After literal millennia of toting things around the globe, it’s a little bit of a surprise that so many men are still in a constant search for better-looking ways to keep their belongings safe on the go. New brands dedicated to solving the luggage problem seem to pop up every other week—and many of them fall a little short. Luckily, the guys behind Bennett Winch, a British brand that gets it right with hard-wearing, functional bags and backpacks, just brought their wares to the United States.
The brand, which was founded in London in 2014, set up shop in New York City’s Turnbull & Asser townhouse just this week. Their first-floor shop is the first thing you encounter when you pass the threshold, and there you’ll find everything from full-grain leather tote bags to canvas briefcases and the brand’s signature weekender. It’s the first bag that Robin Bennett and Robin Winch designed together (on a cocktail napkin, sitting at a bar), and has remained a consistent best-seller ever since. (If you’re not in New York City and can’t make it anytime soon, fret not: A selection of Bennet Winch products is available at Mr Porter.)
“Our products are tried, tested and have a timeless style that I think appeals to design-savvy New-Yorkers,” Winch told Robb Report in an email. He noted that the company decided to set up shop in New York after the Big Apple became their second-biggest market: “We work on creating a balance between quality, style and functionality—all characteristics that resonate in a city atmosphere.”
And luckily, the customers here are similar enough to the guys who come into their shop in Mayfair that their products translate easily.
“It seems that anyone who gravitates toward the brand shares an evolved understanding of design and quality, regardless of where they’re from,” Winch added. “This makes our life easy—we can immediately speak in the same language. Slightly different accent, of course.”
That’s just as true of their tote bags, whose handles are versatile enough to be slung over the shoulder or carried by hand, to their newest product: a garment bag that zips to wrap around a weekender, designed in partnership with the British author and journalist Simon Crompton (who also happens to be a contributor to Robb Report). It’s the kind of product that’s emblematic of how this budding brand will move forward.
“We have a few big projects underway that look to make step changes in their categories—I can’t tell you though, it’s top secret,” said Rupert Shreeve, Bennett Winch’s creative director. “Too often brands focus on reinventing the same silhouette over and over, but we’re most comfortable attacking design challenges that result in category-defining products.”