For some people, Jeremy Hackett is the Ralph Lauren of the UK, but the story of his brand Hackett runs far deeper than their mutual appreciation of classic style.
In the early eighties, Jeremy Hackett went on a trip to Paris where he met a dealer at the Clignancourt flea market selling quintessential British second hand clothing such as Aquascutum, Burberry, Savile Row suits, and tweed jackets. The dealer traveled to London on a weekly basis to scout for products, and since he was tired of his flea market journeys, he asked Jeremy Hackett to do this work for him. After about a year of indirectly providing the Parisian with used high quality clothing, he decided to do the same thing in London under his own name. As such, he partnered with Ashley Lloyd-Jennings in 1983 to open the very first Hackett second hand store on London’s Kings Road.
Since dealing with second hand goods is difficult due to a limited and varying supply, Hackett eventually decided to directly produce garments for people who liked the proper English Savile Row style but who could not quite afford it. In 1989, they open their first store outside the UK in Madrid, Spain. In 1994, they also opened a shop at the Rive Gauche in Paris and in 1995 children’s clothes were added to their collection. Later they also entered into collaborations with Rugby and Polo players, rowing teams and Aston Martin. The financial strain of managing so many businesses led Hackett Limited be sold to the Vendôme Luxury Group PLC, which was controlled by the Richemont Group. The Group who also owns Montblanc. In 1998, Richemont bought out all other stakeholders of the Vendôme Luxury Group and privatized it. At that point, Hackett was owned by Richemont. In 2006, Pepe Jeans – partially owned by the Spanish Investment Group Torreal – acquired Hackett Limited and so Hackett is now Spanish owned!
Throughout these eventful decades, Jeremy Hackett has always been a consultant and/or the CEO of the company, whose style he so clearly defined.
Jeremy Hackett himself considers his eponymous company to be a purveyor of proper British Town & Country dress. Its style is inspired by Old England whereas Ralph Lauren draws
its inspiration predominantly from New England. Since 2005, the Hackett design team has been helmed by American designer Michael Sondag, who formerly worked for Tommy Hilfiger. As such, the lines between New England and Old England become even less defined, in my opinion.
And yet, the best brand ambassador is Mr. Hackett himself ! He can often be seen with his spaniels Charley and Browney, whom are also motifs on some of Jeremy Hackett’s cufflinks.
This short video provides some insight into the Hackett’s philosophy and their house style – enjoy.
You may also read more about Mr. Hackett on his very own blog.