A new investor looks set to introduce British luxury brand Linley to an international audience while expanding its existing business
Luxury goods company Linley is preparing to embark on a journey with new shareholder and director Jamie Edmiston, consolidating a quarter-century of success founded on David Linley’s exemplary skills as a cabinet maker. Yacht broker Edmiston took a share in Linley in the summer and is set to become a hands-on director alongside chairman David Linley. Just a few months after announcing his investment (reported to be £4m), Edmiston was presenting the company’s new identity and revamped flagship showroom in Pimlico.
As well as rebranding the company, one of Edmiston’s key ambitions is to take the Linley brand into international markets. ‘I am a firm believer that we should aim high,’ he says. ‘I have huge respect and admiration for brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and my clear aim is to ensure that the Linley brand is recognised in the same vein as these within the next five years. Linley is a super-premium brand with a unique DNA based on craftsmanship and bespoke designs.’
David Linley started as a cabinet maker and has since expanded his company into related sectors, notably furniture, gifts and accessories plus interiors, including yacht commissions. The company’s involvement in all these sectors is set to continue and, of course, there has been some speculation as to the importance of the yachting sector to the company in the future. The two brands are certainly complementary. Speaking about furniture, Edmiston reveals that new products are already in development. ‘These include sofas, dining tables and chairs, as well as a whole range of accessories,’ he says. Edmiston is also predicting growth in the interior design sector. ‘The interior design business has been very active and we anticipate significant demand from China, Russia and the US,’ he adds.
Edmiston has spent the past decade building his eponymous yacht brand and wants to transfer his keen marketing skills to a new company. ‘Linley is an amazing brand,’ he says. ‘However, it was important that the business was able to stand out from the crowd and be seen alongside the other super-premium brands. The new Linley blue [introduced as part of the corporate rebrand] was appropriate and has been very well received.’
Edmiston is keen to stress his commitment to Linley but also wants to make it clear that he has not completely abandoned his relationship with the yacht company of which he was commercial and marketing director. The appointment of new managing director Mark Cornell has given Edmiston the space to explore other opportunities and choose to make this personal investment in Linley.
Edmiston won’t be drawn on his plans for international expansion but he is looking at a wide range of markets with a view to establishing a presence and increasing the company’s export revenues. At a time when the UK’s international profile is particularly high, this looks to be an exciting and busy time for this most British of luxury brands.
This article was first published in idfx Magazine.