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Fenwick Announces 140 Year Anniversary Celebratory Events, All New in Store Experiences, Exclusive Collaborations and Much More

Since 1882, Fenwick has welcomed its discerning shoppers with style and savvy, glamour and grace. This year, Fenwick celebrates 140 years of inspiring you to join the circus of life with a non-stop parade of covetable collaborations, exclusive events and thrilling activities. Fenwick 140 invokes founder John James Fenwick’s visionary ability to attire women for modern life and his son, Arthur Fenwick’s lifelong passion for the daring and dazzle of the circus, casting a spotlight on the circus’s spirit of curiosity, discovery, playfulness and individuality.


Headline activity:

  • Fenwick Newcastle will host a programme of events including a spectacular live circus performance on Saturday 26h March; Exhibition 140 - an exhibition documenting the past through the inclusion of pieces from the Fenwick archive as well as and looking to the future; and Café 140 serving contemporary dishes drawing inspiration from Fenwick’s rich history of hospitality and dining experiences.
  • A collaboration with fashion students from Northumbria University creating bespoke pieces for the modern day inspired by the rich Fenwick archive and brand story.
  • Celebratory exclusive brand collaboration collections from the likes of Edeline Lee and Rixo to Paul Smith and Never Fully Dressed.
  • A podcast series entitled ‘The Woman Who...’narrated by actress Zawe Ashton celebrating women past and present who embody female empowerment through the circus of life

Inspired by Arthur Fenwick’s love of the circus, Saturday 26th March sees a spectacular live circus performance take place at 11am at Fenwick Newcastle. Prepare to be amazed by some of the finest circus performers from the UK and beyond including a gravity-defying aerialist, an internationally renowned hula-hooper and spectacular acrobats. Performers will then move inside to dazzle shoppers throughout the afternoon with performances at 1pm and 3pm.

Preceding the circus performance, the 140th anniversary celebratory events programme commences in Fenwick Newcastle on 24th March with the opening of Exhibition 140 featuring rarely seen pieces from the Fenwick archive, and the opening of Café 140, serving a show-stopping breakfast and weekend brunch, beloved lunch dishes created from the finest ingredients, sumptuous cream teas and joyously nostalgic cakes and desserts. Both the Exhibition 140 and Café 140 will open daily and remain open throughout 2022 for all visitors to enjoy.

Kieran McBride – Fenwick Newcastle store director: “This is a very exciting year for us at Fenwick as we celebrate the 140th anniversary of our very first store here in Newcastle. To mark the occasion, we have a fantastic line-up of spectacular events starting with a thrilling circus performance this Saturday inspired by our founder’s son’s love of the circus, and all new celebratory in store experiences such as Café 140 and Exhibition 140 which explore our rich archive and showcase future talent through our work with Northumbria University. We will announce a series of further events in the coming weeks which we are incredibly excited to share with you all. Fenwick has always been proud to be a big part of the community here in Newcastle and we can’t wait to welcome you all to join our celebrations.” 

Northumbria University student project

Fenwick have partnered with Northumbria University’s prestigious BA fashion programme on a number of exciting student projects. Drawing influence and inspiration from the rich Fenwick archive, the students have created contemporary reimaginations of pieces and stories they discovered to produce pieces that symbolise female empowerment in the modern day. 

The students were mentored throughout the design process by members of the Fenwick team including Leo Fenwick – Head of Brand, Sue Shields – Womenswear Fashion Buying, Manager and Paul Baptiste – Head of Creative. A selection of the students' work will be displayed within the Fenwick Newcastle exhibition space – Exhibition 140.

Emma Goldsmith, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University: “The Fashion Staff at Northumbria feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with the meticulously preserved private family Fenwick archive. After a prolonged period learning online, our BA Hons Fashion second year students thrived on working back in fashion studios and workshop, converting creative design development into contemporary fashion garments, printed textiles, and knitwear, engaging with the same skills and processes as J.J Fenwick. The Fenwick story is absolutely fascinating, and it has been a fantastic journey to date. We very much look forward to showcasing our students work throughout this anniversary year.”

Leo Fenwick: “We are very proud to be working with students from Northumbria University who have so brilliantly interpreted fashion through the decades, using our rich archive as inspiration. We have also partnered with some incredible circus performers as part of one focus of the exhibition on my great uncle, Arthur Fenwick, and his keen interest in the circus. Fenwick has always sought after and nurtured local talent from across our communities, using our different platforms to promote individuals and brands which is what ties this exhibition together and speaks to the heart of the brand”.

Exclusive brand collaborations

Fenwick and its brand partners will draw inspiration from its founder - a dressmaker with a bold, entrepreneurial spirit whose creations always appealed to the modern woman, in creating exclusive collections across womenswear, menswear, beauty and fashion accessories drawing on Fenwick’s history and the modern day to mark the 140th celebrations.

Womenswear exclusives from: Edeline Lee, Rixo, Palmer Harding, E.L.V. DENIM, Never Fully Dressed, Samantha Sung, FUND, Eskander and Masai. 

Menswear exclusives from: Paul Smith, Represent, John Smedley and Fred Perry. 

The Woman Who... Podcast series narrated by Zawe Ashton

Fenwick will launch its first Podcast series on 24th March celebrating women past and present who embody female empowerment through the circus of life. For 140 years, Fenwick has dressed and worked with modern women for modern life, from stage and film actresses and princesses to motorcar drivers to aviation pioneers. Women from all walks of life who share the same values as the founder and the company he built. To continue this legacy, the series narrated by actor Zawe Ashton will consist of 10, 10-minute episodes featuring inspirational stories released weekly from March 24th written by acclaimed scriptwriter and author Hannah Jewell.