The £60 million suit: Gieves & Hawkes for sale
Gieves & Hawkes, the Savile Row institution that has outfitted Lord Nelson, Michael Jackson and Prince William, is to be sold.
BY LUKE LEITCH | 11 APRIL 2012 in The Telegraph
A Hong Kong based-clothing conglomerate named Trinity Limited today announced its proposed acquisition of the "rare jewel" in a £60 million deal due for completion within the month.
Trinity has been operating Gieves & Hawkes' 100-strong Chinese store network since the 1980s. It said in a statement it plans to expand sales of the venerable Naval tailor's blazers, suits and other items of high-end menswear in both Britain and abroad.
The sale follows the recent departure of Gieves & former chief executive John Durnin, who oversaw a radical refit of the firm's famous headquarters at Number 1, Savile Row and had plans to expand the business.
Apart from the quality of its tailoring, Gieves & Hawkes' heft is rooted in an unimpeachable reputation established over 240 years. It is still a military tailor, holds three Royal Warrants, and clients include
Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms.
Gieves & Hawkes' owner since 2002, a Hong Kong property billionaire named Christopher Cheng Wai Chee, will receive a down payment for £32.5 milliom for the business followed by instalments that could rise to £60 million.
Announcing the deal today, Trinity's managing Director, Mr Wong Yat Mingsaid in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange: "Gieves & Hawkes is renowned for its strong heritage in fine tailoring, and its dedication to quality, and these characteristics give the brand immense appeal for discerning clients around the world. Premium heritage brands such as Gieves & Hawkes are rare jewels, and change hands infrequently.
Hawkes was established as a military tailor and dictator of regimental uniform regulations in 1888 as officers were told to get their uniform from Hawkes otherwise they would be ‘out of line’. Hawkes bought No1 Savile Row in 1912 from the Royal Geographical Society. Thereafter, Hawkes was appointed to dress Honourable Corps of Gentlemen’s arms, the British Monarchs closest bodyguard, the tailors became traditional military outfitters.
The uniform is that of a Dragoon Guards officer of the 1840s. It has a skirted red coat with Garter blue velvet cuffs and facings embroidered with the Tudor royal badge of the portcullis. Helmets with white swan feather plumes are worn when on duty, even in church. Officers wear, in addition, gold aiguillettes, and carry sticks of office - gold for the Captain, silver for the Lieutenant, Standard Bearer and Clerk of the Cheque, and ivory for the Harbinger - which they receive from the Sovereign on appointment. Cavalry swords are worn, and long ceremonial battle-axes, over 300 years old, are carried by all the Gentlemen.