This year has seen major changes at Aquascutum, as the famous tailoring and outerwear brand comes under new ownership, having been purchased by Chinese textile company, Shandong Ruyi. The sale marks a global reunion of the European, Asian Pacific and Japanese elements of the company, placing them under single ownership and creating a powerful, truly global player in the luxury field. The year ahead will correspondingly herald a number of significant investments and exciting developments, focusing not only on the core British and Chinese markets but also expanding the business to new markets such as Continental Europe, the Middle East and Korea. 

A key forward focus will be on the homespun, ‘Made in Britain’ aspects of Aquascutum. The brand has already brought on board two new British suppliers with more to come as some exciting new projects are developed for launch in A/W’19. One major innovation will be the expansion of the accessories side of the business, with the development of both men’s and women’s bag collections already underway. Also in the pipeline is the launch of radical new store concepts, which promises to go beyond the delivery of beautiful new retail spaces and create a seamless online/offline journey for Aquascutum’s customers by imaginatively converging the worlds of technology and ‘bricks and mortar’ retail.

This year’s collections and campaign embody many important aspects of the brand’s dual focuses, combining tradition with a forward thinking, pioneering spirit. The Autumn/Winter collection presents classic British fabrics and prints like tartan, tweed and check but in modern interpretations, pairing them with technical nylons and timeless coatings. The underpinning inspiration may have been a journey through the rugged landscapes of northern Britain, but this has been interpreted for the resulting campaign by global talent, photographer Victor Demarchelier, son of the legendary Patrick.

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For Aquascutum, ‘Britishness’ is about the values to which it has remained true across the 167 years of its lifespan, values that are linked to components intrinsic to the brand’s DNA – quality, innovation, functionality and modernity. These are the same values that have been the foundation of success for many of the most inspirational British inventors, engineers and companies from the Industrial Revolution right through to the present day.

Originally established by John Emary as a Mayfair tailors, within two years Aquascutum (whose Latin name is translated as ‘water shield’) had patented the first waterproof wool fabric, which was fashioned into stylish, weather-resistant outerwear, perfect for country pursuits, soon to be followed by the provision of ‘trench coats’ for officers serving in the First World War. Aquascutum has earned the loyalty of its many customers – who have included the British Royal Family, Hollywood stars Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart and the great and the good of British society from Edmund Hillary to Margaret Thatcher – due to strong heritage and fine craftsmanship combined with a visionary approach, which always has one eye fixed on the needs of tomorrow.


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