Hawes & Curtis was founded by two accomplished outfitters, Ralph Hawes and George Frederick Curtis, who opened the first store at 24 Piccadilly Arcade in February 1913. From the beginning the heritage brand has been acclaimed by aristocracy and Hollywood's elite. Notable customers have included Cary Grant, Lord Mountbatten, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire.
The Duke of Windsor (formerly known as the Prince of Wales until he abdicated in 1937) was perhaps Hawes & Curtis’ most famous client. In 1922 he placed his first order for lounge suits, blazers, flannels, linen shirts and handkerchiefs. Hawes & Curtis became the Duke’s shirt maker of choice and on the 5th of December 1922, he granted ‘Hawes & Curtis Hosiers’ with its first Royal Warrant. Hawes & Curtis in turn created the famous spread collar, designed specifically to accommodate the Duke of Windsor’s ties and the knot he inspired – the Windsor.
Among the shirt makers, Hawes & Curtis is known for having introduced the backless evening waistcoat. It was an innovation of the ‘dress soft’ era popularised by the Duke of Windsor. The waistcoat 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. When worn the waistcoat always remained in position under the tailcoat and was renowned for its comfort. Fred Astaire allegedly approached Hawes & Curtis to have one made of his very own, only to be regretfully refused due to the high demand for such garments from the British aristocracy.
According to the Review of Savile Row Tailors, 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.” During this time, the well-known shirt maker also produced suits and overcoats.
Within 21 years, Hawes & Curtis acquired seven shops situated on Jermyn Street and the Piccadilly Arcade with 12,000 regular account customers.
In July 1938, King George VI awarded ‘Hawes & Curtis Limited Shirtmakers and Hosiers’ a second Royal Warrant. This warrant lasted throughout the King’s reign.
In 1957, the Duke of Edinburgh awarded Hawes & Curtis with a third Royal Warrant which remained until 1985.
Award-winning businessman and entrepreneur, Touker Suleyman, bought Hawes & Curtis for £1 and has subsequently transformed it into a multinational business. Touker has built a considerable retail portfolio, and his global manufacturing network includes luxury womenswear label, Ghost. He also has multiple investments in start-up businesses.
Due to huge international demand, Hawes & Curtis built an e-commerce enabled website. The website offers a broad range of our best selling products to a global audience. Hawesandcurtis.co.uk has grown rapidly in a short space of time and Hawes & Curtis is committed to investing in online shopping.
With over 100 years of heritage, Hawes & Curtis has a distinguished British past and a promising international future. Thanks to its rapid international expansion and prominent online presence, Hawes & Curtis is an internationally recognised brand attracting customers from around the world.
The ever increasing demand for quality shirts required that Hawes & Curtis expanded from a single shop in the Piccadilly Arcade in 1913 to a chain of more than 25 shops in the United Kingdom. Outside the UK, the brand has stores in Germany and Dubai and plans to expand worldwide. Hawes & Curtis recently launched a German and Australian website and will soon be launching an American website.
Hawes & Curtis has evolved from a traditional Jermyn Street shirt maker into a lifestyle brand. In addition to producing the finest shirts, Hawes & Curtis now offers premium menswear and womenswear ranges.