British Brands Week – Ted Baker

Written by Andy | 02/06/2011


In the second blog article this week at Mainline Menswear I will be looking at another leading designer British gentleman’s brand in Ted Baker. The British high end designs tend to feature a distinct nod towards a tailoring background where material, fit and look really is the key to success and after seeing on Monday how Paul Smith developed a global brand inside fifty years looking at the success Ted Baker has also enjoyed will make many fashion fans proud to be British. As with Paul Smith we’ll take a look at the history of the brand, and also this season’s range of clothing.


On the blog Ted Baker was last looked at in October 2010 just before the Christmas rush started, and what a December the brand had! The smart casual gent’s look fit in well with last Christmas and the wrapped up warm outdoor look twinned with the smarter jeans, boots and chunky knitwear was needed as the country froze with snow and ice for most of November and December. This Christmas more of the same is expected, so look out for the coats and knitwear again but let’s focus on the warm weather of the summer for now, as this is what the current collection is geared up for. Much like Paul Smith it’s full of smart casual gent’s clothing with plenty of colour but less chest designs. The designs in Ted Baker clothes are much more subtle with only a small or minimal logo or branding available. The main focus of the collection is the polo shirt with a variety of designs moving around the breast pocket and button down collar. Alongside this are the tailored checked design Ted Baker shirts, summer shorts, crew neck t shirts, summer trend flip flops and espadrilles and a superb range of accessories, including belts, fedora and trilby hats, wallets, flat caps and underwear. The summer is well and truly here with Ted Baker and the clothing does definitely reflect this. The fit and the quality surpass the branding and logos with Ted Baker so if you haven’t already you really do need to try a couple of pieces just to see what you’ve been missing!
Established in 1988 in Glasgow Ted Baker is still a modestly young brand compared to some but has achieved so much in the past twenty years. Originally a small retail shop selling tailored dress shirts, Ted Baker were a completely unknown name and had very little budget to market their new shop or product, so utilising the word of mouth managing director Ray Kelvin offered free dry cleaning as an opening offer to create an identity for the brand and allow people to talk about it. Opposed to talking about their shirt they spoke about the shirt, and the added bonus of the dry cleaning, leading others to find out what was going on. Before long the brand had taken off in Glasgow and business was booming. Within six years Ted Baker joined Paul Smith by opening a store in Covent Garden then subsequently rolled out stores across the UK as well as expanding into more retailers (or trustees) than ever before. This expansion has led Ted Baker into the ‘global’ stakes offering men’s, women’s and children’s clothing while also moving into toiletries, eyewear and even Ted Baker mobile phones which were in collaboration with Samsung and HTC in the UK. Now that the brand moves globally it boasts stores throughout Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand, American and Canada and even a film set in Prague, where a store was temporarily built for the Bond film Casino Royale.

Along with Paul Smith Ted Baker is one of the best British gent’s brands around, and even though the two are classed as rivals having them both at your disposal is a great place to be. Why not shop both collections on Mainline Menswear now and get yourself kitted out for the summer like a true Brit Gent!

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