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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.
The development of the trench coat
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.
1953 saw the development of Wyncol fabric for use by explorer Edmund Hillary and his team during their first ascent of Mount Everest. This high-tech cotton and nylon poplin mix was capable of resisting winds of up to 100 MPH. This fabric was then used to manufacture outerwear for sale in-store.
"The greatest technical advance in rainwear."
Six years later, yet another breakthrough in garment technology came to light. Aqua Five was hailed as the “greatest technical advance in rainwear”. The process involved impregnating each fibre of the fabric, resulting in a water repellent and crease resistant garment. Receiving the Queen’s award for export achievement in 1966, marked an increase in international attention and global success. Ten years later saw a feature in Vogue Magazine, to celebrate 125 years of the brand.
During the 1980’s, the brand dressed a number of political figures, including Prime Minister John Major and Baroness Thatcher. In 1996, Aquascutum was elected to supply the official uniforms for the Great British Olympic Team.
January 2015 saw Aquascutum’s London Collections: Men debut, designed by the head of menswear Thomas Harvey. The autumn/winter 2015 womenswear collection will be the first designed by new womenswear designer Kasha Crampton.