From Heritage to Active #01
Set up by John Emary, Aquascutum began as a Mayfair tailors in 1851. From the beginning, fine craftsmanship and technical innovation have been at the forefront of the brand, and two years after opening, Emary created and patented the first waterproof textile. This unique development led to inspire the brand’s name, which translates as ‘water shield’, from Latin.
The company’s growing success led to a relocation of the flagship store to 100 Regent Street in 1895 “AQUASCUTUM TRANSLATES AS ‘WATER SHIELD’ FROM LATIN.” Promoted by King Edward VII, his majesty became the first royal client, ordering a coat in the Prince of Wales Check. In 1897 a royal warrant was received, marking the beginning of a long patronage with the royal family. Soon after, in 1900, Aquascutum began designing outerwear for women. The functionality of the coats and capes became popular with the “Suffragettes”.
Aquascutum developed the iconic trench coat in 1914, for use by the British military during World Wars 1 and 2. These garments received much praise from soldiers on the front line due to their waterproof properties and reliable durability. This dedication to practicality and impeccable style meant that the trench soon after became an integral part of British fashion.
The classic staple outerwear piece first worn by officers in the British army and later adopted by everyone from mods in the 1960s to members of the Royal Family, and stars of Hollywood’s golden era like Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart. Today it still stands up as a practical, stylish investment, working just as well with a suit as it does with jeans and a knit.
The Aquascutum club check, with its sophisticated colourway of navy, brown and beige, was first used as in the lining material for these trench coats. It has since become an icon in its own right, synonymous with casual British style, the scarf in particular being seen everywhere from the city to the terraces.