Business

The secret of my success: Leo Fenwick

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Fenwick's Head of Menswear on his passion for clothes, building a family business and the next big thing in menswear

Leo Fenwick, 37, is Head of Menswear at Fenwick Bond Street and the fifth generation to run the family business. His passion for fine menswear is putting Fenwick on the map.

Walking into Fenwick’s menswear department – what do we find?

We think about the different elements to our customers’ lives; where we can fill gaps and how different elements of our buy can sit together. We need to give our man solutions. We like to say, ‘Look, you can put it together like this.’ Our menswear team is very good at that.

Where does your interest in menswear come from?

As a child, I was fussy with fabrics, and very particular about what I wore. That led to a real interest in fashion. Once I was old enough to go shopping at Fenwick, I enjoyed putting looks together in store. There are old pictures of me wearing ripped stonewashed jeans with badges on, burgundy penny loafers, and a green T-shirt – I was probably 10 or 11 years old. It wasn’t something I overthought at the time, it felt very comfortable and natural.

Fenwick

Photography by Jamie Ferguson

How would you describe the Fenwick man?

Our customer loves style; not necessarily trend- led fashion, but he wants to look sharp. He’s into fabrics, colours and how things are made. He wants to look comfortable in his clothes, and he knows he can come to Fenwick for something unique. Like our customers, we’re not dictated to by trends, but nine times out of 10 we’re on-point. Men want more than just style these days, right? Yes. They want to know the story behind what they’re buying – where it came from, where and how it’s made. It’s not just about walking away with a piece and putting it on, men appreciate the inherent value of something produced with care. So, what should we be looking out for this season? We’ve brought in a relaxed weekend brand that’s very elegant called Doppiaa – it’s not been in production for very long and worth shopping early. For tailoring, we work with Ring Jacket and have the biggest collection in London, and we’ve got some stunning pieces from Caruso. We’ve got lots of Drake’s overshirts, too, which are great to wear in hot weather, and I’ve always been a fan of Carmina shoes.

What’s going to be the next big thing in menswear?

We’re going into a time where less stuff, but better stuff, makes sense. Wearing something well is the new cool, and consumers are becoming much more conscious about what they buy. Instead of buying 10 throwaway pieces, we’d rather you came in and added three things to your wardrobe that you’ll get more out of. That’s where things are changing.

And finally, what’s the secret of your success?

I’m passionate about what I do and I think it’s reflected in all of the above. We’re a family-run business, we offer an intimate shopping experience, and just as my great-great-grandfather was a tailor who fitted his customers in person, we try to work closely with our customers today.

fenwick.co.uk