Established in 1926
For nearly a century, Kent & Curwen has stood as a paragon of authentic British menswear, noted for its classic styling, superb materials and impeccable tailoring.
Established in 1926, two years after Eric Kent and Dorothy Curwen first crossed paths on Savile Row, Kent & Curwen began life humbly – in neckwear. By 1929, the company had climbed to the position of supplying ties to the venerable Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Kent & Curwen co-founder – Ms. Dorothy Curwen
Come 1930 the Kent & Curwen label was stitched into the ties of all British regiments, as well as premier public schools. In 1932 Dorothy and Eric married, this was also the year the company purchased a knitwear factory in London and expanded beyond ties, beginning production on the first, now traditional, cricket sweater – as well as rugby hose.
The Thirties also saw, the brand strike a cord with the transatlantic stars of screen and stage, culminating in a deal to supply the uniform for the Hollywood Cricket Club. The famed roster then boasting the likes of Errol Flynn, Laurence Olivier, Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone and club founder, C. Aubrey Smith.
The Hollywood Cricket Club in 1936. Errol Flynn sits front left and C. Aubrey Smith sits front center in striped blazer.
Iconic movie star Laurence Olivier, part of the Hollywood Cricket Club, received a Kent & Curwen made team blazer as a welcome gift on turning out for the club.
Kent & Curwen’s link with the leading men of the time continued, through the Forties. Hollywood picked up their bats for the war effort, an army of stars were present and sporting the brand. The Palm Springs Racquet Club also commissioned its club tie from the company; Cary Grant, David Niven and Bob Hope were among its fee payers.
While the company expanded its range of knitwear and blazers, it never stopped moving in the neckwear sphere and by the Fifties, more then 29,000 silk club ties were on the brand’s books. Many other prestigious brands on London’s Jermyn Street and Savile Row were using Kent & Curwen to supply their ties.
Renowned for their sophisticated fabrics and patterns Kent & Curwen ties were featured in a series of Churchman’s Cigarettes Cards, which became hot collectors items.
The Sixties continued the tradition of association with the glitterati and social impressarios. Celebrities, actors, musicians and sports stars all begun coveting the brand as British heritage moved into the zeitgeist.
Throughout the decade and into the next, the Rolling Stones, Paul Weller and Michael Caine were all seen sporting a distinctly Kent & Curwen verve to their wardrobe – regatta jackets and cricket knits chief among their sartorial leanings.
Come the Seventies, K&C had a watershed moment – outfitting both England and Australia for the 1972 Ashes. That year’s tests were attended by the likes of Mick and Bianca Jagger. The relationship with the England team lasted for 20 years after, supplying knits and caps well into the Nineties.
The last two Australian batsmen, Dennis Lillee and John Gleeson, are clapped off the field by England players after losing the first test match at Old Trafford in 1972.
The company made a mark in the world of celluloid in the Eighties. Chiefly, at the turn of the decade, supplying the Academy Award winning wardrobe to Milena Canonero for Chariots of Fire. The feature swept that year’s ceremony, taking four gongs total.
In 1982, Kent & Curwen registered its brand trademark with iconic Three Lions logo. It became the official UK apparel licensee for The Wimbledon Championships, as well as opening new stores in London’s Royal Arcade and Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive.
The brand trademark Three Lions Logo was registered in 1982.
Flagship store in St. James’s Street, London (Photo was taken in 1980s)
In September 2015, David Beckham joined Kent & Curwen in a partnership, acting as a brand ambassador and a creative lead as the label launched into a new era.
Our Creative Director Daniel Kearns works closely with David Beckham, marking an exciting new chapter in our rich history.
In spring 2017, the label returns to its heartland with the London based concept store set to open its doors. In the process, inducting and elevating this quintessential English heritage brand to the modern menswear landscape.