Regent is a brand defined by change, innovation and aspiration, so the Regent Skipper – a unique species of butterfly that’s still puzzling naturalists because, amongst other things, it likes to imitate moths – seemed like the perfect symbol for Jason Regent to launch his clothing company with in 2006. Alongside the matching surname, Jason found the Skipper’s refusal to be classified inspiring, just as he found the idea of branding his tailoring-based business with a moth-like creature – the tailor’s enemy – darkly funny: sense of humour and lightness of touch has always been key at Regent.
Jason’s grandfather was butler to James Bond creator Ian Fleming, so Jason was surrounded from an early age by impeccable tailoring that served to suit practical purposes, too. A family home in Henley-on-Thames provided close links with London, a connection that explains the synergy between country and city still reflected in the brand today. Jason learnt his craft at legendary tailors Ede & Ravenscroft but balanced this work with stints in high-street fashion, developing his eye for contemporary brands that were producing the highest quality fashion.
The Regent business started in a garage unit on an industrial estate in Salisbury, Wiltshire and expanded rapidly, relocating twice in just under five years and settling finally at its current home: the Grade-II-listed, three-storey building by the gates of Salisbury’s thirteenth-century cathedral. Jason developed a team that he ensured were as diverse and far-ranging in their knowledge as they were passionate in their love of great clothes, and it’s this team that have helped develop the branching facets of Regent, such as the specialisation in workwear and outdoorswear, as well as heritage tailoring.
The encyclopaedic knowledge of diverse styles that Jason and his assistants possessed helped to position them as personal stylists as well as retailers, and assisting people in achieving their perfect look – always through a balance between listening and offering a bit of re-education, some new alternatives – became a key element at Regent. This concern for cultivating particular looks that complemented customers’ confidence and lifestyles blossomed into a central ethos at Regent, and it remains the reason why we stock so many varieties of styles and brands, just as it means that there’s no noticeably identifiable ‘Regent’ suit or look. The one style lesson Jason tries hard to impart is that individuality is key, and collaboration – be it upon an outfit made up of different brands or a three-piece suit – is essential.
The shop, meanwhile, grew to become the manifestation of Jason and his team’s collaboration and their magpie-eye for the best garments around. As well as a wide range of non-clothing products from individuals, local companies and world specialists, the Regent team assemble the best new brands from around the world, giving Regent a distinctly Shoreditch vibe amidst the traditional high-street fare. This curatorial atmosphere reflects the energy and creativity of the team and their desire to develop fruitful partnerships that are creatively and commercially successful.
In this way, Regent began to overflow the standard definitions of any sartorial tailors, becoming a one-stop-shop for folk looking to find advice, high-quality products and a good-humoured shopping experience. Influences continue to pour in for Jason and the team, who will just as happily take style cues from musicians and Hollywood Icons to the latest mad and bad anti-heroes appearing on TV. Bikers, skaters, cowboys, tweed, denim and khaki; single-breasted, double-breasted, Heritage and cutting-edge; guitars, bicycles and gardening: it’s a broad church at Regent. The one thing that unites every product we design or stock is a commitment to the highest quality, with things ideally made in the UK and carrying a low carbon footprint. Everything is built durably and combined with timeless design. In this way, Regent remains about buying it once and buying right, steering away from quick fixes and taking the time to pare down to the essentials. Everything we stock will last you a lifetime, and will stay stylish for just as long too. We like to go against the grain, not to follow the latest trends, to look that little bit further, think just a little outside the box and find the brand that’s doing it’s thing best – not just the one that’s doing it the most famously. And just like the Regent Skipper butterfly, our story is ongoing, ever evolving and hard to pin down.