Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Pickett the established and prestigious English leather goods company at the grand old age of 12 years IRONY

After writing recently about Tod's appalling after-sales service, and their status as a pseudo brand, I wanted to write about another pseud, Pickett Leather of the Burlington Arcade London.

Look at the above image, what does it conjour? Perhaps Glamour? Old world charm? the traditional values of all established English leather makers, quality and reliabilty perhaps? Whatever the case, I think it would be hard for a person to look at this image and say for example associate, hip hop, or youth culture. No this definitely is suggesting look at us, we are established. This image comes from Pickett's 'about us' page on their website.

So then this beggars the question what is the brand behind this image, and why are you writing about it? Well I will tell you. Started in 1998 by a English Entreupenuer Trevor Pickett, the most established thing about it is probably the name, his name, Pickett is quintessentially English, and has been in the british isles and its former colonies for many hundreds of years.

Pickett the brand however is not established or old world, it is overwhelmingly new, in fact at 12 years old it has a far way to go before it can even celebrate leaving its teens - in fact even google is older, having been started in 1996. But this does not stop Picket from assuming the airs of a far more established brand. Looking at the business model and layout of the shops, and the types of products sold, it is obvious the brand it is aping, Swaine Adeney and Brigg of course, but Swaine is 250 years old, a considerable pedigree next to Pickett.

I remember walking in to the pickett store in The Burlington arcade and being shoked by how inexpensive the products were many years ago, and also how tradtastic the shop layout was, but I assume back then they had not yet refined the art of properly copying Swaine Adeney. In fact I remember that back then Picket did not even brand their products, I bought a travel pass holder in Red Leather for only £12 and it had NO logo! Imagine a brand so small and so new they cannot even commission their leather goods supplier to brand their stock yet.

Things at Pickett seem to have moved on considerably since that time though, they have improved the shop layout and moved to larger premises on the other side of the burlington arcade, they have also improved the selection of stock they hold, presenting some very nice exotic leather items in their ranges, and of course, they now brand their stock items (he he he).

But they are still quite vague as to their true starting date, as one would be when attempting to present a false image about ones origins, its always better to be vague so people don't quite ever know the whole truth, and may assume the image is true. for example on their website the sell a 'heritage' selection that marks their 21st anniversary, adding a full 10 years to their insception date, a date which cannot be found anywhere on the site other than in mention of the collection.

So if you ever wander down the Burlington Arcade and see Pickett, and wonder what is this heavy duty, established looking brand, now you know, it is a brand which is younger than Next and produces extremely high quality goods for reasonable prices - Wish they would drop the Pseudo Image stuff though.

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