The Daily Telegraph
Black ties only for King’s shirt-makers as Britain mourns
LONDON’S traditional gentlemen’s outfitters have become accustomed in recent years to subdued demand for ties, which have gone out of fashion in some corners of corporate life.
However, on Jermyn Street in St James’s, they are now scrambling to stock up on black ties amid unprecedented demand from men wishing to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
Turnbull & Asser, the shirt maker to the King, has diverted its artisans, based in Gloucester, to only make black ties as it anticipates continued high demand ahead of the arrival of the late Queen’s coffin in London and the lying-in-state at the Palace of Westminster.
The shirt-maker had sold out of black ties at its Jermyn Street store yesterday, except for three of its £275 seven-fold silk tie which are hand-sewn by craftsmen in England.
James Cook, the store manager, said he witnessed a rush of customers from surrounding gentlemen’s clubs and offices after news broke of the late Queen’s poor health on Thursday.
“We’ve seen all types of people,” he said. “It was amazing who was buying a black tie. The great and the good were coming in, wanting to be prepared, really.”
He said the demand had surpassed levels witnessed when Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh died. “I think the Queen does hold that little thing in your heart, doesn’t she?”
The shirt maker has sold about 40 black ties at a starting price of £115 last week.
Elsewhere on Jermyn Street, at Hawes & Curtis, one store worker said they had sold out of black ties within an hour on Thursday.
Matthew Beadle, general manager at Harvie & Hudson, said the tailors were trying to get a delivery yesterday. He said some diplomats started arriving at the store at about 2pm on Thursday to buy black ties. MPS then started arriving after 3pm.