New Release: St James of London Brushes
Born out of the Elizabethan age (a time of peace and prosperity when Britain raised itself out of the ruins of WWII), St James of London began in 1953 as an all-natural men’s grooming line. Committed to bringing to light a higher level of shaving routines for men, it met an untimely death after just 10 years. Fast forward to 2013 when Todd Fisher acquired the brand and formulas. With new fragrances to grace the old recipes, St. James was reborn in the summer of 2014, since then it has gone on to grace the shelves of the world’s best “haberdashers, barbershops, and resorts” . . . and now West Coast Shaving. “We’re a bit of an anomaly as we’re neither artisan, nor large-scaled by any stretch of the imagination. A key difference is our approach specifically to manufacturing - we implement small-batch manufacturing best practices. Instead of trying to produce as much as possible to achieve lowest costs, we actually produce in smaller quantities, albeit at a higher cost to us, but this allows us greater control over maintaining consistent and quality products – along with bringing fresher products to market,” said Todd.
And we are particularly excited about this partnership, because it is bringing us access to some limited edition shaving brushes by the renowned brushmaker, Lee Sabini of Rooney fame. The brushes were curated at the behest of Todd Fisher, who worked with Sabini to create brushes for his newly acquired company. “Having worked with Lee [Sabini] of Rooney’s for many years prior to St James of London, I wanted to continue with our tradition of collaborating with a top-notch brush maker for the brand, so Lee was a natural choice at that time. Unlike in the past however, we embarked on creating a few different colorways that were different than the traditional Ebony, Ivory and Horn that were traditional options for many years,” said Todd. It was the English lavender color of these brushes that first brought them to our attention – but it seemed impossible to get our hands on them, until we hooked up with Todd. When he designed these brushes, he really wanted to keep the famed Rooney backbone. “The St James of London brushes were created to our specs (even firmer backbone) and the English Lavender as far as I know is the only color I’ve seen like this even today. We chose Lavender as an homage to Britain’s earliest shaving fragrance along with being a very popular color among British royalty,” said Todd. We are also carrying a Grey Marble and Rooney’s original Model I version.
Rooney Shaving brushes have a bit of a mystique surrounding them. They have little (no?) web presence. Their focus has mainly been on providing the highest quality shaving brushes for local London shops. Like other renowned British brands (Vulix and Simpson), these famed companies were often one-man operations (with no one to whom the baton could be passed). Lee Sabini acquired Rooney over a decade ago, but never sought to expand the range. As Todd says about Sabini, “The impression I took away from these meetings was Lee was mainly interested in doing top-notch, small runs of brushes, and not so much interested in making more than he himself could produce.” Which explains our excitement about St. James of London reserve collection of brushes being available on our site!
Check out these truly exquisite ivory, ebony, grey marble, and English lavender brushes. A small batch of special edition hardware that combines St. James style, Rooney handle shape, and Sabini handmade knots is a match made in heaven.