Unwelcome creases and last-minute accessorising are the well-tailored man’s nemesis no more: a collection of handmade wooden valets from London-based e-shop the Gentleman’s Valet Company have stepped in to save the day.
Fashioned to resemble a tailor’s mannequin atop a sleek, three-legged steel tripod, the Standard Valet (from £2,706) in oak or walnut comes with a choice of a top tray or bowl (ideal for belts, pocket accessories and ties) above a jacket and trouser hanger with two widths.
The Lamp Valet (from £2,884, first picture) is a clothes-stand chameleon for any living quarters – the shade itself is not included, but can be made to order as an extra (try silk, national flags or coffee sacks for fabric). The Hat Stand Valet, meanwhile, is topped with a bronze skull or wooden-ball hat rest (£2,886).
Both the Standard and Hat models are available as hanging wall fixtures (from £2,484, second picture), but even more inventive is the dual functionality offered by way of the Wall Light Valet (£2,628). A shade can be wired through the spine to quite literally put a spotlight on next-day’s attire. Leader of the troop is the Gentleman’s Retainer (£2,922, third picture). Crafted entirely from wood (birch, cherry, ash) with a dark, aged finish, the sturdy design is also topped with an accessories tray, and shoes may be laid on the base.
The company, run by Sam Brown, also offers a bespoke service: alterations to one of the existing models or a completely new design made to the client’s exacting specifications. “I always have my eye on the quality of each finished valet. Sometimes I even deliver them myself,” says the craftsman, who made his first valet about seven years ago for one of Candy & Candy’s clients.
Since then, Brown has continued devising new valet variations. Soon to join the ranks will be options with a more feminine touch, as well as smaller designs for desk or bathroom accessories. Impeccable dressing has never been so effortless – save, perhaps, from having a living, breathing valet on hand.