John Smedley celebrates 235 years of British Craftsmanship
2019 marks the 235th year of John Smedley, the oldest and most iconic still manufacturing knitwear factory in the entire world. In celebration of this momentous birthday, the brand will curate a yearlong series of events and product launches, each dedicated to showcasing the brand’s passion for British craft in all its forms, uniting craftspeople from across the entire British Isles in a global celebration of quality, fibre and the strive for perfection and constant perseverance that unites artisans the world over.
Beginning at London Craft Week on May 1st, the brand will introduce their partnership with The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST)– a charity which supports the training and education of British craftspeople. Throughout this partnership the two organisations will work together to bring the stories of 10 craftspeople -each a QEST scholar, to the masses via a
series of exhibitions within St James’s Market Pavilion across 2019-20, and a continuous programme of workshops and retail activations where each month John Smedley’s retail stores within London and Japan will be transformed to tell the story of each crafts person, articulating their personal journey and showcasing their products which will be available to purchase exclusively at John Smedley stores.
John Smedley, alongside Rémy Martin will also offer consumer workshops to engage the public with each artisan. From luthiers to watchmakers and stonemasons in between consumers will be able to engage with all forms of British craftsmanship.
The programme will launch at London Craft Week on Wednesday the 1st of May with the reveal of John Smedley’s 235 exhibition, and will continue with a talk hosted by Managing Director and 8th generation Smedley family member Ian Maclean on Friday May 10th detailing ‘Craft & Form’ featuring stonemason Zoe Wilson and ceramic artist Alice Walton whose attention to quality raw materials and construction mirrors that of John Smedley’s own to knitwear.