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9 April 2010


It's with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of our co founder Mr Sidney Burstein , husband to Mrs Joan Burstein and father of our CEO Simon Burstein and our Creative Director Caroline Burstein.

Sidney Burstein was born in England, the son of a Russian father and a Polish mother.

In 1948, with his wife, Joan, and his brother Willie, he started a shop in Kingston Applemarket called Wilbuer, selling underwear. From here they went on to open the first branch of Neatawear in Maidenhead which became such a success that it developed into a high street chain selling fashion to young women.

When the business collapsed (mid 1960s) he and Joan started a boutique in High Street Kensington called Feathers, along with his brother Willie, which was hugely popular and considered to be the ultimate destination for fashion lovers at the time in London.

In 1970 the Bursteins’ son, Simon, was working part-time in a shop on South Molton Street belonging to Sir William Piggott Brown. When he hears that Sir William wanted to sell the business he recommended that his father buy it, which Sidney did. From a small boutique it has now become one of London’s most prestigious independent fashion retailers.

Since it’s establishment Browns has developed and expanded to include the five interconnecting Browns shops in South Molton Street, a smaller scaled version on Sloane Street, Labels For Less, Browns Focus which was launched in 1997 to cater for the younger cutting-edge client, and more recently Browns has launched a highly successful Bridal store and last year Browns Shoes on Brook Street in Mayfair. Sidney Burstein started the Browns Website 8 years ago, well before many other retailers recognized the importance of E-commerce.

Sidney Burstein remained actively involved in the business he and Joan created and loved until the end of his life. He passed away peacefully on 5th April with his family at his side.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burstein family.

1 comment:

  1. I discovered Browns from a fashion guide book of London in the mid-1970s and used to travel by train from Norfolk to visit the shops for a few hours in a day. Then, as far as I was concerned it was the centre of the earth. The menswear shop sold very early Armani and Missoni, also the Browns Clothier range of 1930's inspired fair isle and corduroy clothing summed up the whole decade for me. I use to add Margaret Howell collarless shirts from the Joseph backed shop further down the street. I fell in live with Browns Living, the Clarice Cliff ceramics and the seashell cutlery. I also used to buy the herbal shampoo and conditioning oil from Molton Brown. Until many years later I never fully realised how special and wonderful was the experience I had the privilege to enjoy. Thank you.