In 1982 Bentley and Spens sold vivid hand painted and batiked clothes from their stall in London's Covent Garden Market. Over the next five years the duo continued to work in the fashion industry, selling to major retailers such as Paul Smith and Harvey Nichols. In 1988 Bentley and Spens opened a new showroom at Lots Road, Chelsea where their work concentrated on design and production of furnishing fabrics for interiors. A series of high profile commissions at home and abroad resulted in an invitation to collaborate with interior and lighting designers on projects in Japan. In 2001, Bentley and Spens received their first commission from Kawashima Textile Co. Ltd to produce a range of designs for yukata, or summer kimono.
The designs were based on popular Bentley and Spens motifs and the collection was launched at an exhibition in Tokyo. The second yukata collection 'Tropical Day Dream' included variations on some existing hand painted designs of birds, shells and elephants and added new florals which combined stylised flowers with shadow images. Subsequent collections were inspired by Morocco, its flowers, mosaics and decoratives arts and Japanese sweets. Floral patterns proved extremely popular with the Japanese market and this example 'Bouquet' was launched in 2005 as part of the 'Sweet' collection which included designs of stylised flowers as well as sweets.
During their seven year collaboration, Kawashima (later known as Kawashima Selkon Textile Company) commissioned 77 designs from Bentley & Spens.