T. M. Lewin
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|Founder||Thomas Mayes Lewin|
The company was founded in 1898 when Thomas Mayes Lewin (T.M. 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 ]
"...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. In 1980 Geoff Quinn 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.
Club ties are still a major part of the business, with regimental ties for the British Army, the RAF, colleges and universities. The ties for the London 2012 Olympic bid were supplied by T. M. Lewin. They are also official partners for the WRU, Harlequins, Wasps and the ECB.
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. It also operates specific websites for the United States, Europe, and Australia as well as established franchises throughout Africa and Asia.
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, and also operates an online shop. T. M. Lewin also offers a tailoring service.
The company does still provide old school ties for many major British public schools.