Gieves & Hawkes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gieves & Hawkes
Type Subsidiary
Industry Retailer
Founded 1771
Founder(s) Thomas Hawkes
James Watson Gieve
Headquarters Savile Row, London, United Kingdom
Products Clothing, Fashion
Parent Trinity Ltd.
Website www.gievesandhawkes.com
Gieves & Hawkes on №1 Savile Row
Interior of Gieves & Hawkes on №1 Savile Row

Gieves & Hawkes are a bespoke gentleman's tailor located at №1 Savile Row, London.

Founded in 1771 and owned by Hong Kong conglomerate Trinity Ltd.[1] they are one of the oldest continual bespoke tailoring companies in the world.[citation needed]

The company holds a number of Royal Warrants,[2] and provides ready-to-wear as well as bespoke and military tailoring.

History[edit]

Gieves & Hawkes' business was originally based on catering for the needs of the British Army and the Royal Navy, and hence by association the British Royal family.

After coming to London in 1760, Thomas Hawkes set up his first shop in 1771 in Brewer Street.[3] Catering for gentlemen, his main clients were commanders of the British Army, through which King George III became a customer. Having expanded his retail operation by moving to No.17 (later number No.14) Piccadilly in 1793,[4] Hawkes gained the first of many Royal Warrants in 1809.[3]

In 1835, James Watson Gieve was employed by 'Old Mel' Meredith, a Portsmouth-based tailor by appointment to the Royal Navy. Meredith tailored the uniform Admiral Lord Nelson was wearing when he was killed in action aboard HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar[citation needed]. In 1852, Gieve partnered with Joseph Galt, and in 1887, Gieve purchased the remaining shares to form Gieves & Co. He died in 1888.[3]

On 23 December 1912, Hawkes & Co. bought №1 Savile Row from the Royal Geographical Society for £38,000,[3] in part because the firm had dressed so many explorers. In 1974, Gieves Ltd acquired Hawkes & Co., and the freehold of №1 Savile Row. The company was renamed Gieves & Hawkes.[3]

Drawings of some of the customers of Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row, such as the Duke of Cambridge, Diana, Princess of Wales, Charlie Chaplin and Sean Connery

Customers past and present include: Winston Churchill, Admiral Lord Nelson, The Duke of Wellington, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, David Beckham, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The company also produces the uniforms for the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms.

Current operations[edit]

Having listed unsuccessfully as a Plc, in 2002 the company was bought by Hong Kong based property developer and garment manufacturer USL Holdings Ltd. In May 2012, Gieves & Hawkes was acquired by Trinity Limited, and the distribution of Gieves & Hawkes continues to expand with over 100 stores and concessions around the UK and in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.[5]

In June 2009 Gieves & Hawkes began a new partnership with British Formula One team Brawn GP, providing the team with their official attire, a grey single breasted, two button mohair suit, white shirt and distinctive team coloured tie.[6]

The Savile Row flagship store was renovated in 2011 and transformed into a menswear emporium, which includes concessions for Carreducker (bespoke shoemaker). In October 2011, Gieves & Hawkes sponsored the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race conducted by six serving soldiers of the British Army, with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.[7]

British stores[edit]

Royal Warrants[edit]

Royal Warrant of Appointment by Queen Elizabeth II

Gieves & Hawkes have a strong history of both service to the military, and hence to the British Royalty. Hawkes & Co. were granted their first Royal Warrant in 1809, during the reign of King George III.[8]

Gieves & Hawkes presently have all three main Royal Warrants, appointed to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales.[2][8]

Timeline[edit]

  • 1732 - Number One Savile constructed as town house of the Fairfax family.[8]
  • 1760 - Thomas Hawkes comes to London, and is employed as a journeyman (a runner) for Mr Moy, a velvet cap-maker on Swallow Street. Heavy drinking Moy leaves the socially aware Hawkes to cultivate his royal clientele.[9]
  • 1771 - With Moy dead, Hawkes sets up a hatter and tailor shop in Brewer Street.[3] His top client was King George III, who later ordered several thousand scarlet uniforms for the British army, and his son the Prince Regent (the future George IV).
  • 1793 - Hawkes has established his expanded shop at No.17 (later number No.14) Piccadilly,[4] described as "Helmet, Hat and Cap-maker to the King."[3]
  • 1809 - Thomas Hawkes receives his first Royal Warrant, based on his work for King George III
  • 1818 - Burlington Arcade, a glassed-over esplanade of shops adjacent to Burlington House is constructed under the patronage of Lord George Cavendish who resides at No 1 Savile Row, where Beau Brummell was a guest before his fall and exile in 1814
  • 1822 - James Watson Gieve is born in Chumleigh, Devon
  • 1850 - Having handed his business over to his nephews, by 1850 Hawkes & Co is being run by H. T. White. As the personal tailor of Sir Garnet Wolseley, he develops a special form of the pith helmet known as the Wolseley pattern, which has an extended brim at the rear for better sun protection for the neck. It is still worn today by the Royal Marines as formal dress.[3]
  • 1835 - James Watson Gieve is employed by 'Old Mel' Meredith, a Portsmouth-based tailor by appointment to the Royal Navy. Meredith tailors the uniform Admiral Lord Nelson is wearing when killed in action aboard HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar
  • 1852 - James Gieve acquires a partnership with Joseph Galt (established in 1823 and incorporating Meredith); christening the firm Galt & Gieves.[10]
  • 1871 - Ownership of №1 passed to the Royal Geographical Society, which added the magnificent Map Room and galleried Library which remain the focal point of the fine interiors today.[8] Henry Morton Stanley, sent to find him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869, finds David Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 27 October 1871, clad in Hawkes & Co. dress from head to toe.[11]
  • 1873 - the body of explorer David Livingstone lies in state at No.1 Savile Row, before burial at Westminster Abbey.[12]
  • 1887 - James Gieve becomes sole owner of Galt & Gieves, renaming it Gieves & Co.
  • 1888 - James Gieve dies
  • 1912 - On 23 December, №1 Savile Row is purchased from the Royal Geographical Society by Hawkes & Co. for £38,000,[3] in part because the firm has dressed so many explorers. This was at a time when the international reputation of Savile Row, the famous street and centre for fine craft tailoring was growing.[8] Another £10,000 is spent on converting the premises to suit the business. Hawkes & Co. is appointed to dress the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, the British Monarch's nearest bodyguard
  • 1920s - becomes the first Savile Row tailor to make and (secretly) sell ready-to-wear suits
  • 1935 - a period uniform is made for actor Charles Laughton for his role as Captain Bligh in the film Mutiny on the Bounty. Moy had made uniforms for the original Captain Bligh[13]
  • 1955 - Gieves is depicted in the film The Man Who Never Was when a German/Irish agent tries to verify the existence of the title character.
  • 1974 - Gieves Ltd acquires Hawkes, and the precious freehold of No 1 Savile Row. The company is renamed Gieves & Hawkes
  • 1980s - licenses Rochester, New York based manufacturer Hickey Freeman to produce a licensed version of its clothes for distribution in North America
  • 2002 - Following a very poor 2001/2 trading period where it lost £1 million, Gieves & Hawkes plc accepts an offer from Hong Kong's USI Holdings Limited, valuing the company at £11.5million.[14]
  • 2007 - Robert Gieve, the fifth and last generation of the family to serve Gieves & Hawkes, dies
  • 2011 - Major refurbrishment for Savile Row flagship store, with new concessions such as bespoke shoemaking and barbershop.
  • 2012 - Sold to Trinity Ltd and continue to expand in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

See also[edit]

Media related to Gieves & Hawkes at Wikimedia Commons

References[edit]

  1. ^ "High-end to luxury menswear and accessories". Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Gieves & Hawkes - Company Website". Gieves & Hawkes. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "'Cork Street and Savile Row Area - Savile Row', Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32". British History. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  4. ^ a b "London Look - Man's wool suit, c. 1916 Tailored by Hawkes and Company, 14 Piccadilly". Museum of London. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  5. ^ "High-end to luxury menswear and accessories". Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Gieves & Hawkes agrees partnership with BrawnGP". Gieves & Hawkes. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  7. ^ "Scott Amundsen Race - Starts October 2011". Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Gieves & Hawkes". Elegant Lifestyles. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  9. ^ http://www.savilerowbespoke.com/History/History_of_Savile_Row/
  10. ^ "No1 Savile Row". EM Online. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  11. ^ http://issuu.com/sichi/docs/dt01
  12. ^ G. Bruce Boyer (Summer 1996). "On Savile Row". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  13. ^ Stacy L Ritz (1990-05-06). "A Proper Gentleman For More Than 200 Years, Princes, Politicians And Privates Have Turned To Gieves & Hawkes To Look Their Best". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  14. ^ "A Hong Kong Takeover for Gieves & Hawkes". 2002-04-25. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′37″N 0°08′23″W / 51.5102°N 0.1397°W / 51.5102; -0.1397