Trend: British Souvenir


Kiss me quick hats, saucy postcards, sticks of rock and royal mugs. That pretty much sums up the traditional British souvenir trade; oh you could throw a tea towel into the equation. Sound familiar? As tourists flock to London this summer the design community have taken it upon themselves to target the ‘souvenir’ market offering the alternative British gift for tourists – why buy tat when you can buy from established designers and craftspeople?


Above: Azook! Cushion by Cameron Short at The New Craftsmen – £140

Within the last month the word souvenir keeps cropping up. First, the ‘The New Craftsmen’ – a store situated in a prime tourist location close to Selfridges opened ‘The Real British Souvenir Shop’ selling goods that identify the true essence of Britain – such as traditional commemorative mugs in Devonshire slipware, block printed cushions, intricately embroidered wrestling strips and original 19th century 3-legged milk stools. All promote a ‘real’ interpretation of time-honoured British craft.


Above: Cumbrian Wrestlers by David Ellison at The New Craftsmen

‘Souvenir’ by Creative Clerkenwell, a less craft more design led pop-up shop opens on the 5th August for five days, displaying London souvenirs “that don’t suck” said curator Charlene Lam.


Above: Cushion Print by Mini Moderns at Creative Clerkenwell.

The collection includes Mini Moderns‘ new ‘Props’ collection for the National Theatre, Chisel & Mouse feature architectural sculptures from their recent Brutalist collection amongst others.


Above: Brutalist Trellick Tower by Chisel & Mouse at Creative Clerkenwell

If you can’t make it to London the wares are available online at The New Craftsmen and Creative Clerkenwell via the designer’s store.


The New Craftsmen:

34 North Row
Mayfair, London


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11am – 7pm
Friday, Saturday: 11am – 6pm

Creative Clerkenwell:

Showcase at Craft Central
33-35 St John’s Square
Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4DS


5-10 August

11am-6pm Tue-Fri
12-5pm Sat-Sun

The New Craftsmen / Mini Moderns  / Chisel & Mouse


  1. SOUVENIR pop-up shop and showcase, 5-10 Aug | Creative Clerkenwell - August 3, 2014

    […] Despoke: Trend of British Souvenirs […]