Belstaff - meet the team who work at one of the great British heritage brands
- Credit: Archant
Who are we?
Who are we?
Belstaff is a global, luxury retail lifestyle brand, steeped in an oily heritage of motorcycling and aviation. Thoroughly British, originating from Stoke, we have embraced our ancestry by continually adhering to the highest standards both qualitatively and stylistically. We recently were taken over under the umbrella of the Labelux group where we sit beside Jimmy Choo, Zagliani and Bally, while still retaining our distinct identity within the luxury market.
How do you choose what to wear for the day?
Our uniform stipulates what we wear for the day, always Belstaff, and on the occasion we wear the ready to wear pieces and the current collection. Wearing the brand that we sell really helps us promote the product as clients can see what the item looks like on an individual. For events in store we are obliged to wear something special from the collection.
How do you get to work?
While being from various parts of central Manchester and the outskirts, one thing we all appreciate is our travel in. We cycle, walk and drive, all of which sets us up for the day ahead on a positive note. Being strong advocates of exercise, this is often on top of a morning gym session.
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What’s the first thing you do at the workplace?
Normally we catch up with each other during staff meetings, we get changed, and make ourselves look the best for the day ahead. Setting up the store is extremely important and done in a meticulous fashion. As a luxury brand, our responsibilities are the creation and maintenance of an impeccable shop floor, carefully blending this with a welcoming, characterful aesthetic and atmosphere that our clients speak so highly of.
Who are your customers?
Perhaps one of the best things about working here is the ability to cultivate strong relationships with our clients. These clients are an infinitely diverse demographic, ranging from young to old, both male and female differing between veteran motorcyclists to the fashion conscious.
Do you have regular clients?
Yes, by virtue of the service we provide we are fortunate enough to consider most of our clients as friends. More often than not we are invited to client events or birthdays, regularly socialising with our customer base. Testament to this connection, the exchanging of Christmas gifts and special presents as a thank you for our service and personal attention could be considered the most tangible proof of a high quality service.
Do you provide any services?
Anything is possible! We re-proof the wax jackets, personally alter styles, personally replace zips and buttons if there is an issue and we also make sure clients are offered refershments and are comfortable in our Belstaff house. Aside from these things we are able to get items from all over the world for anyone who wants any of our items.
Do you have different roles?
We have a Store Manager, Assistant Manager and a fantastic sales team. All of us are responsible for stock movement and client relations.
What did you have for lunch today?
As we are all conscious of looking good on the fashion platform, we often eat salad and chicken for a source of energy. Having a light lunch is often productive as we don’t get tired and restless during the afternoon.
When are the busiest times of day?
This varies. More often than not it is the afternoon.
Do you ever socialise together?
Thankfully we are like a small family and love to spend time with each other. It is often hard to find such a closely knit unit within retail. We often socialise outside of work which in turn strengthens our team spirit. We also have a great relationship with our UK Retail Manager.
What do you wear in the evenings?
Obviously as brand ambassadors we wear our own Belstaff items to socialise and mix within Manchester. Other than that you can find us in loungewear and/or gym wear.
Belstaff, 76-80 King Street, M2 4NH www.belstaff.co.uk
is Vice President of men’s ready-to-wear and accessories
Tell us three great things about Belstaff
We were established in 1924 in Stoke-on-Trent and dressed Lawrence of Arabia and Amelia Earhart. Belstaff features in many of the modern day movie classics and has been worn by some of the greatest Hollywood legends of recent times, includingLeonardo Di Caprio in The Aviator, Will Smith in I am Legend, Kristen Stewart in Twilight, Angelina Jolie in The Tourist, and George Clooney in Leatherheads among others.
What’s the Spring Summer 2015 collection all about?
The Belstaff Spring/Summer 2015 collection pays homage to the British café racers and rockers of the 1960’s. The spirit and attitude of this style-conscious generation of rebellious youth remains the same in present day Belstaff, continuing to express through style, music and machine.
Do you have a favourite piece in the collection?
The Winchester jacket is an iconic piece within the collection. It is an updated version of the classic Trophy jacket from Belstaff, using the four pocket style. The jacket features legendary ergonomic design and functional luxury details inherent to Belstaff garments such as the shoulder and elbow moto detailing. The 6oz hand-waxed cotton, synonymous with classic Belstaff jackets, gives a water resistant finish. A vintage treatment is then applied to the jacket to give the worn-in look. The design of the jacket was inspired by the 50’s/60’s biker scene in the UK.
Who wears Belstaff?
David Beckham, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Gandy to name a few, all wear Belstaff because they genuinely love the product and its quality. People often tell me they feel good – empowered even - when wearing Belstaff and that’s really important for me.
You worked with David Beckham on the 2014 Autumn Winter campaign. What was he like?
It was great working with David on the Beckham for Belstaff collection. He has a genuine love for the brand having worn it for years and a great knowledge of the products, being a biker himself. The collaboration worked really well which is why we will be launching our second collection together later this year. Expect to see some more great wearable pieces including leather jackets, denim jackets, waistcoats and even some accessories.
What are you planning for Belstaff menswear in the future?
We just launched the AW15 collection at London Collections Men- showcasing for the first time in London - a homecoming for the brand. The inspiration for this was the ‘Ton Up’ boys and the bikers who would hang out at the Ace Café- so expect to see lots of leather, shearling and checkerboard prints. Further ahead I’m designing the Spring/Summer 16 collection as we speak so watch this space…
is Vice President of Women’s Design
Can you tell is a little about your background?
I recently joined Belstaff (in October 2014), having worked previously in Paris with Paul & Joe, but also Christian Lacroix, Isabel Marant and Comptoir Des Cotonniers, and in New York with Diane von Furstenberg.
How do you feel about designing for Belstaff?
Elated! Belstaff is an incredible brand with a rich history and huge potential –particularly in womenswear. I am excited to be taking the Belstaff’s womenswear collection into a new direction, a direction that reflects the values of the brand – those of adventure and an individual spirit, whist also encompassing a softer-side of the urban modern woman. The SS15 collection was a great starting point for me to reference with the new lines bringing a fresh twist on the
now legendary Ace Café and the young, fearless, feminine riders who frequented it in the early 60s. These amazing women drew influence from contemporary icons such as Charlotte Rampling and Marianne Faithfull, which shows in the directional and modern SS15 collection, launching in stores now.
What do you love about the brand?
I love the spirit of the brand and its rich heritage. These 91 years of history are a great source of inspiration for any designer, and Belstaff has a vast range of iconic pieces such as the best selling Roadmaster that launched in 1981 or the Sidney leather jacket which captures the 1960’s rebellion being a perfect balance of moto attitude and functionality. These pieces were a great starting reference for my first collection in addition to taking inspiration from the first pioneering women to dress in Belstaff, aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson. Look out for the collection launching later this year in stores.
What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I am looking forward to taking Belstaff’s womenswear collection into a new direction. We just launched the AW15 collection at London Fashion Week which was our first time showing in London. We are all very excited about the homecoming of the brand and I am looking forward to being a part of Belstaff’s future and preserving its ethos of freedom and adventure through my vision for the Belstaff woman.