Seems like the Kate Effect doesn’t extend to William: Gieves & Hawkes, the celebrated British tailor with the best address in menswear (1 Savile Row) and the company that made the suit Prince William wore to announce his engagement to Kate Middleton is to be sold to Chinese group Trinity for £90m after failing to turn its business around.
Despite a long list of aristocrats, politicians and celebrities on their books (Prince William, David Beckham and Bill Clinton are among their most high-profile clients), the tailor has failed to post a profit since 2005.
The company has now agreed a deal to be purchased by Hong Kong fashion group Trinity, which already holds the licensing rights for the legendary tailor in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Trinity has been operating Gieves & Hawkes' 100-strong Chinese store network since the 1980s. It said in a statement it plans to expand sales of the venerable Naval tailor's blazers, suits and other items of high-end menswear in both Britain and abroad.
The sale follows the recent departure of former chief executive John Durnin, who oversaw a radical refit of the firm's famous headquarters at Number 1, Savile Row and had plans to expand the business. The suit maker, founded in 1771 holds three royal warrants as supplier to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
Sixty years and hardly a slip.