Universal Works produce contemporary menswear.
The company's first collection launched in 2009 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 workwear 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, David 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. Take a look at our Journal to learn about some of these people and our collaborations with them.
After initially selling to ten retailers, we have gained a substantial following and Universal Works is now stocked from Los Angeles to Seoul. Our head office and web store is based in Nottingham and we have three Universal Works stores; Berwick Street, London (opened in August 2013), Broad Street, Nottingham (opened in March 2016) and Coal Drops Yard, London (opened in October 2018). In 2021 we added our first standalone European store. In partnership with long term stockist Truffelschwein we opened in Berlin, Germany in October '21. This is our second partnership store, the other located within Liquor Store in the fair city of Birmingham, England.
We are happy and proud to be an independent, small company, always approaching our work with passion and a sense of humour.