"Be Relevant or Be Dead"Tim Oulton
The story of Timothy Oulton started back in 1976 with a small antiques shop, owned by Tim’s dad. Profoundly influenced by his love of antiques, his father’s military background, and an inherent affection for British heritage, Tim created an authentic, visionary brand with the deepest integrity and a passion to deliver the extraordinary. Handcrafted with only the best traditional techniques and fabrications, each Timothy Oulton piece is inspired by the past, but reconceived from a modern perspective, producing uniquely authentic collections which push the boundaries of furniture design.
Timothy Oulton’s father, Major Philip Oulton, opened his antiques business in Britain in 1976. Located in the village of Hale, near Manchester, he decided to name it Hale Antiques. The signer spelt it wrong however, and Halo was born.
Halo bought its first truck and signalled its enthusiasm with an offer emblazoned on its side: “We are keen to purchase the complete range of antiques."
Major Oulton sent his sons to Ampleforth College, a boarding school run by Benedictine monks. Wandering its vast halls, the beauty of the school’s old English leather furniture and antiques was to become entrenched in Tim’s mind.
Tim left boarding school aged 18, thinking he’d probably end up a city banker. That first summer, he helped out in his dad’s business and was captivated by the world of antiques.
Halo’s first employee, Eddie Gibson, was an expert in all things wooden. He took Tim under his wing, and Tim continues to work with him to this very day.
In 1990 Tim took the helm at Halo. Deciding there was no long term future in the antiques business, he focussed instead on design; reinventing antiques for the wholesale market.
Tim met Diego, an Argentinian leather master full of Tim’s fire and passion for innovation. Diego moved to Hong Kong to work for Tim and a strong partnership was forged.
In 2008, Tim opened his first gallery under the Timothy Oulton retail brand in Los Angeles at HD Buttercup. Flagships then followed in Hong Kong and Amsterdam, and Timothy Oulton ‘comes home’ with a gallery in Harrods, the world’s most iconic department store.
Tim designed his first bag in 2006, inspired by his love of antique luggage. Having dedicated years to leather hand-finishing, the same time-honoured skills are applied to the Bags Collection.
In 2011, Timothy Oulton opens its 40,000 square foot showroom next to the workshops, welcoming visitors from all over the world to explore the heartland of the brand. The walls of the dramatic entrance lobby are panelled with hundreds of antique European doors.
Timothy Oulton designs and constructs the Dome Home next to its workshops, a timber dome with Passivhaus status where the designers can share some downtime. Designed in modular panels that can be shipped anywhere in the world, Halodomes are now in Denmark, Ireland and the Philippines, with multiple uses including spas, restaurants and showrooms.
Timothy Oulton Studio is launched; the boutique interiors and construction design studio of Timothy Oulton, focussing on the hospitality sector. Completed projects include 1880 members’ club in Singapore, the Blue Room at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, and Glazebrook House hotel in Devon, England.
In 2017, Timothy Oulton extends its ethos of hosting by opening its first restaurant in Hong Kong: Gough’s on Gough. A modern British restaurant that exudes style, craftsmanship, hospitality and charm, Gough’s on Gough offers an unbridled feast for the senses.
Today, Timothy Oulton is all over the world map, with stores continuing to open in the most global cities. The guiding philosophy remains; what makes something beautiful is the attention it is given. Time and care and effort mean you always get something extraordinary.