Half a Century Young
At Issue 50, Riddle reflects on friends we have made and looks forward to the future
Happy Birthday us, as this month is Issue 50. It’s been four years since we opened our doors, and we feel proud of our achievements. We have certainly faced challenges as we’ve carved a niche for ourselves to shine a light on the Best of British and often overlooked brands and manufacturers, and we’re sure there will be more to come. We’ve met some wonderful and inspiring people and had the privilege to be welcomed into some incredible locations.
It’s hard to forget the bandito, otherwise known as Pleurat Shabani, behind Konik’s Tail. The one man vodka continues to impress; having infiltrated some of London’s top bars, his efforts are now turning towards foreign targets. And with a mention in the Doomsday Book, it’s hard to look past the priceless history and setting of Rushton Hall. Even arriving in the rain at twilight, this country hall, dating back to the 1400s, took our breath away. As part of Riddle X Jaguar, Rushton Hall was the last night in a week long road trip visiting British brands across the breadth of England and it was heartening to find so many family owned businesses re-investing into their brands to ensure the continuity and legacy of skills and products (note to self, must find a Barbour Ursula Jacket). And while we’re measuring time, an honourable mention goes to those restarting family firms, such as FEARS and Vertex watches.
However, hand in hand with success, there are those we have met who we have subsequently bid farewell to. The brands who bared their souls to us in regards to unsustainable rent and rates increases have unfortunately seen their predictions come true and have had to say goodbye to their bricks and mortar. Independent businesses, be they ones that appeal to your sense of sartorial audacity or ones that make you salivate at their mere mention, are essential against the tide of global homogenisation.
Across our ‘bat shit crazy’ black book of contacts, we’ve become aware all businesses face similar challenges and there are no quick fixes. Short term gain often becomes long term pain and the ones who stay and maintain the course do so by sheer grit and determination. We salute this determination and Riddle remains committed to supporting and showcasing this perseverance and conviction.