Aquascutum Brand Guide
Founded in 1851 as high-quality men’s tailor in London’s Mayfair, owner John Emary successfully invented and patented the first waterproof textile. Naming his invention Aquascutum, from the Latin words for ‘water shield’, the name was subsequently adopted by his brand, and a fashion legend was born.
From the Trenches to the Terraces…
As one of the longest running and most iconic British fashion houses, Aquascutum hold claim to the invention of the trench coat: the classic staple outerwear piece first worn by officers in the British army and later adopted by everyone from mods in the 1960s to members of the Royal Family, and stars of Hollywood’s golden era like Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart. Today it still stands up as a practical, stylish investment, working just as well with a suit as it does with jeans and a knit. The Aquascutum club check, with its sophisticated colourway of navy, brown and beige, was first used as in the lining material for these trench coats. It has since become an icon in its own right, synonymous with casual British style, the scarf in particular being seen everywhere from the city to the terraces. Unfortunately, like with rival brand Burberry, the latter connection was cause for controversy moving forward into the 21st century as, for many, the brand became synonymous with the violent and disruptive aspects of terrace culture.
…to the Troubled Times
Like many classic British brands, Aquascutum is no longer technically British owned. Family owned until 1990, the company was purchased by the Japanese company Renown, then Jaeger in 2009, before being bought by its current owners, Chinese retail group YGM Trading in 2012. But its reputation as a quality, luxurious menswear house has never faltered, and the last few years have seen resurgence in interest for the brand as part of the wave of 80s and 90s nostalgia. They even collaborated with skateboard firebrands Supreme for a capsule collection in 2016, crossing the boundaries between heritage and streetwear, and have been putting their classic club check pattern back to the forefront after its decade-long relative absence.
The club check is central to Aquascutum’s collection, appearing in a number of guises, from the lining of the timeless trench coat to shirts with the pattern throughout, accessories like umbrellas, scarves and hats, even detailed onto casual staples like hoodies, t-shirts and polos. All are crafted from high quality fabrics with quintessentially British cuts and attention to detail, representing the brand’s tailoring background and heritage.
Shop the Aquascutum Clothing range at Aphrodite1994.