK’s most experienced luxury leaders and entrepreneurs.
This year, a record 75 brands submitted entries and, due to such high demand, and the superlative quality of the entrants, Walpole increased the number of participants from eight to 12 for 2015. The programme has also been extended to cover strategy, financial planning, distribution channels and models, branding, marketing, the customer and the complexities of managing a growing business. Walpole has also linked its London Business School’s Luxury Goods MBA elective to partner a student to a brand.
Since its inception in 2007, over 70 emerging luxury brands, including Astley Clarke, Shaun Leane, Miller Harris, Bremont Watch Company, Rococo Chocolates, Nyetimber, Charlotte Olympia, the Business of Fashion and Mr Hare, have successfully completed the programme and have gone on to become leading brands in their respective fields.
Michelle Emmerson, CEO of Walpole, commented:
“This year’s excellent group of very diverse brands represents the future of our industry. The British luxury goods industry is forecast to be worth £12.2 billion by 2017 and as part of our mission to develop, promote and protect this industry, we are dedicated to growing the next generation of talent.
I am also thrilled to welcome Jonathan Heilbron as Chairman of our Brands of Tomorrow programme. Since Jonathan’s appointment as President and CEO of Thomas Pink, in 2004, he has revived, restored and reinterpreted the quality British shirt making tradition and in doing so built a globally successful luxury brand. His experience, vision and motivation are a huge asset to the programme.”
This year’s Brands of Tomorrow, and their mentors, are:
•BEETLES+HUXLEY – Kiaran MacDonald, Managing Director of The Savoy
•Bionda Castana – Michael Ward, Managing Director of Harrods
•Emilia Wickstead – Jim Sharp, Partner and Co-Founder of Sirius Equity
•Finlay & Co. – John Ayton MBE, Founder of Annoushka and Links of London
•House of Hackney – Jonathan Heilbron, President and Chief Executive of Thomas Pink
•John Galvin Design – Mark Henderson, Chairman of Gieves & Hawkes
•Marwood – Sarah Elton, Former Managing Director of Smythson, Chair of Debretts
•Mulo Limited – Martin Bartle, Founder of Arthur Ridley Esq
•Only Fingers and Toes Limited – Michelle Emmerson, CEO of Walpole
•Rachel Vosper – Maurice Helfgott, Founder Director of Amery Capital
•RolleyGolf – Nick and Giles English, Co-Founders of Bremont Watch Company
•14 Bike Co. – Guy Salter, Luxury Industry Expert