By Anna Abuzo


Is Ted Baker a Luxury Brand?



Ted Baker History


Ted Baker is synonymous with premium high street shopping. In recent years the high street itself has become a less than persuasive place to judge a company’s status and success; with a slow erosion of the market-town model and geography in the UK and overseas, and with even the more ubiquitous department stores and retail units suffering in part because of the pandemic, certain brands have – inevitably – fallen to the wayside. But Ted Baker is in a position to ride that storm, and to cement its place as a high street stalwart and fashion success story  


A little history on the brand reveals why Ted Baker is set to (potentially) go again once the new normal becomes the old normal, and why Ted Baker is empowering customers to create their own take on classic British style.

Founded in 1988 in Glasgow, Ray Kelvin envisioned Ted Baker, a completely fictional fabrication, as an intrepid, aviator type. If that pitch sounds familiar (a kind of uptake on the Burberry model for those without their very own boat) then it reveals the astuteness of Kelvin at a time when nobody was checking their wardrobe against British Empire-influenced styles.



Expansion followed to shops and concessions throughout the UK and Europe. Is there any more representative sight in the redeveloped area Covent Garden (aside from perhaps Body Shop) than a Ted Baker window display. Premium brands like these essentially pushed the aggressive mid-nineties efforts of the likes of Replay, Diesel and Dr Martens to the far end of Neil Street along with the premature belief that casualwear was going to rule the world.


The Ted Baker model flourished in part because old school values in the city and beyond still influenced how people dressed, and because Paul Smith and the aforementioned Burberry had started to reinvigorate their own brands with modern marketing campaigns to fill the void and beat back (or adapt to) the casualwear threat. Ted Baker, at a price that most Londoners and tourists could actually justify, was an obvious substitute. It was the duty of Ted Baker to offer customers the look and the quality of classic London style without the luxury price tag.




Problems with the brand can be traced to the public perception of Kelvin, but more accurately to several shifts that have affected premium labels, particularly in the last couple of decades. In essence, behemoths like Uniqlo and Primark now provide clothes that answer the question of what to do when you want a designer but can’t really afford it. You go cheap(er) and disposable in muted or party-friendly colours and designs, and you splash out twice a year on a discounted pair of Balenciaga shoes or a Gucci bag. With a diffusion of strict office clothing rules for all but city types who can afford to wear tailored items, where does this leave Ted Baker.


The fact is, alongside the like of Reformation, DKNY or even Gap, there is plenty of space to manoeuvre in order to offer consumers quality premium retail. Premium brands are somewhat scuppered by the need to be (in a design sense) all things to all people, but Ted Baker has that solid historical foundation to build on, and now intrepid, aviator types of both sexes and multiple ethnicities can – in theory – join the adventure. The clothing is well made and Ted Baker bags are generally demure and leather constructed. Here’s to the future.



Is Ted Baker a luxury brand or a premium brand?


Ted Baker falls into the premium category, with its aspirations set somewhat above this level. Its lack of a pre-eighties history away from the British high street ,and its tendency to trade and market itself in line with values already associated with luxury British brands mean it’s more likely to consolidate its existing position going forward.


But consolidation, in this day and age, is no mean feat. Search online for some rather credible Ted Baker designs (and these are actually very well constructed products too, especially when compared to some of the more flamboyant European brands) that provide an interesting take on Kings Road style. With Ted Baker, you’re not expecting a trailblazing seasonal campaign inspired by a hellraising designer’s lockdown anxiety, but then neither are you expecting clothes (and bags) without a clue.    



Ted Baker Bag materials

Ted Baker bags are made from the best quality materials. Ted Baker handbags are frequently of leather construction (hence the slightly elevated price tag for a premium brand), or non-leather materials (in bold or soft but always complimentary colours) that are renowned for their sound construction.



Ted Baker popular picks at Linvelles

A selection of bags that exemplify Ted Baker’s association with sophisticated and conservative style. Graduating from purses and small hand-held bags to Totes and Ted Baker Crossbody bags continues the trend for low key, attractive elegance. In terms of a Premium Handbag, expect a reduction of heavy branding and envelope-pushing design for an accessory that looks good and is practical across multiple platforms.



Betteey Bee Charm Purse

With an interlacing mesh design emboldening the purse with a confident, Mediterranean feel, the dominant black colour (against gold zipper and chunky charm clasp) create an even bolder, North African vibe that makes it a handy addition to an all-black wardrobe or when you want something to blend in with whatever you’re wearing.



Crosshatch Purse

Complete with a fine crosshatch design, reminiscent of some of the embossing seen on pricier luxury bags; this refined purse in cool pink or blue features ample pocket space for coins and cards, and a secure top-zipper.



Deannah Bow Shopper Bag

The Deannah Bow is similar to other Ted Baker Tote Bags (and differs from many other premium brands’ take on the form) in the crisp formality of its lines and leather construction. Drawing attention to itself courtesy of the cute front-mounted bow, its conservative allure makes it great for shopping-centric duties as well as more refined pursuits. In demure pink, cream and beige.


Ted Baker Purses - Derita Colour Block Large Bifold Purse


As a rule, Ted Baker purses are bold and simple. In black with cream and red interior spaces, this Bifold purse features external and internal zips for added security and storage, as well as multiple spaces for coins and cards. This is the final hand-held stop before upgrading to a Ted Baker cross body bag.



Buy Now, Pay Later for Ted Baker Bags

Luke Griffiths, vice president of Klarna, announced in 2020 that they will partner with Ted Baker to offer customers flexible payment methods. By offering customers Klarna at Linvelle, we’re committed to a class ecommerce experience, with the option to pay up to 30 days after purchase in interest free instalments. By offering customers flexible payment methods (available on our website from late August 2020), both Ted Baker and Klarna are demonstrating their commitment to the customer.



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