When the now Creative Director of Alfred Dunhill, John Ray, left Gucci in 2006 after a decade-long stint as a menswear designer, he high-tailed it back to his native Scotland and all but disappeared off the fashion radar. What was meant to be a six-month long break from the industry turned into eight years but with plenty of time to recharge, Ray has returned to the design scene with a well-loaded arsenal. Debuting in A/W'14, Ray hit the ground running and has landed his every mark, breathing fresh new life into a brand that remained without creative direction since Kim Jones' departure in 2010.
From apparel to accessories, Ray has made leaps and bounds into the reconstruction of Dunhill's identity—traditional British tailoring but made for the modern man. Harkening back to the founder's roots as a harness maker, the Duke range of bags are hand-worked and fashioned from double tanned French calfskin and are inspired by the traditional kit-bag from the Alfred Dunhill archives. The Rolls Royce headlights designed by Alfred Dunhill himself inspire the facet shaped padlocks. It is a respectful vision of the DNA of Dunhill—thoroughly modern but built to stand the test of time; family heirlooms to be treasured and passed on. Thank you, John Ray.