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Label Overview

Joanna Sykes, 2010 - Present; Michael Herz, 2005 - 2010

Latin for the phrase "water shield," Aquascutum's roots are deep in rain protection. British tailor John Emary founded the London-based label in 1851 out of his shop at 46 Regent Street, where it remains today. And after Emary claimed to invent the first waterproof woolen cloth, the company became famous for creating trench coats for Crimean War and World War I soldiers. In 1897, Aquascutum began outfitting King Edward VII, the first in a long line of royal patrons. The women's line launched in 1900, and throughout the twentieth century, the brand enjoyed a high profile thanks to Cary Grant and Lauren Bacall in the forties and fifties, Churchill in the sixties, Peter Sellers’s Inspector Clouseau in many of the Pink Panther films, and Margaret Thatcher in the eighties. But Aquascutum's allure fizzled as years passed, and ownership settled with the Japanese company Renown in 1990 (in 2005, Kaleido Holdings bought a 22 percent share). Things began to look up in 2006, when Renown/Kaleido hired Kim Winser as CEO away from Pringle of Scotland to revitalize the brand à la longtime rival and heritage brand Burberry (Burberry’s known for plaid while Aquascutum’s associated with a check). Since Winser joined, the international growth of the brand has boomed, thanks in no small part to the placement of celebrities like Pierce Brosnan and Gisele Bündchen in the label's campaigns. Success is also the result of co-designers Graeme Fidler (menswear) and Michael Herz (womenswear), whose fame has escalated since the turnaround. By August 2008, mentions arose in the press about a flagship store in New York to add to the company’s London and Tokyo retail repertoire. In October of the same year, Renown went on the record about trying to sell off the label.

Designed By
Joanna Sykes, 2010 - Present; Michael Herz, 2005 - 2010
Owned By

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