New York - Kent & Curwen, the British men's clothing line made popular thanks to David Beckham, has announced that a new creative director will be taking over the design reins at the brand. Daniel Kearns will be taking charge of the creative direction at the Trinity International Brands Ltd. owned brand.
At 40-years-old, Kearns has built up a very impressive resume. He has been on the design teams for Faconnable, Alexander McQueen, and Louis Vuitton. Kearns begins his new London-based role this week. He will report to Richard Cohen, Trinity's chief executive officer, and to Cody Kondo, Trinity's chief merchandising officer.
Kearns is the successor to Simon Spurr, who left Kent & Curwen to become creative director of Gieves and Hawkes, another Trinity owned label. Kearns was considered the most natural choice for the role due to his diverse background with both premium brands and large international luxury labels. Beckham, who inked a deal with Kent & Curwen to be involved in all aspects of the brand's production, also praised the decision of Kearns as the new creative director.
“From our first meeting I felt Daniel understood the real potential of Kent & Curwen,” Beckham was quoted saying to WWD. “We share the same vision for the brand and it’s going to be enjoyable trying to realize that ambition. Daniel has an impressive track record working for some of the leading men’s wear fashion houses in Europe, and will be a strong addition to the team. I look forward to working with him closely.”
Daniel Kearns named creative director of Kent & Curwen
Kearns most recent role was as artistic director of Faconnable, where he took the brand in a more elevated direction. Before he joined Faconnable, he worked as a consultant on Stefano Pilati's first men's wear show for Ermenegildo Zegna.
As Beckham is becoming more involved with the brand, the company is also working on their positioning in the market. They see a gaping hole for premium product and men's wear at the lower end of the designer clothing spectrum. The company will continue to expand in China, which is their largest market, and seek growth opportunities in the rest of the world.
Currently, Kent & Curwen operates 113 stores worldwide in 51 cities in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
Kent & Curwen is backed by both Beckham and his longtime business partner Simon Fuller, who are equal partners in Seven Global, a venture with Global Brands Holding Group Ltd.
This year, the brand intends to open a London flagship store, and they are also working on expanding their appeal to a younger customer base. In the fall of 2015, Seven Global signed a five-year licensing agreement with Kent & Curwen.
Kent & Curwen was originally founded in 1926, and they became famous for manufacturing sports uniforms for cricket and rowing. The brand would develop into a full-line men's brand with offerings like polo shirts, button-down shirts, and trousers.
This coming fall, the brand will launch a capsule collection influenced by Beckham which include accessories, eyewear, and boy's apparel.
Trinity has an expansion plan in place for Kent & Curwen, with plans to open 20 stores in markets such as Miami, New York, and Milan.photo:thewindow.barneys.com