THERE IS SUCH A THING as growing old gracefully. Luxury clothing and accessories brand Alfred Dunhill proved this last week in London when it unveiled its revamped 4,000-square-foot flagship store and launched its new logo, Web site and strategy. Instead of trying to outdo its competitors by re-inventing itself as the hippest young thing on the block, it upped the cool stakes by going back to its roots. dunhill', as the label now wishes to be known, started out in the early 1900s as a maker of accessories for that new-fangled contraption, the car, and although it has since become a successful global brand, its powers that be felt it was time for a makeover. In its latest incarnation it has adopted a concept it calls 'new classicism', focusing on its origins and on traditional aspects of a quintessentially British lifestyle, and giving them a quirky new direction. The red leather of a cricket ball, for instance, is incorporated into accessories such as photo frames and wallets, complete with the ball's distinctive white stitching. A classic driving coat has been reproduced in the same fabrics as the original, but given a modern interpretation. Naturally, dunhill's new classicism idea is embodied in its flagship on Bond Street where deep red walls and leather fittings hark back to Victorian decor and are a radical departure from the usual bland interior of a typical men's store. Gone are the traditional fixed counters and window displays - the shop's design is completely flexible with furniture that can be moved about and changed with minimum cost and effort for a fresh look. Visuals from dunhill's advertising campaign (also launched last week to coincide with the store's opening) are positioned next to exhibits from the Dunhill museum - even the thinking behind the product layout is different. Unlike a traditional Dunhill shop, which was divided by product type like a mini-department store, the Bond Street emporium is arranged into themed zones. These are defined by black-and-white wall-mounted photographs by Japanese artist Keiichi Tahara, and comprise a deliberate mix of product categories. Realities, for instance, offers everything for the discerning businessman, from cufflinks and briefcases to suits and shirts. The Court and Country section revolves around leisure, and the Motorities zone reflects dunhill's past but has an innovative range of products (including pogo sticks and travel blankets) associated with modern motion. 'We're catering for the 'mature' man,' says dunhill's president Guy Leymarie. 'But this can mean advanced in outlook, not just age.' At the back of the store is the deluxe bespoke area known as Obsessions and here too the new classicism idea comes into play with an emphasis on ultimate luxury. Bamboo flooring gives way to leather, and you can ponder on the purchase of top-of-the-range accessories as you sit in stylish leather armchairs. A resident tailor and shirtmaker offer traditional made-to-measure services, but they are easily accessible rather than being closeted away as was customary in the past. It is all reminiscent of a gentleman's club - luxurious, welcoming and very male. But if the thought of trying to find the item of your dreams among all this mixing and matching sounds a shopping nightmare, rest assured. To prevent clueless male shoppers wandering around in a confused daze, dunhill' has increased its sales staff to 12, and packed them all off to butler school as part of their training in the art of discreet service. As well as guiding customers round the shop if necessary, the staff aim to anticipate their needs and encourage them to shop without feeling pushed into it. Not only is dunhill' singling out the men from the boys, it is also bidding farewell to its women's and baby lines to devote itself to masculine needs, as it did when a fledgling retailer. A cunning plan it seems because, according to Leymarie, no other global luxury brand focuses exclusively on men, specifically those who appreciate the finer things in life and have the disposable income to acquire them. 'Men are spending more on their wardrobe now than ever, and we are convinced the men's fashion market will continue to rise,' says Leymarie. 'The potential for growth is huge, especially in Asia and the United States, and we want to position dunhill' as a market leader.' The brand is planning to increase its worldwide stores and franchises from 155 to 220, and gradually implement the Bond Street concept in them all. Taipei will be the first Asian outlet to get the makeover, scheduled for re-launch in June or July, but the company has yet to find its ideal Hong Kong location. dunhill' isn't a fashion brand, nor does it want to be, aiming instead for a look that won't become a sartorial faux pas after just one season. 'We're not going young, but being classic and conservative doesn't mean we're not fashion-conscious,' says Leymarie. The brand is also branching out as an 'incubator' for rising stars rather than featuring established designers. The lucky handful - several young designers will be chosen each year - will get the opportunity to design under their own names exclusively for the label. And although they will work in line with dunhill's blueprint of traditional deluxe quality, they will be given carte blanche to express their own identity and bring something new to the brand. Such 'partnerships' with dunhill' could last for several years if successful, completing rather than competing with the label's own collections. First in the coveted spotlight is Ameri-can Michael Tapia whose passion for pants brought him to dunhill's attention. He took four years to get the design of his trousers just right, balancing traditional tailoring techniques with a modern twist, and although they retail at #400 (HK$4,450) a pair they achieve an absolute in originality and quality. With so many new things on the menu, it would have been rude not to throw a launch party, and once again dunhill' got the thumbs up for celebrating in a more classic fashion. While other established fashion houses have been noted for throwing rave-style bashes in recent months, dunhill' had an elegant knees-up at the Dunhill Club in Piccadilly. Good old-fashioned Tattinger Champagne was free-flowing, and London's movers and shakers salsa-ed to the sounds of Cuban band, The Buena Vista Social Club - living testament that you can be in your 80s and still be the epitome of cool.