Hawes & Curtis

Hawes & Curtis is a British fashion company founded in 1913, currently operating 29 stores in the United Kingdom including two in Jermyn Street, London. The brand is best known for their shirts and jackets.

Hawes & Curtis
Private
IndustryClothier
Founded1913 in London, England
FounderRalph Hawes
George Frederic Curtis
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Area served
United Kingdom
Cologne, Germany
UAE
Key people
Touker Suleyman (Chairman)
ProductsClothing
ParentLow Profile Holdings
Websitehawesandcurtis.co.uk

HistoryEdit

The company was founded by two tailors, Ralph Hawes and George Frederic "Freddie" Curtis, who opened the first store in Piccadilly Arcade, at the corner with Jermyn Street, in London in 1913.[1]

On 1 December 1922, Hawes & Curtis Hosiers was granted a royal warrant by the then Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor).[2] In July 1938, King George VI awarded the company a second royal warrant, and then, in 1948, a third one to Hawes & Curtis Tailors. This warrant lasted throughout the King’s reign.[3] In 1957, the Duke of Edinburgh awarded Hawes & Curtis with a third Royal Warrant which remained until 1985.

Businessman Touker Suleyman [4] acquired the company under the group Low Profile Holdings in 2002 for the symbolic amount of £1.[5]

Designers' legacyEdit

Hawes & Curtis are known for having introduced the backless evening waistcoat.[6] It was an innovation of the ‘dress soft’ era popularised by the Duke of Windsor. The waistcoat was designed without a back and held in place by means of bands, fastened with a buckle or button across the back at the waistline. When worn, the waistcoat always remained in position under the tailcoat and was renowned for its comfort. Fred Astaire allegedly approached Hawes & Curtis to have one made, only to be regretfully refused due to the high demand for such garments from the British aristocracy.[7]

According to the Review of Savile Row Tailors, by the 1930s, "Mr. Curtis was an authority in evening dress and had done more to keep shirts from bulging out of up-creeping waistcoats than any other young man in London. Evening shirts and waistcoats were made on scientific mathematical lines – yet were chic withal."[8]

Hawes & Curtis also assisted the Duke of Windsor in creating his now famous Windsor knot, by introducing an extra layer at the inside of the tie.[citation needed]

Notable customersEdit

Notable customers have included Prince Philip,[9] Cary Grant,[10] the Duke of Windsor,[11] Earl Mountbatten' [12] Frank Sinatra,[4] Fred Astaire [13] and Donald Sinden.[9]

TodayEdit

The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in October 2013.[14] It currently operates 29 stores in the United Kingdom, with the main store on Jermyn Street.[15] Hawes & Curtis also has a store in Cologne, Germany, and the UAE. The company operates a British, German and Australian website. In common with many competitor brands, manufacturing is now offshore.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hawes & Curtis eyes US and concessions in growth drive. Retail Week 10 April 2008
  2. ^ The London Gazette 5 December 1922
  3. ^ The London Gazette. 12 July 1938.
  4. ^ a b Hawes & Curtis ties up £3.2m Middle East deal. Alistair Osborne. The Telegraph. 11 August 2013
  5. ^ Hawes & Curtis eyes US and concessions in growth drive. Retail Week. 10 April 2008
  6. ^ "Men's Style Dictionary - Tailor | Mens Suits | Custom Shirts | Wedding Suits | Business Shirts – Wil Valor 1300 309 272". M.wilvalor.com.au. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  7. ^ "19 | May | 2011 | Not Fashion. Style". Hornetskensington.wordpress.com. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  8. ^ Review of Savile Row tailors 1930 London is a Man’s Town by Helen Josephy and Mary Margaret McBride
  9. ^ a b Bell, Matthew (9 January 2016). "Style secrets of the dapper Duke: Trousers that last half a century. A 34in waist - and a hatred of pleats. The tailor who's measured Philip's inside leg for 50 years reveals all". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  10. ^ Torregrossa, R 2006, Cary Grant A Celebration Of Style, Bullfinch Press, Hackette Book Group USA, London. (p.32)
  11. ^ The Duke & Duchess of Windsor: The Private Collections 1997, Sotheby’s, New York: "The Duke’s famous ‘Windsor Knot’ was achieved by having his London shirt makers Hawes & Curtis put a thick interlining in his ties to make the knot fatter." The Windsor Style.1987. Suzy Menkes. Grafton Books
  12. ^ How Hawes & Curtis built an online international business. Veebs Sabharwal. Retail Gazette. 12 February 2008.
  13. ^ Style setters: Mr. Fred Astaire. Mr Porter The Journal. 19 June 2012.
  14. ^ Hawes and Curtis celebrate 100 years of luxury shirts. James Haskell. The Sloaney. 10 October 2013
  15. ^ "Hawes & Curtis Flagship Store". Jerymn Street.

External linksEdit