Here at OTC, we love a good story, and this clever, cheeky brand has one. Located in the capitol of American rebellion, Philadelphia, Duke & Winston has its heart firmly planted this former colony’s former home base of London.
Launched in 2009 by Seun Olubodun a prior resident of the UK, the brand takes its worldly cues from both his English and globe-hopping backgrounds. The “Duke” portion is Seun’s English Bulldog, HRH the Duke. “Winston,” of course refers to Sir Winston Churchill, perhaps on of the greatest British statesman in modern history. Using Duke as his initial inspiration, Olubodun created a single graphic tee featuring Duke’s image, which was soon selling out at local trunk shows and boutiques. The result of that initial show of creative industry is a brand both cheeky and fresh that combines English intellect with American energy.
Duke & Winston is a casual clothing line focused on customers who, “favor substance, refinement, and practicality above the flashy and sometimes downright barbaric styles that have flooded the men’s market of recent.” A limited selection of cool (elegant leashes and collars handmade in Pennsylvania) and fun (canine hoodies?) dog accessories provide a hip counterpoint to it’s main offering of sharp polos and well-designed tee shirts that have a decidedly literary and historic bent.
The overall feel of the brand, especially its Philadelphia retail space, tells you that this is far more than just another ironic tee shirt company; it’s a complete brand concept with a mission, identity and plan. We are every interested to see where they go next.
One of our favorites is a line of tees inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s list of 13 virtues to live by. Olubodun designed the series with the hope of inspiring those striving to fulfill their own American Dream. This literary take on the familiar graphic tee shirt resulted in four interpretations, each with its own distinctive look.
No. 2 Silence- Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations.
No. 4 Resolution- Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
No. 6 Industry- Lose no time; be always employed in something useful
No. 7 Sincerity- Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.