History and Heritage
The history of Harry Hall reveals humble beginnings in the 1800s, and an evolution into the advanced designs which are now being created in the 21st century. Harry Hall is a name which strikes a chord with every equestrian. Regardless of the era, the conclusions drawn are always the same: quality British clothing, steeped in heritage and history.
Harry Hall Heritage
The son of a tailor, Henry Hall, later known to friends as Harry, was born in in 1856 in the parish of East Grinstead, Sussex. He grew up to marry a local girl named Alice, where the two continued to reside in East Grinstead with their four sons and two daughters. Liz Prowting fondly reminisces about the time she spent around Hall as a child, due to the great friendship Hall held with her grandfather. She recalls him being a ‘kindly man who gave her first pair of jodhpurs’.
Hall began tailoring in the 1870s and in 1891 he founded Harry Hall Esq, Bootmaker and Tailor. The original clothing was a small collection of suits and dress suits, which were tailored to each individual’s needs and shape, but one of the key aspects to expanding the brand was the advertising which supported it. This prompted Hall to begin using the slogan, ‘Hall marked clothes are the best’. He had this printed on brass letter openers, barometers and button hooks which he distributed for free around England. Hall's talents as a publicist led to publically admired window displays, and the promotions offered appeared in the ‘Tailor and Cutter’ a highly respected publication. The editorial noted that ‘he made a special feature of riding outfits generally’ and ‘they were often the focus of the gentleman’s calendar throughout the summer months’. With such high praise for the store so early on, the foundations for a hugely successful brand were set.
The evolution of Harry Hall is clearly detailed in the advertorial pieces which were presented to the public. After being established for over 25 years, gentlemen’s suits and overcoats were the core pieces offered in the collection. Alongside breeches the brand firmly planted its roots in being the best ‘coat, breeches specialist and habit maker’ on the market. At the point the firm surpassed 35 years they were resolutely acknowledged as being a quality, trusted tailors. However, the progression of Harry Hall was beginning to pick up pace and the eventual diversification of the brand came in the form of sporting wear, including golf and riding clothes. Despite the continued availability of suits and dress suits, Harry Hall was moving in a new direction.
The development of Harry Hall as a brand with a primary focus on equestrian clothing came shortly after World War II. The original store was bombed during the blitz and this encouraged the opening of new stores on Oxford Street and initially one on Liverpool Street before moving to Cheapside close to St Pauls. This expansion provided the company with a much needed base, whilst still allowing for the opportunity to broaden the products to customer’s farther away.
The 1960s brought Harry Hall onto the international stage, with its feature in the iconic Sports Illustrated magazine. They noted that Harry Hall had hand tailored clothes for figures including, Pat Smythe, Anne Townsend, Raimondo D’Inzeo, Nelson Pessoa and the stables regiment at Buckingham palace. At this time the firm also made saddles to order and were said to offer one of the most varied selections of bits in England.
The word soon spread about the legendary Harry Hall name and a Mr Pearce was employed to send customers from much further away than London a detailed self-measurement form. Once this was returned he would tailor the suit to the exact measurements and have the suit with the customer within six weeks. At this time the tweed being used included Harris Tweed, Cheviot cloth and Yorkshire tweeds, with the biggest seller for over 30 years being the Herringbone jacket. This move to target customers from farther away, whilst still retaining the principles of high quality tailoring and materials, marked the start of a movement into providing clothing on a national scale.
The 21st century opens up a new beginning for Harry Hall, whilst the old values and heritage are ensconced into the very core designs; the modern edge is at the forefront of each piece of clothing. Safety becomes of paramount importance and the range expands into new realms of clothing and accessories crafted for both horse and rider. The overarching theme, however, the one which is engrained into each and every product remains the same, Hall marked clothes are the best.
My own Vintage HACKING JACKET OR ( KEEPER'S ) "RATCATCHER"
oktober 23, 1967
Tradition Is In At Harry Hall Ltd., Where Both Horse And Rider Get A Perfect Fit
Susan Blackburn / http://www.cnnsi.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1080451/index.htm
In the heart of swinging
in the midst of crowds of miniskirted, kinky-booted girls, or
"birds," right smack on Regent
Street (No. 235), old Mr. Fredericks of Harry Hall
Ltd. quietly measures, cuts, stitches, glues and shapes soft leather into some
finest saddles. He will make you a jumping saddle with a pigskin seat for
$154—made to measure, "a perfect fit for both horse and rider.... Please
state if the horse has wide or narrow withers and advise the height and weight
of the rider." Your child's handmade saddle will cost you $48. Mr. Fred
will make you a bridle for $12, a nylon girth for $3 and offer you a choice of
"the most varied selection of bits in England " (the best in nickel
at $3). Once your horse is taken care of (and he can offer it nosebands, reins,
whips, brushes, blankets, oils and vitamins, too), Harry Hall Ltd. will
guarantee to dress you as elegantly as they have your horse. England
The business was begun by Harry Hall, Esquire, Bootmaker and Tailor, in the 1870s. He advertised with the slogan, "Hall marked clothes are the best." The slogan appeared on brass letter openers, barometers and buttonhooks that were distributed free throughout
The original shop was bombed out during the blitz of England . Currently the store handtailors
clothes for such international riding figures as Pat Smythe, Anne Townsend,
Sheila and Mary Barnes, London Italy's
Raimondo D'Inzeo, Brazil's
Nelson Pessoa and 's
Peter Winton. It has had an occasional order from the stables at Australia as well. If you send a letter to
Mr. Pearce at Harry Hall and ask for a self-measurement form, in something
under six weeks he will have you dressed with all the chic of a Sunday rider on
Rotten Row in Buckingham Palace Hyde Park. A glance at the form
will give you confidence in the exact fit of your coat, vest, breeches or
boots. For example, you are asked to measure around your calf in six different
places. Hacking jackets, made to order, start at $70, but the best readymade
jackets in sizes 34 to 44 are available for about $40. The latter are made of
handwoven Harris tweeds, Cheviot cloth, saxonies or Yorkshire tweeds and styled
with slant side pockets, an outflap ticket pocket on the right and a nine-inch
center vent. The biggest seller is a fawn-colored herringbone jacket, and it
has been the biggest seller for 30 years. Carnaby Street boutiques may invent new
mod fashions for the discoth�que crowd weekly, but every true English horseman knows that the In
dress for the rider is the one that's been In the longest. Tradition and
conservatism are still his bywords.