LONDON — Purdey, the high-end British brand specialized in countryside sports, has tapped Simon Holloway for the new role of creative director, WWD has learned.
Holloway’s mission will be to transform Purdey’s apparel offer into a complete luxury lifestyle brand for men and women.
Holloway was most recently creative director of Agnona, and has spent a career in fashion and luxury, holding senior creative roles at brands including Hogan, Jimmy Choo, Narciso Rodriguez and Ralph Lauren.
The British designer is known for his soft touch, luxury fabric and leather expertise, and ability to design across ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories.
He will be based at the brand’s London headquarters, Audley House, in Mayfair, which is also the site of Purdey’s flagship store.
Dan Jago, chairman of James Purdey & Sons, said Holloway’s “deep experience in luxury, as well as precise and refined vision, make him the ideal creative leader to build upon our strong sporting heritage, aligning perfectly with our ambitions for the brand.”
At Purdey, Holloway will be working with the former Harrods watches and men’s wear executive Jason Broderick, who joined Purdey as retail and merchandise director last year.
Holloway said he is “greatly inspired by the rich heritage of Purdey and its core values of exquisite craftsmanship. I look forward to contributing to the maison in its next chapter, and evolving Purdey into a noble vision of design, luxury, innovation and timeless British sporting style.”
The designer left his role at Agnona in 2020 following Ermenegildo Zegna’s sale of a majority stake to the Aimone family, a branch of the Zegna family. Agnona had been controlled by the Zegnas since 1999.
Holloway succeeded Stefano Pilati at Agnona, and his first collection for the brand bowed for fall 2016. The designer developed the Agnona collections by leveraging the brand’s classic elegance and tradition of working with luxurious fabrics.
Purdey, owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont, was founded by James Purdey as a London gunmaker in 1814.
In past years, it has made forays into the lifestyle and apparel arena, but the main focus has always been on guns, rifles, countryside sporting equipment and purpose-built clothing. It also offers luggage, glassware, leather goods and other accessories.
It holds three royal warrants, from Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Wales and the late Duke of Edinburgh.
Richemont acquired Purdey in 1994 and it sits within the group’s fashion and accessories portfolio, along with Alaïa, Alfred Dunhill, AZ Factory, Chloé, Montblanc, Peter Millar and Serapian. Purdey’s move into lifestyle comes at a time when sports and performance clothing has become a part of many people’s everyday wardrobes, as a result of lockdown dressing and working from home.
Purdey is also moving into lifestyle without competition from Holland & Holland, another storied gunmaker that made luxury apparel under its former owners, Chanel. Chanel sold Holland & Holland to Italy’s Beretta Holdings in 2021 for an undisclosed price.