Armitage Outfitters: A Beacon of Timeless Luxury

Discover a unique shopping experience in Umhlanga that goes beyond aesthetics to provide tailored services, fine products, and purposeful luxury

By Your Luxury

A full-service destination for the discerning man, Armitage Outfitters has refined the notion of purposeful luxury. The retail store, nestled in the heart of Umhlanga, emphasises a carefully curated experience that goes beyond mere aesthetics. Here, luxury is not just about high price tags or brand names; it is about value, quality, craftsmanship, and the stories behind the products. And it is very much about the visionary owner, Neville Armitage.

With a career spanning over three decades in the fashion industry, his extensive travels not only exposed Neville to quality brands and the luxury market, but also highlighted the need for a convenient shop that caters for a busy businessman.

“There were two main reasons behind the launch of Armitage,” explains Neville. “Firstly, to offer a fully integrated service to busy men, a stylish emporium where they can get style advice, tailormade clothing, apparel, leather goods (and care), fine fragrances, skin and hair care products, barber services, products and advice, alterations and dry-cleaning services, as well as a place where friends and relatives can spoil the men in their lives with a unique range of gifting items.

“Secondly, I wanted to source and retail a curated range of apparel with an emphasis on high quality and natural fabrics – leather, cotton, linen, wool, merino, silk and cashmere across a range of local and international brands. We list our products at a good value for money price as opposed to over-inflating the price in order to offer a false discounted price on purchase.”

There are 35 brands stocked in the store – the likes of Stenstroms of Sweden, Gant, Falke, Tom Ford eyewear, Amouage, Acqua Di Parma, Dr Vranjies, Lock Stock & Barrel, The English Soap Company, Bang & Olufsen, Jekyll & Hide, Maxhosa, Fieldbar and Granadilla – and Neville can vouch for all, from their brand history, craftsmanship and value. Every item is thoughtfully selected to create a cohesive luxury narrative in the store.

“I stock brands that I have tried and tested. These are brands that I use and can confidently recommend to clients. I love to know what was going on behind the scenes. The stories behind heritage brands. Where does this come from? Where is it made? How is it done? What’s the process? And I really enjoy sharing the stories with customers to assist with their choice, whether it’s skincare or a shirt.”

Neville is also committed to sourcing brands that align with his sustainability and ethical ethos. “We have always believed in being responsible and each decision is consciously made to ensure we offer the best products with the best people and presentation. While we place an emphasis on caring for our environment, we also seek brands that strive to do the same.” This includes practices such as cotton crop rotation, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free practices, and biodegradable and recyclable packaging.

“We place a big emphasis on getting to know our clients and even their families in order to consistently improve our levels of service and product offering and to better meet their needs, to simplify life for our clients. Our store environment is very much a place to stop in for a coffee and a chat and not a hard-selling environment, the most enjoyable compliments we get are those from clients who really enjoy our space and talk about feeling welcome and relaxed when visiting. We aim to keep clients updated on what’s new and how to use and care for the items they purchase from us in order for them to get the best overall experience.”

What he loves most about the industry is the constant change. “Although I am numbers-oriented and very analytical, I like variety, styling and receiving the new merchandise. And I love that I get to meet a lot of people on the shop floor.”

He also thrives on the connections built and the pleasure he witnesses on happy customer’s faces. “While I love technology and our whole store is in the cloud – the music is streamed, the fragrance that’s diffused is monitored remotely – there’s something to be said for the intimate, personal experience like the touch of the barber, measuring for a fitting… I can actually feel there is a connection with somebody, whoever they are, when they come in and you sit across the desk from them, you show them styles, you talk fabrics.”

“As we started doing suits, we got more and more requests for matric dance suits. I realised that this is quite an experience for young gentlemen – for some of them the first time they are getting dressed up – and with that comes the recognition of what they could be. I clearly remember the fragrance I wore for my matric dance, nothing expensive, but I was given a small sample vial to put in my pocket. So, we do that for the matric boys, too – we pop a sample into their suit pocket to use on the day.”

True luxury certainly does lie in the details and the memories created by the experience.

Head to Armitage for more information: armitageoutfitters.co.za

*Images by Sean Laurenz


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