One of the most famous names in men’s tailoring and fashion, Gieves & Hawkes is a brand made of two very famous halves.
The brand’s history is in reality, the story of two separate houses which merges just 41 years ago. Gieves was established in 1784 as tailor and celebrated supplier of uniforms for the British Royal Navy. Hawkes, instead, supplied the British Army from 1771. Their most famous customers, respectively, were Admiral Lord Nelson and Field Marshal The Duke of Wellington, the two most important commanders in British history, whose great victories at Trafalgar in 1805 and Waterloo in 1815 against the French emperor Napoleon established Great Britain as a major maritime and land power and precipitated the growth of the British Empire during the rest of the 19th century.
Through their services to the Royal Navy and British Army, both Gieves and Hawkes played a unique part in these battles and their histories are inexorably linked with the distinction of the British military and Britain itself. And to further cement that alliance, both companies have dressed ten generations of British Royalty, from King George III in 1809 up to the present day Queen Elizabeth II, her son the Prince of Wales and her grandsons, the Princes William and Harry.
Their most famous customers, respectively, were Admiral Lord Nelson and Field Marshal The Duke of Wellington, the two most important commanders in British history
Both Gieves and Hawkes were prolific in kitting out the Navy and Army. Between 1903 and 1927, Gieves dressed no less than 98 per cent of naval officer cadets. Gieves later made the early style of RAF uniform for the Royal Family and, in fact, it was in an RAF uniform that the Duke of York, who became King George VI, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later the Queen Mother. More recently Gieves & Hawkes has made the RAF uniforms for Prince Willam. Through its long history, Hawkes did not just dress the British Army, but also some of the great explorers of the Victorian age too, in safari uniforms. The most notable was Sir Henty Morton Stanley who famously discovered the whereabouts of another celebrated pioneer, Dr David Livingstone, in Africa, greeting Dr Livingstone with the immortal words: ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’ Dr Livingstone was wearing a Gieves consular cap and so that meeting represented the first coming together of Gieves and Hawkes!
Gieves and Hawkes finally merged in 1974, and since then they have been headquartered at No 1 Savile Row, the ultimate men’s style destination. Now an internationally renowned bespoke tailor and menswear brand, Gieves & Hawkes has stores around the UK and internationally in China, Europe and the United States. No.1 Savile Row itself has a legendary history too. Originally an 18th-century private aristocratic home, it became the epicentre of Victorian exploration and adventure when the Royal Geographical Society moved in during the 19th century. Hawkes took over the famous address in 1913 and the building has been a favoured destination for the most stylish and influential of men ever since.
Gieves & Hawkes’ infusion of its rich aristocratic, royal and political heritage and its timeless style resonates internationally and their clients hail from all over the world
The ultimate expression of men’s style, bespoke tailoring is still handmade on the premises at No 1. Clients come here from all over the world to be fitted, or go to see the Head Cutter at Gieves & Hawkes’ Bespoke Trunk Shows at The Mark Hotel in New York. The brand’s infusion of its rich aristocratic, royal and political heritage and its timeless style resonates internationally and Gieves & Hawkes’ clients hail from all over the world. With many generations of venerable clients, Gieves & Hawkes is the go-to brand for occasion wear for men, trusted to meet the strictest codes and rules of dressing from black tie, white tie, morning dress or even creating unique garments for Coronations and State Occasions. Perhaps just as important, though, is a gentleman’s everyday wardrobe which is also taken care of with the military precision that is the DNA of this unique brand, whose history is woven into the fabric of Britain’s greatness.
GIEVES & HAWKES 1 SAVILE ROW, LONDON, W1S 3JR +44 (0)20 7432 6403