For Fall 2023, Dunhill Rediscovers The Power Of Classic British Understatement
— 31 January 2023

For Fall 2023, Dunhill Rediscovers The Power Of Classic British Understatement

— 31 January 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

In ages past, as with a number of cherished British luxury houses, it could have perhaps been said that Dunhill suffered from an excess of arrows in its quiver. Established in the late 19th century as a specialist in “motorities” – serving Britain’s various automobile-owning elites – it has spent the past century going through a cavalcade of reboots.

For a time, the brand made ornate gadgetrry in the guise of secret watches and clocks; and, since 1907, has been synonymous with cigarettes, cigars and other knicknacks generally connected with nicotine (the brand – now a subsidiary of Richemont – no longer produces any tobacco-related products).

Historically, all of this has made it quite hard for Dunhill to commit to a single, coherent identity in the arena of menswear: a fact that was much in evidence these last 5 years, as Creative Director Mark Weston (formerly a senior exec at Burberry) took the house down a path of high-stakes reinvention. Now, to mark the arrival of CEO Laurent Malecaze – who has been settling into his new role for the better part of a year – Dunhill has unveiled a collection for Fall 2023 that returns things to a place of stark essentiality.

To put it another way – you’re unlikely to see any fanny packs inspired by cigarette lighters.

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Instead, Malecaze and the Dunhill design team have made it their first priority for the Fall collection’s 20 or so looks to “embody the values of the House”. Ergo: function, premium materials, very British craftsmanship, and an identity rooted in Dunhill’s grand touring energy of yore. “We have a responsibility to create collections that are not only beautiful,” said Malecaze, “but [which also] endure seasons and trends.”

Dunhill Fall 2023

And so, the approach that Dunhill’s designers – sans, for the moment, a Creative Director – have settled on consists of a nuanced, ever so slightly chilly approach. There are shades of Kilgour, Cerruti, even a little Brioni in here: conjuring up daydreams of slick-haired hedge fund types, for whom Dunhill’s latest crop of mathematically precise finery shall gel nicely.

Malecaze’s refrain – about a return to the core values that once defined Dunhill – is hard to miss, once you start to parse the individual pieces that make up the Fall 2023 collection. A single pair of footwear, in a patent sheen with moulded soles, telegraphs that obsession with versatility; as does most of the colour palette, which is grounded in a swirl of greys, black and navy.

That frees up room to go to town on all the finer details which are of a tactile nature: there’s a quilted leather parka that recalls the gaunt, monied rocker stylings of Hedi Slimane, or a tasty cashmere overshirt that might well fit the bill if you never want to wear the archetypal grey sportcoat ever again. These all sit comfortably alongside garments rooted in Alfred Dunhill’s own era, albeit updated for the lifetime of the 21st century man.

Don’t know about you, but it’s nice to see properly luxe leather outerwear make a long overdue return.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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