In 1887, Frank Smythson, a skilled leather worker who strived for meticulous craftsmanship and outstanding quality, decided to create an elegant space on London’s famous Bond Street, where he began to develop new products that would become both timeless and functional. He called the shop Smythson of Bond Street.
The elegant store today tells the history of refined leather products that started over 125 years ago. The brand has been a favorite of celebrated personalities ranging from members of European royalty to the maharajas of India. The actress Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, and Grace Kelly were members of their customer list, as well as the legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and Sir Winston Churchill.
Frank Smythson‘s business took off in 1908, when he conceived a new very light leather agenda, which he called Featherweight. Its remarkable flexibility allowed it to be crushed, folded or rolled without losing its shape. The product was so successful every gentleman of the time— both in the New World and the Old Continent—carried one of them in their jacket`s inside pocket.
Katharine Hepburn, the screen legend and winner of four Oscars was also faithful to the agendas manufactured by Smythson. In 1955, she commissioned two special edition notebooks with “London, California, New York” printed in gold on the cover, along with her initials.
The firm continues to carry its distinguished style in their collections for men and women. They cover a broad range of leather goods: bags, purses, wallets, jewelry boxes, travel accessories and technology (covers for iPad and iPhone), among others. These individual pieces are designed for demanding customers who love and appreciate the unique luxury of perfection in detail.
All the firm’s collections are manufactured with the highest quality, with carefully chosen leathers treated by the hands of the expert and highly skilled craftsmen. The company also offers commissioned work, such as personalized stationery, bags and accessories with initials or motifs designed by the customer and finished in gold or silver.
Many of the brand’s pieces are made in Spain, where the craftsmen have enjoyed a splendid reputation throughout the years. The excellent Spanish artisans produce articles for several of the leading names in fashion.
The quality and expertise of Smythson of Bond Street have been recognized with three Royal Orders: a Royal Decree from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England in1964, another from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 1980, and from His Highness Royal Duke of Edinburgh in 2002. ■