Originally situated on London’s Albemarle Street, Huntsman, founded in 1849 by Henry Huntsman, immediately found favour with the rich and privileged by becoming the go-to tailor for all their sartorial needs. The roll-call of international royalty, dignitaries, actors and industrialists who graced the doors of Huntsman’s relocated premises (opened in 1919) on Savile Row, included King George V, Sir Winston Churchill, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby and Clark Gable.
However, a lack of customers with any contemporary cache has, in recent years, been this historic tailoring institution’s weakest link. Until now. Under new ownership, Huntsman has been thrown a contemporary lifeline. The combination of proprietor and creative director Roubi L’Roubi’s, passion for fine bespoke tailoring and renown as a designer of couture womenswear, coupled with a heritage already banked by the legendary label he is now steering into 2014, is proving to be a winning formula.
At the heart of Huntsman’s rebirth is the modernisation of its flagship store and cutting rooms at 11 Savile Row, its e-commerce website and new ready-to-wear Archive Collection, all of which charge into the future, while respecting its location and brand’s own DNA for respecting traditional values.
The Archive Collection comprises 10 classic suits (starting at £2,000) with four key looks; easy two-piece tweeds and a Prince Of Wales flannel, all with a tab-collar detail, suited to country or town; business suits for day-to-day wear and an inspired three-piece range of single-breasted suits that include round lapels and a shawl-collared waistcoat, a nod to the Sixties and the Huntsman rake. Finally, the fourth look is Roubi’s own signature design, the Amir suit.
Eveningwear is covered with two simple dinner suits; in a choice of double- or single-breasted, and either peak or shawl satin lapels.
Overcoats have long been overlooked on Savile Row, but Roubi puts them very much back on the map, referring to images of Winston Churchill in his styling and cloth selections. Three classic lines tick all the boxes with the option of a fur collar on one range and the reintroduction of the Great Coat to another. Roubi’s narrative of archival inspiration will continue into his collection for spring/summer 2014.
A new collection of shirts, ties and accessories has also been created and designed to complement the aforementioned ranges, sourced from the finest cottons and silk from Italy and the UK.
All by HUNTSMAN and available both in-store and online from the Archive Collection; h-huntsman.co.uk
Houndstooth three-piece suit £2,900, shirt £275 and tie £110
Navy blue three-piece peak-lapel suit £2,750, shirt £275 and tie £110
Two-piece tweed suit £2,500, shirt £275 and tie £110
Charcoal peak-lapel suit £2,500, shirt £275 and tie £110
Two-piece double-breasted suit £2,500, shirt £275 and tie £110
(Alex Beer photography of lifestyle shoot and portrait. Peter Tweedie photography of e commerce images)