THE MAN BEHIND THE BRAND
Ted Baker is known for being an adventurous, daring, and strikingly handsome man. But Ted Baker doesn’t actually exist. The man behind the brand is Ray Kelvin (pictured on the right), who opened his first clothing shop in Glasgow, UK in 1987 and called it Ted Baker. Kelvin insists he is not a shy man in nature, but did not want to tie his name to the store in case it was a flop. Contrary to Kelvin’s fear, the company was not a flop, and 15 years later, Ted Baker has gone on to become a FTSE 250 company with stores around the world.
Ray Kelvin continues to be as elusive and mysterious as the nonexistent Ted Baker. He deliberately avoids being photographed in full profile, and his half-hidden face has become a signature motif in photos. It’s a good guess that Kelvin’s quirkiness is the origin of the quirky sense of humor characteristic of Ted Baker.
Ted Baker began as a shop that exclusively sold men’s shirts. The signature quality and attention to detail that Ted Baker is known for has been present since the brand’s earliest years. The first Ted Baker stores used to provide a free laundry service for every shirt purchased. This focus on quality and customer service made Ted Baker stand out as “no ordinary designer brand.”
In the early years, Kelvin could not afford conventional venues for advertising, so he relied on word of mouth to promote and expand his company. The brand still adheres to this “no advertising” policy today. Ted Baker is one of the only international designer labels yet to run an advertising campaign.
As Ted Baker’s polished, impeccably-fitting clothing grew in popularity, the brand launched a women’s line in 1995. And we’re sure glad they did! If it weren’t for Ted Baker, who else would give us those perfectly-tailored suit pieces project confidence and command authority in any interview, presentation, or board meeting? Ted Baker has also added lines of childrens’ clothing, shoes, sunglasses, eyewear, and perfume.
While the first Ted Baker stores were in the UK, the brand has made it a point to expand internationally. It’s now possible for the rest of Europe, the US, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East to enjoy the unique, fashion-forward styles of Ted Baker. The company opened its NYC flagship store (pictured below) on Fifth Avenue in August 2012.
While Ted Baker is known for polished, tailored suiting, we love how the brand gets a little bolder when experimenting with trends. Even when diving into the latest peplum, lace, or neoprene craze, Ted Baker’s designs always adhere to the label’s standard of sophistication and timelessness. Ted Baker’s classic silhouettes will never fail to flatter any figure, and the impeccable details in the designs are what make these pieces special.
Unleash your inner artist with this colorful, painterly print! You’ll look chic and savvy at any gallery opening, since the dress has the makings of a masterpiece.
Kipp Dress in Bright Blue
If you’ve been nervous to try out the “sporty” trend this fall, the Kipp Dress is the best way to “just do it.” The neoprene material gives a nod to athleticism (and it’s also extremely flattering), while the pleated skirt keeps this dress feminine.
Lace Trim Dress
Ted Baker effortlessly puts a spin on the Little Black Dress with this exquisite lace detail. This dress is classy, flattering, and memorable. Take it to the next level with a pair of red pumps!
Zip Detail Dress in Red
One would think that mixing a exposed zipper and peplum details on the front of a red dress would be overkill, but Ted Baker executes this trend combination flawlessly! This dress is the perfect office to evening staple – ditch your blazer, add some statement jewelry, and you’re good to go for after-work cocktails!
Nothing makes us think of fall like cozy sweaters (well, unless you include pumpkin lattees, but that’s beside the point). This wool blend will keep you warm through the fall and winter, and the heather grey color matches a variety of fall hues, such as cranberry, hunter green, and cobalt.
Houndstooth Panel Jacket
If you’re looking to upgrade your standard blazer, this stylish jacket is a great option. We love how the combination of the black and houndstooth fabrics still acts as a neutral. The panel and pocket detailing adds an element of trendy sophistication to any look.
[images via the telegraph, ted baker & john lewis]
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