It can be hard for Britain to compete in some areas, such as cheap manufacturing, but in Luxury we will always be world leaders.
Britain has a proud heritage of luxury brands. Even ‘Brand Britain itself is a luxury brand eye in the perceptions of the world. Countries such as China may be responsible for the lions share of manufacturing, but they are still willing to import and pay top price for British design.
The appeal of Britain to the world is obvious. It is the Rolls Royce of countries, and the country the created the Rolls Royce of cars. In all things design and designer the UK has what it takes to lead the pack. The Walpole Medals of Excellence are a celebration of this.
Since 1992 the Walpole organisation has been blowing the trumpet for the British luxury industry. The Walpole medals of excellence are one expression of this. The variety and calibre of previous winners and nominees speaks to the fantastic diversity and achievement of the individuals and brands that have forged ‘Luxury Britain’.
The nominees this year for best British Luxury Brand are the perfect example of this diversity. You have the eventual winners, McLaren Automotive who design and build elite supercars nominated against such brands as the iconic outerwear designers Burberry.
Burberry are the perfect example of a brand that has been able to reclaim their place at the top table of luxury. Through the mass marketing of ‘accessible’ items using their trademark check the brand had developed negative connotations to so-called ‘Chav‘ culture. The brand responded to this by pulling items such a baseball caps from sale and going back to the kind of clothes that respectable people would wear, which is where their reputation for quality came from.
It is not just consumer goods that are part of the British luxury brand. The Walpole Medal for British Cultural Excellence recognises achievement in the Arts. This year the Edinburgh Festival, Robert Goold and the Royal Opera House were all nominated, with the winner being the Royal Opera house.
The Walpole Medals are sponsored by private bank Adam and co. They are themselves an example of a luxury brand. They have an exclusive clientèle and specialise in high end activities such as private wealth management.