T. M. Lewin
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T. M. Lewin (Thomas Mayes Lewin) is a gentleman's shirt retailer and was formerly a UK manufacturer. It was founded in 1898 when Thomas Mayes Lewin opened his first shop in Jermyn Street, St James's, London.
T. M. Lewin produced shirts and accessories with a history of innovation, its founder being one of the first to make the 'coat-shirt', a shirt that the wearer put on like a coat, fastening the buttons down the front. This novelty was noted in the London Opinion and Today newspaper in 1905.[dubious ]
An article by "The Major" in a November 1905 edition of London Opinion and Today stated that:
"...the shirt is shaped very much like a coat and is put on in a similar manner, fastening in the front with studs. One of its greatest advantages is that it fits closer than the ordinary shirt. Another point is that it has not, of course, to be put over the head. Thus there is no chance of a man who is accustomed to brush his hair before putting on his shirt ruffling his hair in the putting on process."
T. M. Lewin & Sons traded through both World Wars and it was during this period that the company became a provider of Club Colours, becoming a supplier to the RAF, the British Army, the School tie and the sporting community. In 1979 T. M. Lewin & Sons was acquired by the McKenna family and in 1980 Geoff Quinn, the current managing director, joined the company from Turnbull & Asser.
The McKennas and Geoff Quinn took to sourcing the shirts directly from the mills; consequently in 1983 T. M. Lewin acquired Asquith Brown, a shirt manufacturer owned by John Francomb, who subsequently became part of the T. M. Lewin management team. As a consequence of direct sourcing the company grew rapidly in the 1980s.
In 1989 T. M. Lewin opened its second store, in Lime Street, London and in 1993 Geoff Quinn became managing director following the deaths of both McKenna brothers.
During the 1990s T. M. Lewin continued to open further stores and expand its product ranges, creating the fit out which is used in all stores throughout the UK. It introduced classic suits in 2005, after two years of development.
Today's store on Jermyn Street still keeps many of the old traditions, including school ties and regimental ties, of which some belong to regiments where there are only a few survivors who still wear these colours that they earned in the Second World War and other fields of conflict.
In 2012, after making a deal with Myer in Australia, T. M. Lewin opened its first store on Australian soil on January 30, 2012 and now operates as a brand within several MYER department stores across Australia.
Today T. M. Lewin has 75 stores in the UK and Ireland, 38 of them in Greater London, and eight House of Fraser concessions. It also operates several stores across the world, including in Sydney, Australia, Singapore and South Africa. Its product range now caters for both men and women and includes:
- formal, work and casual shirts
- formal, work and casual trousers
T. M. Lewin also offers a tailoring service.
T. M. Lewin's Shirts are no longer made in the UK. The company does still provide old school ties for many major British public schools.
In the last four years it has started operating through telephony and online in addition to its branch network. In 2008, the shirtmaker announced sales of over 1.8m shirts, equating to a turnover of over £63m.