People’s Champion finalist 2017: Duke & Dexter

A-list celebs including Ryan Reynolds and Eddie Redmayne are fans of this premium loafer brand. Does it get your backing for People’s Champion?

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We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:
  • Megan Dunsby

Start-up name: Duke & Dexter
Founder: Archie Hewlett
Started in: June 2014
Based in: London
Business description: British footwear brand specialising in men’s premium loafers.

Shortlisted category:

Retail Business of the Year

The Duke & Dexter story:

Archie Hewlett is the founder of a million-pound UK start-up, has endorsements from huge stars, and owns a flagship store in Covent Garden – how many people can say they’ve achieved that by the age of 22?

Having launched premium footwear label Duke & Dexter three years ago at the age of 19, Young Gun Hewlett has seen his brand rise through the fashion ranks and is steadily cementing its position as a leading loafer label.

Handcrafted in England, Hewlett started Duke & Dexter in 2014 and his shoes are now sold in over 120 countries worldwide with stockists including Liberty’s, Selfridge’s, Fenwick, Harvey Nichol’s and Harrods.

Said to be targeted towards those “who appreciate modern, functional and spirited apparel” with an array of colours, textures, prints and motifs, Hewlett’s loafers are winning over customers – many of these celebrities.

From famous musicians and actors to models and football legends, the loafer brand has become a celeb favourite; Tinie Tempah, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, Jose Mourinho, Eddie Redmayne, and Tyson Beckford have all walked runways, premieres, music videos and shoots wearing Duke & Dexter.

A luxury brand – the shoes retail from £150 to £300 – Hewlett has also added a personalisation service to the brand’s offering; enabling customers to design loafers to their own tastes.

Recently crowned a Draper Footwear Awards 2017 winner, and a Young Gun 2017 – a title awarded to just 30 businesses each year with £1m turnover or £1m funding – will Duke & Dexter add People’s Champion to its trophy cabinet?

Why Duke & Dexter made our shortlist:

Duke & Dexter has all the makings of a fast-growth retail company; there’s a great product, impressive customers, solid revenue and strong profit.

In today’s world, retail businesses can no longer afford to operate offline and Duke & Dexter demonstrates how independent retail start-ups can leverage the web fully to their advantage with the use of a slick website and strong messaging across social media.

Where to find out more about Duke & Dexter:

Website:  dukeanddexter.com
Twitter: @DukeandDexter

Megan Dunsby

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