William Oliver

Regent's welcomes William Oliver, Chief Brand Officer at dunhill

Regent's Visiting Professorships series has wrapped for another year, finishing on a high with an insightful talk by William Oliver, Chief Brand Officer at dunhill. 

Synonymous with British craftsmanship and design, dunhill is an iconic British men’s luxury house. A trusted destination of elevation, classicism, hedonism, and solace – offering understated, refined pieces across ready-to-wear, leather goods and hard luxury. 

How do you continue to build on the historic narrative of a brand like dunhill? At this event students met the man behind dunhill’s powerful and focused branding – in his own words, "never the loudest, always the most heard" – who has been leading the reinvigoration of a storied brand. 

Since their inception in 1893, they’ve been defined by an uncompromising dedication to excellence, craftsmanship and style. Over 130 years later, they’re a brand still adapting and changing the menswear landscape.

William doesn't see menswear as a limitation. "We have a sense of masculinity across our brand, across our imagery and certainly across our products," he remarked, cycling through some of the brand's images of broody male models in sharp, tailored coats and suits, "but it's never a closed door. We're open to anyone who wants to come to us – we dress a lot of women too. That understanding of a nuanced masculinity... It's brought the brand up to date."

At this event William showed students the inner workings of dunhill's branding, including analysis and research behind the brand strategy. He also highlighted the concepts behind some key events, including a Pre-BAFTA Filmmakers Dinner and Party, a series of Frieze Masters talks and a runway show at the National Portrait Gallery.

About Visiting Professorships

Every year Regent's invites senior leaders from global brands to speak to students, as part of our collaboration that delivers a connected, industry-led education. These events are exclusively for Regent's students, staff and alumni.

This year was bigger than ever, featuring leaders from Harrods, The Sunday Times, Fortnum & Mason, Laurent-Perrier, Tom Ford Beauty and FARFETCH. The events will resume in the Autumn term, with even more prominent brands and figures from the world of luxury expected to make an appearance alongside returning speakers.