In February 1913, two talented outfitters, Ralph Hawes and George Frederick Curtis, opened their first store at 24 Piccadilly Arcade in London. From the beginning, Hawes & Curtis became known for its high quality clothing, expert tailoring and innovative yet classic style. Over the years, many well-known icons of style frequented Hawes & Curtis including the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and Lord Mountbatten.
Hawes & Curtis is known for having introduced the backless evening dress vest. It was an innovation of the ‘dress soft’ era made popular by the Duke of Windsor. The dress vest was designed without a back and held in place by means of bands, fastened with a buckle or button across the back at the waistline. This vest always remained in position under the tailcoat and was known for its comfort. Fred Astaire was rumored to have approached Hawes & Curtis to have one made, but was regretfully refused due to the high demand for such garments from British aristocracy.
The Review of Savile Row Tailors stated that by the 1930s, “Mr. Curtis was an authority in evening dress and had done more to keep shirts from bulging out of up-creeping waistcoats than any other young man in London. Evening shirts and waistcoats were made on scientific mathematical lines – yet were chic withal.” Hawes & Curtis began to expand their collections with suits and overcoats during this time.
Within 21 years, Hawes & Curtis acquired seven shops situated on Jermyn Street and the Piccadilly Arcade with 12,000 regular account customers.
On 12 July 1938, Hawes & Curtis received a second Royal Warrant, this time from King George VI. This warrant lasted throughout the King’s reign.
On 1 May 1948, King George VI granted Hawes & Curtis a third Royal Warrant.
In 1957, Hawes & Curtis was granted a fourth Royal Warrant by the Duke of Edinburgh. This warrant would remain until 1985.
Award-winning businessman and entrepreneur, Touker Suleyman, purchased Hawes & Curtis for £1 and has subsequently transformed it into the globally recognized, multichannel business. The constant growth and success of the brand combined with a continual demand for high quality clothing, led to the expansion from a single store in the Piccadilly Arcade to a chain of more than 20 stores in the United Kingdom.
In 2006 Hawes & Curtis launched its website, offering entire collections to a global audience and bringing its signature British style to the world.
Today Hawes & Curtis is famous for its quintessentially British menswear and womenswear collections. With over 100 years of heritage, Hawes & Curtis has a distinguished British past and a promising international future. The brand has stores in Germany and Dubai and has recently launched a German and Australian website. Thanks to its rapid international expansion and prominent online presence, Hawes & Curtis is an internationally recognized brand attracting customers from around the world.