dunhill’s house icon – where the old guard meets the new
Alfred Dunhill was an industrious man. After inheriting his father’s saddlery business in 1893, at the tender age of 21, he set about creating a line of accessories for the fledgling automobile market. The catalogue soon counted over 1,300 items: lamps, goggles, pens, timepieces, leather overcoats, picnic sets – ‘everything but the motor’ ran the tagline. Restless, Dunhill sold his shares over a decade later and set about proselytising his love of tobacco, patenting a ‘windshield pipe’ to allow for a casual smoke when driving; launching the first fully enclosed lighter to be used with just one hand; and supplying, among others, the Prince of Wales, Siegfried Sassoon and Winston Churchill. His international appetite meant that his luxury goods and discerning brand of British-executive style was formally established not only in London, but New York and Paris by 1924. Despite the scale of his ambitions Dunhill understood that, in his own words, “Little ideas well worked bring fortunes.”
This self-same ingenuity, and faith that good things come in small packages, is present in dunhill’s new house icon: the Lock Bag. A celebration of the old guard meeting the new – the slight item’s design inspired by the classic attaché or diplomat case – its frame is lined with padded nylon and finished with box calf leather, a durable full grain that gently ages over time, giving each item a unique patina. “Leather goods are quintessential to dunhill,” notes creative director Mark Weston. “They are definitive pieces born from the house’s beginnings as a leather-harness family business; for me it’s a continuity, revisiting and evolving product in a natural and real way.” First seen on the Paris runway last autumn, removable shoulder straps allow for either cross-body or pochette styling. Available in black, ink, oxblood and – referencing their founder’s iconic Rollagas lighters – limited AD brass and AD silver, the bag has been reimagined for spring in white eel skin with palladium-plated metalwork. Part of a wider lock collection, including a messenger bag and case, it is the perfect size for just about everything (but the motor).
This article is taken from Port issue 28. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here