Frank Smythson Ltd., more simply known as Smythson, of Bond Street is a British manufacturer of luxury stationery, leather goods, diaries, and fashion products based in London, England. Smythson opened his first shop on 29 September 1887 at 133, New Bond Street, London. The current flagship store is located at 40 New Bond Street, London. Clients have included the current Royal Family, Queen Victoria, Sir Edmund Hillary, Madonna, and Grace Kelly.
Smythson's can customise its products, particularly for weddings and parties. The highest-end stationery is often detailed with 24-carat gilded edges, hand-painted borders, custom-engraved motifs and monograms.
In 1908 the company created the first featherweight diary, enabling diaries to be carried about.
Smythson opened its first freestanding store in the United States on West 57th Street near Fifth Avenue in New York City. SawickiTarella Architecture Design designed the shop using simple lines and colours following the style of the store's products. Smythson products are also available at the high-end department store Bergdorf Goodman around the corner. The products are also sold in small boutique-style alcoves inside Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and Selfridges department stores in the United Kingdom.
In the 1950s, the John Menzies Group acquired Smythson, which was at the time also operating under the name "Pendragon". In 1998, Smythson's then managing director Sarah Elton led a management buyout backed by a private investor. Since then, the business has grown and the company is now operating six outlets in the UK and one in the U.S. In 2004, Smythson recorded £12m in sales revenues.
In early 2005, Smythson shareholders appointed Cavendish Corporate Finance Limited to advise on the disposal of their stake in the business. Besides maximizing value for themselves, the shareholders wanted to find a buyer who would protect the heritage of the brand and offer the management team the opportunity to continue to grow.
Kelso Place Asset Management and King Street Partners, backed by a consortium of high net worth individuals, were identified as the preferred bidders. Sarah Elton commented that she was satisfied with the deal.
In mid December 2009 the label was sold for £18m to Greenwill SA, the holding company for Tivoli Group, an Italian leather goods manufacturer. Jacques Bahbout has become Chief Executive and Chairman of Smythson.
For the Autumn/Winter 2010 Collection, Smythson collaborated with British designer Holly Fulton to produce a capsule collection of diaries and accessories.