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Sunday, 7 December 2008

Hawes & Curtis

The British Royal family always has much to say when it comes to fashion, especially about the apparel they wear themselves. The Royalty has been so particular about the quality of clothes worn especially in public. In the early 1900s, HRH Prince of Wales became a practical endorser of fashion house Hawes & Curtis. The unconventional patronage earned Hawes & Curtis the favour not just of the royal family but also of other high-profile fashion consumers worldwide.

Designers Ralph Hawes and Freddie Curtis teamed up and established Hawes & Curtis, which is one of the modern day's most relied on high-end fashion retailers. The first shop opened in 1913 at the historic and posh Jermyn Street in London. In a matter of several decades, the company managed to strengthen and expand its portfolio of products as well as the number of its locations. Currently, the store has 22 shops scattered across the United Kingdom.

When Hawes & Curtis started, the store relied on nothing else but the sheer force of the fashion skills of its in-house designers. The brand and image of the company was enough to please even the Royalties. As mentioned, HRH The Prince of Wales was the first fanatic of the brand. Nine years after the foundation of the company, the Prince of Wales started placing orders for blazers, lounge suits, linen shirts, flannels and even handkerchiefs. Proof of the Prince's satisfaction is his constant placement of more orders.
The Prince then recommended the brand to his cousins, including Earl Mountbatten, Viceroy of India. From then on, the name Hawes & Curtis became a brand that symbolizes and embodies the true style and taste of the aristocratic gentleman.

When King Edward VIII became the Duke of Windsor, he then provided unexpected and invaluable promotion to the brand. In fact, Hawes & Curtis designed the popular spread collar fitting the unstructured tie especially and specifically for the Duke. Practically, Hawes & Curtis clothed the Duke, who instantly became the most stylish powerful man of his time. Needless to say, the brand instantly found further patronage.
Movie star Fred Astaire also attempted to wear one of the royal family's most common apparel. During the time, the transaction became a stir because Hawes & Curtis refused to provide an apparel to Mr. Astaire simply because demand for the clothing was scarce due to higher volume orders from the members of the British elite.

Now, as much as every Hawes & Curtis is available for just about anyone, not all could very well afford it. With its significant price scheme, there is no wonder that the brand is still considered top notch in the UK elite circle.

Neil Thompson is a fashion writer who specialises in luxury clothing for men including men's shirts and bespoke shirts

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