‘The Jewel in the Crown of Savile Row’.
– Campbell Carey
To celebrate 100 years of residency at 11 Savile Row, Huntsman invited Creative Director and Contributing Editor of British Vogue, Susan Bender to the House to experience for herself the richness and diversity of our sartorial heritage.
Following an initial meeting with Huntsman’s Creative Director Campbell Carey, Susan began to explore our extensive ledger archives. From seeing entries of Royalty and rockstars, the good, the great and the lesser-known, her own unique narrative was born.
In visiting our archive Susan was faced with the decision which garments rightly reflect what 100 years on Savile Row looks like at Huntsman. Now, with meticulous consideration, some of our most iconic and unusual bespoke commissions from the past 100 years have been carefully curated to tell our story.
You can watch the full video here:
In particular, Susan recognizes the unique position ladieswear has held in Huntsman’s history. Well before we were dressing modern-day icons like Nicole Kidman, we were outfitting Queen Victoria and her household. As Susan discusses with Head Ladieswear Cutter Magdalena Handwerker, though fashion and function may change, our legacy of outfitting remarkable ladies is enduring, from making riding breeches for Coco Chanel to driving suits for Charlotte Stockdale and Mark Newson.
As Susan researched our recent collaboration with London College of Fashion, it became clear that much of the innovation in Bespoke excellence Huntsman champions today are not novel ideas, but intricately woven into the fabric of the House since 1849. Even the iconic Huntsman cut is born out of innovation – from taking the nuances of a traditional Hunt Coat to create the one-button silhouette we are now famous for.
It’s natural that Huntsman’s relationship with the arts plays a strong role in telling our story.
This is a theme very close to the heart of Huntsman’s owner and art collector Pierre Lagrange who explains ‘The commissioning of a Bespoke Suit is an act of faith. It is an extraordinary process, not at all dissimilar to commissioning a portrait.’
It’s no surprise therefore that the work of artists gracing the lining of Huntsman suits include the likes of René Magritte’s “Man in a Bowler Hat,” Ed Ruscha’s “Boy Meets Girl,” and most recently the work of Kesewa Aboah, whose work was re-imagined as the fabric for a coat.
As Susan notes; It is Huntsman’s commitment to bespoke excellence which makes our bespoke tailoring internationally renowned, and gained attention from other iconic designers, from furnishing the extensive riding wardrobe of Coco Chanel, to Alexander McQueen, with both his own Puppytooth suit and the Bowie Embroidered Frock Coat.
Huntsman has developed a significant relationship with Hollywood, dressing stars both on and off-screen. Friend and Patron of Huntsman for over 40 years, Gregory Peck had over 150 orders by Huntsman, including recognizable sartorial moments such as his raglan sleeve overcoat from motion picture ‘The Omen’ and a garment close to our hearts; the 62’ Peck Exclusive Tweed jacket which has inspired several of our house tweeds since.
Today our relationship with Hollywood endures and Huntsman is proud to serve as the home to Matthew Vaughn’s action movie series, Kingsman, for which we have provided inspiration for much of the outfitting; none more famous than the Orange Dinner Jacket worn by Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
From the original riding breeches of Mr. Henry Huntsman himself to the Burning Man Boiler Suit commissioned by Huntsman owner Pierre Lagrange last year, these garments represent our rich heritage and reputation as one of the finest and most long-standing yet often innovative bespoke houses on Savile Row. Today, our extraordinary story serves as a reminder of the integrity and attention to quality that has defined Huntsman. These garments are a testament to the hard work, skill, and devotion of our masterful team of tailors and cutters, who, since 1849 have been producing garments of bespoke excellence and as Campbell rightly says puts Huntsman as ‘The Jewel in the Crown of Savile Row’.