by LUKE LEITCH
Unlike at certain other great British institutions—okay, unlike Britain itself—a mandate for change at Alfred Dunhill has led to completely new government. CEO Andrew Maag and creative director Mark Weston (both formerly of Burberry) have been voted in by Richemont, and this evening saw their first significant policy statement.
Neither root and branch reform nor as-you-were water treading, this Spring collection was instead a realpolitik recalibration of the template laid by Weston’s predecessor John Ray. What remained was a core structure of upscale suiting, eveningwear, and outerwear, including a fine fur-lined navy car coat drawn from the Dunhill archive. What was jettisoned was a sense that the archive, and Dunhill’s undoubtedly rich and marvelous history, would overwhelmingly define its future. There was a broader array of attractive contemporary outerwear on show here than since the days of Kim Jones; especially fine were an olive sateen field jacket, a black suede blouson, and a black quilted commuter jacket that any young-and-thrusting London banker (should any remain) will want to wear on the Jubilee line.
Both Weston and Maag separately pointed to one piece in particular as they sketched their Dunhill manifesto: It was a reversible bomber shown with a Fox Brothers boating stripe worn outside, but which could be flipped to a more contemporary khaki synthetic. Weston said, “The trap you can fall into is when you start to become too nostalgic. So here, for me, it’s not about having a club blazer with a crest on it, but something like this, which is more relevant.” New sneakers, a new mid-narrow jean, and a new casual deportment in the unfussy styling added to the sense of a Dunhill more—at least, apparently—at ease. Strong and stable stuff.