While the U.S. will always look to Ralph Lauren as the definitive American brand, the United Kingdom has its own unique, albeit smaller scale clothier, to stand behind. Hackett, founded by Jeremy Hackett and Ashley Lloyd-Jennings in 1983 began as a second hand store on “the wrong end” of New Kings Road in London. The store quickly developed a strong reputation based on its penchant for timeless used goods that appealed to the British population. Within a couple years, Hackett recognized that the vintage market was not a realistic route if the brand wanted to keep up with demand for quality clothes. In response, Hackett began producing their own line of garments that lived up to the standards of the traditional used pieces they had established their brand upon.
The brand’s designs were guided by the knowledge of its founders, most notably Jeremy Hackett. Hackett left school at the age of seventeen and began working in his local clothing store, trading an academic background for an education in menswear. Hackett moved to London a year later and shortly thereafter began working at a tailor’s shop on renowned Savile Row. Utilizing his expansive knowledge of men’s clothing, specifically the quintessential British look that Savile Row had come to define, Hackett steered his namesake brand toward becoming the authority on British style. This was represented in the early years by Hackett’s “Essential British Kit,” a collection of clothes that embodied the archetypal English aesthetic. Over the years Hackett’s accesible style helped the brand expand throughout not only the United Kingdom, but into other countries as well, ultimately making it a dominant fixture throughout Europe.
Hackett’s ability to maintain their classically tailored essence while keeping designs relevant and modern has made the brand desirable for decades. This interplay is exemplified by Hackett’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection. With this offering Hackett pulls from the classics, both in cut and in design to create pieces that both allude to the past and express modernity. The core of the collection titled, “The British Explorer” features desert tan blousons, sand khaki suiting, white trousers, and safari jackets. Hackett has also included the formalwear they’re known for, this time pulling inspiration from the 1960′s with slim-fit suiting, cutaway collared button downs, and windowpane checked blazers. Unfortunately Hackett does not currently have any U.S. locations but certain items are available on Yoox.