Russell and Bromley – British shoes since 1873
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Russell & Bromley Footwear: Important Dates
- 1873: Russell & Bromley is founded when George Frederick Bromley leaves his home town to work as a journeyman shoemaker for Albert Russell of Lewes.
- 1880: Albert Russell’s shop on Eastbourne’s Seaside Road had its name changed to Russell & Bromley when the married George Bromley and Elizabeth Russell (Albert Russell’s daughter) took charge of managing the store.
- 1947: The first London Russell & Bromley store opens at the corner of Bond Street and Conduit Street.
- 2010: Former Chairman or the brand, Peter Bromley dies of lung cancer aged 68.
Biography of Russell & Bromley
The story of Russell & Bromley began in 1873, when George Frederick Bromley left his home town of Hastings to work as a journeyman shoemaker for Albert Russell of Lewes. George soon fell in love with Russell’s daughter, Elizabeth and the pair married. Six years later, the couple started managing Albert Russell’s shoe store on Seaside Road, Eastborne. It becomes the first ever store to be named Russell & Bromley – George began to create and sell shoes of his own.
Under George and Elizabeth’s leadership, the brand flourished and in 1947, Russell & Bromley was able to open its first London shoe store on the corner of Bond Street and Conduit Street. Russell & Bromley continued to flourish, soon opening further stores throughout the UK selling men’s and women’s footwear, accessories and handbags.
Sadly in October of 2010, Peter Bromley, the former Chairman of Russell & Bromley passed away from lung cancer at the age of 68. Great Grandson of co-founder of the brand, George Frederick Bromley, worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the family business. He became Director of Russell & Bromley in 1971, then Chairman of the brand in 1989, a position he kept until 2003. During his stint as Chairman, Peter Bromley was instrumental in helping the brand to successfully expand, while retaining the reputation for quality instilled by his great grandfather.
Peter Bromley oversaw the opening of new Russell & Bromley standalone stores in key retail locations such as Central London, and within large shopping centres including in Brent Cross and Bluewater. Peter Bromley was not only passionate about a quality product, but also about a quality service; he insisted that all of the Russell & Bromley shop staff spent a full day at the Barkers footwear factory to see how quality footwear was made.
“Peter built a distinctive and dedicated family business on superb shoes. It was evident he had a love and passion for the product.” – Lance Clark, Founder of footwear brand CJ & Clarks
Currently, the Russell & Bromley brand is still a family run operation and has over 40 standalone stores throughout the UK. As well as stocking the brand’s own footwear and accessories, Russell & Bromley stores also stock other exclusive footwear brands. The women’s collection features the designs from labels including Beverly Feldman, Stuart Weitzman, Aquatalia and Donald J. Pliner. The men’s collection features footwear from quality brands including Barkers, Panama Jack, Lacoste and Sebago.
Fans of Russell & Bromley
In 2002, politician Theresa May wore a pair of leopard print kitten heels when speaking at the Tory Party Conference. The Beverley Feldman shoes were exclusive to Russell & Bromley stores throughout the UK and were soon in high demand. Stores throughout the country sold out of the kitten heels and matching handbags solidifying a relationship with shoe designer Beverley Feldman that had been going strong for 25 years.
In 2010, British presenter and fashionista Alexa Chung caused a similar stir in sales. Alexa Chung is a big fan of the Russell & Bromley brand (as well as fellow British labels Chinti and Parker and Mulberry), in particular their leather loafers. After she was seen wearing them on several occasions Russell & Bromley sold out of its traditional leather loafers. Also a fan of leopard print like Theresa May, her Russell & Bromley calf skin leopard print handbag also became popular with patrons.
Future of Russell & Bromley
The future of Russell & Bromley looks bright. For the 2010 financial year, the brand’s operating profit grew 26.3% to £13.9 million and sales increased 6.2% to £88.1 million. Buoyed by the patronage of young fashionista’s such as Alexa Chung, expect sales to continue to improve for the traditional Russell & Bromley brand.
Visit the official Russell & Bromley website here.