NIGEL PRESTON is the iconic luxury English Sheepskin, leather and suede designer brand and Fashion House.
Nigel Preston went to art school and trained as a painter and graphic designer and started designing and making clothes for friends in the late ’60s when he set up his first design studio in the old projection room of a cinema in London’s Kings Road, Chelsea. It was here that he began making his infamous leather creations for the artists and musicians who would gather there to rehearse.
Nigel became notorious in the rock and roll world of stage and screen for his bespoke leather jumpsuits and silken leather jackets, molded and clinging to the body. In the ’70s Nigel opened Maxfield Parrish, his first design label, shop and Atelier in Smith Street, Chelsea which he named after the illustrator who’s work he admired. Nigel’s Maxfield Parrish creations became coveted by the world’s fashion intelligentsia.
It was here that Nigel created, fitted and hand made stage garments for Queen, Suzi Quatro, Stevie Nicks, The Stones, Kate Bush and Emerson Lake & Palmer and many more. Nigel was celebrated for his innovative and original cutting edge approach to leathers and his creations were hailed as masterpieces from royalty to rock stars and celebrities
Nigel Preston met and teamed up with his partner and future wife, PR Guru Brenda Knight who became his muse and marketing force, developing an international following for their unique collections of desirable soft, lightweight fluid sheepskin coats and leather and suede garments which became famous for their irreverence to fashion trend and for their timeless style.
Together they launched their creations at the London Designer Collections with their signature range of long feminine suede riding Skirts, jackets and riding coats made out of soft as butter suedes, leathers and their sheepskin coats that effortlessly draped over the body.
In the ’90’s they fell upon an undiscovered, beautiful and romantic 18th Century Chateau in the Normandy countryside which was untouched by time. Brenda began her life passion of restoring it meticulously to its former glory. This became not only their family home, where they brought up their three sons, but also their creative hub and design studio. Here they found space and freedom to develop previously untried organic finishes on skins such as hand painting, branding, block printing, natural ageing, waxing and washing and embellishment on luxury skins.
The V & A showcased them, British Vogue acclaimed them as the first designers to cut leather as if it were silk. Journalist wrote that their collections were forerunners to the Hermes and Gucci leather designs. Where their collections lead others followed and they became sought after by the worlds top stores and buyers.
After the death of her husband, Nigel in 2007, Brenda Knight took over as the sole designer of the collections and continued to run the business single handed, opening her own design Atelier and manufacturing headquarters in India where she personally set up and trained her loyal team of Artisans in the art of fur machining lightweight sheepskins to the most rigid standards of the highest European quality and finishing techniques and successful production and shipping.
The legacy lived on under Brenda’s leadership and care. She is recognised and acclaimed the world over for her beautiful luxurious women’s coats, designer menswear, accessories, jewellry and home collections.
With over thirty years experience Brenda has also worked as a sheepskin and leather design consultant for many leading International fashion designers and high fashion retail store groups and has secured many successful collaborations, manufacturing and producing Private Label for major retailers and designer brands.
Brenda Knight has led her iconic fashion heritage brand on a life long journey. In an ever changing world she remains true to her independent luxury hand finished artisan roots, whilst continuing to captivate and inspire the fashion worlds elite stores and clientele with innovative, current, glamourous, confident and iconic collections.
The Nigel Preston Collection Celebrates its 40th Year in 2018 emerging from its rich history as it launches a new and exciting era in the world of luxury designer sheepskin, leather and suede collections.