There are experiences that you have throughout your life that undoubtedly shape parts or aspects of you. My experience at Browns Fashion in London shaped and solidified my love of fashion and media.
From the Ages of 21–24 I was the Senior press and marketing officer for Browns. Our tiny team worked above the retail store, tucked away on the top floor of a 3-story townhouse. Like Rapunzel but with power, hidden away, with insatiable curiosity, poised, ready to pursue ambitions that stretched far beyond our tower.
My VP of communications was a 6ft Glamazon who had to crouch to move around our dobby-like workspace. In the winter it was freezing, in the rain, buckets caught the water dripping from the roof, and in the summer, it was a hot box. At one time there were 6 of us, most under the age of 25, packed into hobbit-sized-accommodation, shouting and tripping over each other. It was a hole, but with hindsight, I can say I loved it!
I was surrounded by the best fashion and style, new brands mixed with a rich legacy, the ability to call any design house in the world, some of the trickiest personalities I’ve ever had to navigate, and acres of freedom to make mistakes, grow and learn.
I’m writing this love letter at a time when Browns celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
Founded in 1970 by husband-and-wife team Joan and Sidney Burstein, Browns was known for decades as the last word in high-end British fashion. Mrs. B developed a reputation for the store championing new and exciting talent alongside established designers. Browns bought the entire graduate collection of then-unknown designer John Galliano. It backed names like Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan Pyer Moss, Ashish, and Christopher Kane at the start of their careers, Paul Smith, Manolo Blahnik, and Richard James used to work for Browns. The brand introduced labels like Commes des Garçons, Donna Karen, Sonia Rykiel, Ralph Lauren, Missoni, Jil Sander, and more to the British market.
Iconic to say the least. Seeing the brand celebrate this massive milestone from afar, in LA, brought back a lot of wonderful memories.
My time at Browns was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I produced a British Bake-Off spoof with Mrs…