The company began life in 2008 with David Keyte (UW co-founder, director, designer) working from his kitchen table with an aim to make real, honest clothing based on fit and good design, though never over designed.
Universal Works was inspired by David’s formative years growing up in a provincial midlands town in the seventies, part of a working class family that loved to dress well; seeing his Dad and Uncles in their work-wear and also when dressing for the weekend. Next, working as a sign-writers apprentice, whilst experiencing the development of eighties sporting and music subcultures. And finally a thirty-year span in the fashion industry. From Paul Smith to Maharishi he gained an education from and worked alongside some of the best in the industry.
With David’s life work reading like a description of the companies DNA, Universal Works is about the mixing of ideas; understanding heritage and context underpinned by contemporary needs and aesthetics.
We champion skilled, small-scale production. We produce garments in the right place, both in the UK and overseas, working only with factories we trust, admire and are proud to be associated with. The company also gives us an opportunity to collaborate with amazing people from artists to writers and anyone in between, a process that inspires continual growth and education. Have a look at our Journal section to meet some of these people.
After initially selling to ten retailers, we have gained a substantial following and are now stocked from Los Angeles to Seoul. Our head office and web store is based in Nottingham and we have two Universal Works stores in London.
We are happy and proud to be an independent, small company, always approaching our work with passion and a sense of humour.