Step­ping into

Plaza Uomo UK - - INTERVJU -

The Robert Gieve Room, up one level from Lon­don tai­lor Gieves & Hawkes’ shop floor, is like en­ter­ing a liv­ing mu­seum.

In one of the rooms, used to host meet­ings for the com­pany’s key clients, the fea­ture wall is dec­o­rated in pho­to­graphs and mem­o­ra­bilia from the tai­lor’s 244 year long his­tory, in­clud­ing framed jack­ets worn by mem­bers of the royal fam­ily past and present, such as Princess Diana. On an­other wall, in a gi­ant glass cab­i­net, hang thirty bright red uni­forms, be­long­ing to Queen El­iz­a­beth II’s Life Guards. The Life Guards’ uni­forms, which also con­sists of boots, hel­mets, swords and lances, are only ever used for spe­cial events, the rest of the time they’re kept here at No. 1 Sav­ile Row, the finest ad­dress in Bri­tish menswear,.

This his­toric house is quite un­like your av­er­age Sav­ile Row tai­lor. The con­tract to look af­ter the Life Guards’ uni­forms dates back over a cen­tury, to 1912, and is only one of many im­por­tant mile­stones in the com­pany’s rich his­tory.

“Take a look at this jacket,” says the firm’s ar­chiv­ist, Peter Til­ley, point­ing at a framed so called frock coat. “It be­longed to Princess Diana’s grand­fa­ther, who served as com­man­der of the Life Guards. It dates back to 1910. Ev­ery sin­gle page of our jour­nals records some­one who played a piv­otal role in Bri­tish his­tory.” A man in his six­ties, Peter Til­ley is the kind of hum­ble English gen­tle­man who refers to men as ’chaps’. Re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing and pro­mot­ing the knowl­edge of the tai­lor’s an­cient tra­di­tions both in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally. He has been em­ployed by Gieves & Hawkes for four years, dur­ing which he’s worked to­wards grow­ing the firm’s col­lec­tion.

“The first thing I did was to ask for a pur­chas­ing bud­get, three days later I burnt through it all. Why? Well, you see, the cur­rent Earl Spencer [Princess Diana’s brother Charles] sold a great deal of his es­tate, much of which were prod­ucts by Hawkes, so it was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to build our mil­i­tary arte­facts ar­chive.”

Gieves & Hawkes’ his­tory be­gins in

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