Tim Bent is a "vintage luggage obsessive" and his London shop, Bentleys, is a reflection of that passion. Bent founded the shop in 1989, and has since been the most popular purveyor of English antique leather accessories and travel goods. Luggage - especially vintage luggage - is more a portrait of where someone's been and where they're going, all culminating in personal stories and journeys. We couldn't help but get a roundup of this visionary's favorite things, and if you happen to be traveling in London, check out this little gem behind the streets of Knightsbridge.
Item I own that gets better with age: My entire life revolves around vintage leather; there's no better way to see the benefits of good materials and craftsmanship. So, I try to commission bespoke leather when I can. My veg-tanned leather watch strap was made in Tokyo and is aging beautifully. My crocodile skin credit card case was bespoke - made in Paris - in a great little atelier called ABP and is perfect.
Best vintage buy on eBay: When eBay first launched I bought some great things, but now it's flooded with second-best goods. I'd rather buy hands-on and face-to-face. After all, it's the people that you buy from that are important.
Place I love to visit that’s rich in history: Tokyo. It's a wonderful mix of tradition and modernity. The Japanese attention to detail, particularly in architecture and retail, is inspirational.
My secret to looking timeless: Style is more important than fashion.
Most powerful photo I’ve ever seen: Peter Beard's, I'll Write Whenever I Can.
Best souvenir I’m glad I brought back home: A leather covered shoe-tree from Tokyo. It combines two of my passions.
Favorite vintage fashion trend: Untouched military metals mixed with vintage trunks; Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat. Nike Air Force greys, Khakis and dull metallics. I'd leave the trunks unpolished; a bronze patina looks fantastic mixed with military scarlets and blues.
Smell that makes me feel most nostalgic: Freshly mown grass. It reminds me of the morning before a cricket match at school.
What I’m currently coveting: A bespoke pair of loafers from my friends James and Deborah at Carreducker, the finest British craftsmanship imaginable.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Follow the path less trodden.
Music that always takes me back: Anything by The Smiths.
Film that I can watch over and over again: Lawrence of Arabia
Favorite family recipe: My wife's roast chicken.
Tastiest mom-and-pop shop that’s been feeding me for years: The Old Fire Engine House in Ely near Cambridge. It's a wonderful family-run restaurant that used local suppliers for their produce before it became fashionable.
Blog I’m currently addicted to: Twitter and Pinterest still feed my insatiable visual appetite. Yatzer for architecture, E.Tautz for Savile Row style and Cool Hunting for temptation. A favorite is Present & Correct who are stationery addicts.
I couldn’t live without: Kettle's Yard in Cambridge. It's a small townhouse and gallery with amazing art and furnishings collected in the 1960's by Jim Ede, a past curator of the Tate Gallery. The house is the most inspiring place I know, full of art by Ben Nicholson and Davis Jones and sculpture by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Words to dress by: Understated, handmade, British.