Interview with a Flâneur: Trevor Pickett
Quietly exclusive and with a longstanding ethos to provide luxury leather goods that are handmade in England, everything about Pickett represents the unique character of artisanal luxury. Launched in 1988, the Pickett brand has grown over the years and remains a proud purveyor of luxury goods. With over three decades of experience within the industry, Trevor has developed the brand into one offering a myriad of wonderful gifts and products.
We caught up with the retail magnate to find ut what makes him tick…
Having come from a background in selling luxury handmade bicycles, I obviously had some inner calling for selling goods of high quality. I left school at 16 and went to work in small leather goods shop in the Burlington Arcade. This fortified my passion for retail and enabled me to have an understanding of British-made product and the luxury market.
Having worked closely with Asprey, Smythson and Fortnum & Mason, I learnt about the different leather goods that were available. At Pickett, we buy our leather goods from a variety of small makers and workshops. This means that the product in our shop is far more varied and we are able to offer a full range of leather goods. If we had our own factory we would only be able to produce one signature look. When it comes to creating our bespoke items, we tend to make purely for the customer and always strive to meet their every request.
How has the brand evolved over the years?
The brand has evolved over the years because, with my ownership of it, I’ve had more control over what we make. It’s very much our product that reflects my taste. With that ability, we’ve managed to create our own leathers, our own designs and buy in certain volumes.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Customer service is hugely important. People shop with us because they receive one-on- one service, whereby we guide our customers through their purchase. With such variety at Pickett, people sometimes don’t have the confidence to know exactly what they want so it’s about nurturing them through that buying process. We offer true customers care, particularly with our bespoke service. With businesses nowadays, it’s crucial that you recruit a businessman or woman, who understands your business and its ethics, to offer mentoring and to drive the business forward.
What inspires you?
I think I’m inspired by everything, whether it be a painting, an antique or the visual of another company. I look to the old and the new and I hope that gives us a contemporary twist whilst keeping a classical and quality product so we never cut corners. Our offering is greater because of that.
As I enjoy life generally, I tend to be excited by everything I do. I put passion into everything. I adore travelling to Paris. I’m magnetised to Goyard on the Rue Saint-Honoré and some of the amazing museums like the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature and Musée Baccarat. I feel a sense of energy, which is hugely rewarding. The Dries Van Noten show and the Fashion Forward: 3 SIÈCLES DE MODE (1715-2016) at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs were both inspiring. My new love of Paris 9 and has taken over from my old love of Paris 1.
Do you consider yourself a Sybarite?
Some might say I’m a Sybarite but I believe there is total luxury in simplicity. Luxury isn’t throwing money at something, it’s an appreciation of life. It’s like me being a flâneur, which means I look at life around me and find beauty in the most simplest of things. I feel that with such experience, I’m able to take out of those experiences something that is rather special.
As an arbiter of taste, how do you find the best in luxury?
I think you find the best in luxury goods in experiences. Whether it’s an opera, an exhibition or a play, luxury is a feeling rather than something that is tangible. My worldly experiences become my inspiration, which help drives the evolution of the Pickett brand. My team and I seek to create a place where customers are always treated to a luxury experience. If the level of customer service doesn’t match up to the quality of the product then it doesn’t feel like luxury at all.
What’s next for you?
Heaven knows what’s next for me. Next comes from around the corner and you cannot predict what is going to happen. This allows you to take the time to enjoy things and find the positive in the day to day.