Hackett was founded in 1979 by Jeremy Hackett and Ashley Lloyd-Jennings; first as a stall in the Portobello Road and then a first shop at ” the wrong end” of the King’s Road (London) selling second-hand clothes.
The late 70’s early 1980’s was a time before vintage clothes were called “vintage clothes”. Further up the King’s Road 21st Century Box and Flip (also in Covent Garden) had turned some English but also American bought used-clothes – a particularly baseball college jackets with plush numbers/letters – into London’s youngsters must haves. The era of Punk leather jackets and tartan trousers were all very hot.
In the early 1980’s the more English – and perhaps more discerning South West London consumer – was starting to look to a career in the City so needed a first suit. Why not buy a classic bespoke-made suit – that was made for somebody about your size – at a fraction of the price of the original article?
I did and know loads of others who’d scour the original Hackett’s store in Parsons Green – with its circular front window – for great buys. There were plenty of tailors who make nips and tucks to turn a second hand suit into your own bespoke!
Hackett gradually expanded to several branches and started to move into designing and selling its own designs. One of its signature products that I really liked were the button-fly moleskin trousers in green, blue or vibrant red. I had a pair of all three and loved them.They were lined in a cream poplin-like fabric an became very much your shape. Being tight at the calf meant they’d fit perfectly into a pair Hunter’s green wellington (see The Gallery). Our photo shows the re-imagine classic Hackett’s moleskin trousers.
In 1987, following an appeal for sponsorship the Hackett Polo Team was formed and played out of Guards Polo Club. Always a hit with European consumers shops in Madrid and Paris in 1990.
In 1992 the Hackett business was purchased by Alfred Dunhill – which permitted the opening of the Sloan Street flagship store – and eventually becoming part of the Richemont Group which in turn sold, in June 2005, Hackett Limited to the Spanish investment company Torreal S.C.R., S.A. This enabled a heavy programme of brand investment which included the collaboration with Aston Martin. Many more tennis, rowing, football and horse racing “ambassador” tie-ups and sponsorships continue to this day.
In February 2015, Hackett London (part of the Pepe Jeans Group) was been bought by Lebanese M1 Group and by LVMH subsidiary : L Capital Asia.
Photo from Hackett