The RIBA Project

If you were in the Soho neighborhood of West London, where Beak and Regent Streets meet, you would have found porcelain shirt collars suspended in air as if carried by an imaginary wind in our flagship store’s window. “A flock of collars captured mid-flight represents Brooks Brothers’ innovative spirit with a single gold button-down leading the formation,” said Tim Rundle, Design Director at Conran and Partners.

For the past six years, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has invited thirteen flagship retailers to create engaging window displays. This year Brooks Brothers and Conran and Partners collaborated to charm some of the three million people who attended the London Design Festival September 7 to 27, 2015.

The inspiration for the window display was drawn from the 1896 polo match where John E. Brooks noticed players on horseback securing pins to their shirt collars to prevent them from fluttering. This match eventually led to our invention of the Original Button-Down Polo® shirt.

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The partnership also includes the craftsmanship of ceramicist Billy Lloyd. “Working much like a tailor would, I made templates and patterns to cut the individual pieces of porcelain.” Lloyd added, “The clay was pressed between two sheets of canvas to achieve a fine woven texture, and the curved shapes express the plasticity of the porcelain. By leaving the surface unglazed, the ceramic collars appear light and ethereal, creating a sense of theater upon the streets of London.”