Collier Bristow is a British fashion label established in 2013 by Freddie Collyer-Bristow and located in Chelsea.
But before the brand reached its spiritual home on the King’s Road – the iconic road’s heritage of quality trend-setting is something Collier Bristow positively embodies – it traveled the globe first. Packed with adventure and derring-do, the Collier Bristow story started in Gloucestershire and took in a lot of the world before settling in SW3 in its current home.
Freddie had the idea of establishing a contemporary luxury fashion label while he was still living in Cirencester. He wanted to combine daring prints and bold colors on high-end fabrics in classic designs sold at affordable prices. Clothes that could just as easily outfit the artist and rock star as the lawyer and banker – in other words, a brand for today’s modern man and woman. Before setting it up in Britain, Freddie traveled the globe sourcing the best fabrics he could find, searching Italy, Britain, Switzerland, and Vietnam, where his designs were to come to life. These journeys involved more than planes, trains, and automobiles – but by sea and tuk-tuk too.
Freddie learned his trade with the workers in the factory in Vietnam – who to this day remain his close friends – for six months under the tutelage of the factory owner. He finally returned to the UK in December 2014, with his first line of designs and any number of hair-raising stories. After initially selling successfully online, Freddie spotted a unique retail opportunity in the heart of Chelsea on the King’s Road. It was a natural fit for his brand and so he set up shop here, the stated aim of his boutique being to ‘Bring cool back to the King’s Road’.
And that’s certainly what Collier Bristow is doing. A contemporary and luxurious brand for both men and women, Collier Bristow aims to provide a look for everyone while always retaining its King’s Road heritage in the quality and style of their products.
Uncompromising quality is what Collier Bristow prides itself on and it is what sets it apart. Due to the raw materials used, Collier Bristow uses only the world’s best Italian and British mills, including wool and cashmere cloth from Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Cerruti, Hawick, and Holland & Sherry. The most prized wool comes from Merino sheep, which are only shorn once a year. The best batches of wool are sourced at auction in Australia, New Zealand, and the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. Cashmere comes from the harsh lands of Inner Mongolia where, due to the extreme cold, the goats have two coats, the one closer to the body is called the ‘duvet’ and produces a gorgeously fine fiber. For dress fabric, the destination is Switzerland, where Jakob Schlaepfer produces simply the most innovative couture fabric in the world, as their use by dressmakers for the Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge and Kate Moss testifies.
The international nature of the fashion industry has inspired the brand to reach out beyond its SW3 postcode to create a charity to bring a smile to the faces of impoverished children. Called Risu 4 Risu – derived from the Latin word for smile – the charity aims to help disadvantaged children throughout the world with a focus on education, health, careers, sport, and lifestyle.
And that’s not all the brand has been up to. A collaboration with celebrated urban artist Max Wiedemann culminated in a limited-edition collection of T-shirts featuring some of the artist’s latest prints including Closer to God in Heels and Vanity UNfair. This provided a unique platform for Max to elevate his work and for Collier Bristow to reach a younger audience. From SW3 to the world – this new British brand is definitely one to watch.