Our History

Our History

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Introduction

Over the years several businesses have been brought together to create what we know today as BMB. This includes Beau Brummel, Blue Max, Banner and SWI. This gradual growth and development of the company gives us a history dating back 165 years.

Beau Brummel started life as John Barrans, way back in 1851. John Barrans became the largest wholesale clothing manufacturer in Europe with 14 factories and 40 retail outlets. John Barrans was the first company to set up bulk cutting using band knives adapted from band saws and were one of the first to use singer sewing machines.

The garments manufactured during the early part of this century were ladies’ coats, skirts, blouses, men’s suits, overcoats, frock coats, motoring coats, boys and youth jackets, trousers, shorts, shirts, girl’s dresses, blouses and skirts.

About this time as an incentive to buy a man’s suit, a pair of boots were given free of charge. These garments were sold to approximately 600 retailers up and down the country. Customers included famous names such as Harrods, John Lewis, Owen Owen and Kendal’s to name a few. During the war years the company continued to flourish making army uniforms, WVS uniforms and flying suits

In the early 70’s, because of the decline in gents tailoring it was decided that the company would concentrate on schoolwear and renamed the company Beau Brummel. Beau Brummel was the arbiter of men’s fashion, and a celebrated figure of Regency England. He established the mode of dress for men that rejected overly ornate fashions for one of understated, but perfectly fitted and tailored bespoke garments, which reflected the styling of modern day schoolwear. Beau Brummel became the schoolwear division of John Barrans for many years.

In 1980 the business was reduced from 500+ employees to less than 300 to enable them to survive the recession. The company was taken over by William Baird in 1989 and had a warehouse and distribution centre in Leeds and a factory in Seaham Co. Durham In 1994, the Seaham manufacturing division became part of Banner Ltd.

Our Recent History

Blue Max purchased banner and Beau Brummel back in 2010 to form Blue Max Banner (BMB). In 2015, a new journey began following the sale of the business by the Fawcus family and a successful Management buyout. A new leadership team, led by Nigel Plenderleith, was established to take the BMB business to the next level and beyond.

This acquisition of sportswear international was funded by growth capital investors MML Capital Partners and Barclays Bank. The acquisition will see BMBs dependable and consistent high-service standards coupled with SWI’s strengths in design, product innovation and marketing to drive the group forward in line with school, parent and student requirements. With SWI renowned for its strong and creative sportswear portfolio, designed collaboratively with athletes and students, it will enable BMB to further extend its reach into the sportswear market. With the successful management buyout and the acquisitions of Orion and SWI the new business group is revisiting the principles of innovation and development which were the founded by Sir John Barran MP back in 1851.

In September 2017, Glenn Leech was appointed as the new chief executive of Banner.

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