Company history Aquascutum was established in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition, when tailor and entrepreneur John Emary opened a high quality menswear shop at 46 Regent Street. In 1853, after succeeding to produce the first waterproof wool, he had his discovery patented and renamed the company 'Aquascutum', Latin for 'watershield'. In 1901, Emary moved to 100 Regent Street in the heart of London, which remains Aquascutum's flagship store to this day.
Coats for officers in the Crimean War (1853-1856) were made from Aquascutum's waterproof fabric, as were the trench coats by soldiers of all ranks in both world wars.
Domestic and fashion applications followed, promoted in the 19th century by royal fashion leader King Edward VII. His majesty was Aquascutum's first royal client, ordering an Aquascutum coat in the Prince of Wales check. In 1897, Aquascutum was granted a royal warrant, the first that would mark the British royal family's long patronage of the company.
In 1900, Aquascutum opened a womenswear department, offering water-repellent capes and coats, which were extremely popular among British suffragettes.
The company has created other fabrics and coats using similar names, such as the Eiderscutum light overcoat and (in 1962) the multicoloured wool-yarn weave, Aquaspectrum.
The company has supplied aristocrats, political leaders, and actors, including three Princes of Wales, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Thatcher, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Sophia Loren,Cary Grant, and Michael Caine.
Aquascutum was family owned until 1990, when it was purchased by Japanese textile conglomerate company Renown Incorporated.
Current day operations In April 2006, Aquascutum appointed Kim Winser as president and chief executive officer. Winser is a veteran of the British apparel industry, having worked for Marks & Spencer and Pringle of Scotland. The current heads of design are Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler, who won numerous awards including GQ style awards.
The brand, famous for its suiting range recently modelled by Pierce Brosnan and Brett Anderson, also offers tailoring by Savile Row tailor, Nick Hart. Gisele Bündchen and Jamie Dornan model Aquascutum Collection designs and vintage pieces.
In 2008, Renown announced that it would sell Aquascutum, after the parent experienced three straight years of losses. In May 2009, Renown rejected a corporate buyout bid led by Kim Winser. After the bid was rejected, Winser left Aquascutum. Renown continues acquisition talks with Chinese clothing retailer YGM Trading, which licenses to sell Aquascutum clothes in Asia - the brand's biggest market.
In September 2009, the management team behind the revival of retailer Jaeger, Harold Tillman and Belinda Earl, bought the company. Royal Warrants 1897 HRH The Prince of Wales, later HM King Edward VII
1903 HRH The Prince of Wales, later King George V
1911 HM King George V
1920 HRH The Prince of Wales, later the Duke of Windsor
1947 HM Queen Elizabeth, Queen Consort to King George VI