Archie Hewlett: Duke & Dexter
Founded by one of the youngest of our 2017 Young Guns, this British loafer brand boasts celebrity customers including Tinie Tempah and Ryan Reynolds
Archie Hewlett, 22
Company: Duke & Dexter
Started in Oxfordshire with a £9,000 loan by a then 18-year-old Archie Hewlett, Duke & Dexter has grown into a multi-million pound Central London-based brand and ships to over 120 countries worldwide.
On top of that, Startups 100-featured footwear brand Duke & Dexter has won a host of celebrity fans including Eddie Redmayne, Tinie Tempah, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Timberlake, Poppy Delevingne, Tyson Beckford, Jonah Hill and Nick Jonas, who have helped the brand reach thousands around the world in the space of three years.
Now 22, Hewlett shunned a place at the University of Durham in favour of starting his business and set out to create a range of quality slip on loafers at affordable price points, despite having no experience in either fashion or business. While it sources materials – including canvas, linen, leather and suede – from over 25 countries around the world, all of its shoes are handmade in a family-run factory in Sheffield and range from £150 for its classic designs to £750 for shoes with a large detailed illustration hand-painted by Duke & Dexter’s resident artist Morgan Seaford.
As well as a flagship store in Covent Garden, the brand has listings in major UK retailers including Liberty’s, Fenwick, Selfridges and Harrods. The year saw the launch of its wedding package, offering grooms and their groomsmen a private fitting at the Covent Garden Store with complimentary drinks.
From humble beginnings, this young founder has created a worldwide, celebrity-endorsed yet stuck true to his roots of fine British craftmanship – long may it continue.