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The Story of Thomas Hawkes and James Gieve

In 1771, velvet cap maker Thomas Hawkes opened his first shop in Brewer Street, London and founded Hawkes & Co.

In 1785, James Gieve began working with ‘Old Mel’ ‘Melchisedek Meredith’ a tailor in Portsmouth, which was then the centre of the seafaring world. Popular with naval customers, Old Mel became the destination for maritime uniforms. It was the start of a booming business that later came to be known as Gieves.

The First Royal Warrant

King George III granted the first Royal Warrant in 1809.

In 1841, after Old Mel’s death, the Portsmouth business was sold to Joseph Galt; James Gieve became a partner in 1852.

The Hawkes Helmet & the Gieves Sea Chest

In 1867, Hawkes patented the Hawkes helmet or ‘Solar Topee’, a cork-lined helmet designed to protect English soldiers from midday sun. The helmet became standard gear for soldiers and was associated with Britain’s great explorers, including Henry Morton Stanley and Howard Carter.

The Gieves Sea Chest became the approved Sea Chest for all Royal Navy cadets and midshipmen in 1876.

The Royal Appointment

Gieves became the tailor by appointment to the Royal Navy.

No1 Savile Row

Hawkes purchased No1 Savile Row from the Royal Geographic Society.

Patent for Life-Saving Waistcoat

Gieves patented the Life-Saving Waistcoat, which incorporated an inflatable device as well as a pocket for brandy.

The Launch of Ready-to-Wear

Gieves launched its first ready-to-wear garments in 1926; the range was further developed by Hawkes in 1929.

The Beginning of Gieves & Hawkes Limited

In 1975, the Gieves store at 27 Old Bond Street was bombed by the I.R.A. Rather than rebuild, the decision was made to move Gieves into No1 Savile Row and the trading name changed to Gieves & Hawkes Limited in 1975.

Celebrating 200 Years of Holding the Royal Warrants

In January 2009, HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Gieves & Hawkes at No1 Savile Row.  Their Royal Highnesses toured the premises of Gieves & Hawkes to raise the profile of His Royal Highness’ Royal Warrant Holders and to show support for traditional British businesses.

The Royal Wedding

In 2010, HRH Prince William wore a dark navy suit by Gieves & Hawkes during his engagement announcement.

Gieves & Hawkes dressed Michael and James Middleton, Prime Minister David Cameron and various distinguish guests attending the Royal Wedding in 2011.  For the evening party, HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Prince William both wore Gieves & Hawkes traditional tuxedos.

Global Rollout of No1 Savile Row Concept Store

In April 2011, the Gieves & Hawkes flagship at No1 Savile Row London was completely transformed by Yann Debelle De Montby. The 7,000sq.ft store in central London became the inspiration for the global rollout of a new look that celebrates aristocratic elegance and modern flair.

Personal Tailoring

To showcase its Personal Tailoring Service, Gieves & Hawkes dressed Academy Award®-winning actor Kevin Spacey CBE in a customised suit.

Appointed the new Brand Ambassador, Alex Hua Tian

Gieves & Hawkes appointed Alex Hua Tian as the new Brand Ambassador on Tuesday 17th December, 2013.

100th Anniversary of serving the Royal family

Gieves & Hawkes hosted the first private dinner in the map room at No1 Savile Row in honour of the brand’s 100th anniversary of dressing HM the Queen’s private bodyguard ‘The Gentlemen at Arms’, a group of distinguished and influential former Army officers selected by the Palace.

AW14 collection debut preview in Asia

Gieves & Hawkes hosted the G&H 1771/2014 Exhibition and Autumn/Winter 2014 collection showcase at C5 Gallery in Sanlitun, Beijing. The collection has earned raving reviews from international editors and fashion critics. Fresh of London Collections: Men, Gieves & Hawkes has brought the collection to China as its Asia debut presentation.

No 1 Savile Row Relaunch

As part of the ongoing elevation and evolution of the house, Gieves & Hawkes are delighted to announce the completion of the renovations of No.1 Savile Row and the launch of a new global flagship store. A new standard has been set for the brand’s future around the world.

Showcasing Bespoke Tailoring at The Great Festival Of Creativity

At “The Great Festival” Gieves & Hawkes moved the cutting room of No.1 Savile Row to Shanghai for one day only to showcase the unique craftsmanship of bespoke tailoring.

Head Cutter of No.1 Savile Row Mr. Richard Lawson attended the event cutting a new tailcoat for the brand’s ambassador, Alex Hua Tian. He also prepared a suit made from one of the rarest and most expensive fabrics in the world for a fitting with a Chinese customer. 

Opening of Singapore Paragon Store

Gieves & Hawkes is delighted to announce the launch of the brand in Singapore, the first in South East Asia. Located in Paragon, the ‘House’ opulently displays a sartorial interior of imported oak and marble, rustic iron fixtures and sophisticated LED lighting.