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By Royal Appointment: Lock & Co Ltd

The hatter, Lock & Co have appointments to both The Duke of Edinburgh and his son, The Prince of Wales.

Lock & Co was founded in 1676 by James Lock and is rich in innovation, design, and history. The family-owned store has been set up in the affluent area of St James, London since 1759 to serve “the discerning gentleman and stylish woman for their every social occasion” and is now the oldest hat store in the world.

The hatter prides themselves in preserving classic British hat-wearing through creating quality and functional pieces. They use only the top materials and best craftsmanship to pass the test of the most meticulous eye.Nelson_Portmeirion_-_geograph.org.uk_-_640495

Having been around for centuries, Lock & Co has placed their creations on some of history’s most well-known people including Admiral Lord Nelson, Oscar Wilde, and Winston Churchill. This has helped them grow into an iconic hat brand not only in the United Kingdom but also globally.

In 1800, Admiral Lord Nelson made his first visit to order a “cocked hat and cockade 7 1/8th full” which would be his signature bicorne complete with eyeshade. He made three more return visits to order more before leaving for Spain in 1805- a journey he would not return from.

Another claim to fame is that they are the creators of the world’s first bowler hat, or if you are a hat aficionados the ‘coke’.  Commissioned by nobleman Edward Coke he had Lock & Co create a hat for his gamekeepers in 1849. The classic hat is still worn by actors, businessmen, politicians and sportsmen alike only proving once again their styles are “pioneering, trusted and timeless.”

Possibly my favourite piece of history from the centuries is the claim that James Benning, an over-the-top member for the Lock family, served at the inspiration for the Mad Hatter character in Alice in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (pen name Lewis Carroll). He must have been quite the man to influence such a character. lock-aboutus_1

In 1953, Lock & Co has their start with the Royal Family. Working in conjunction with crown jewellers Garrad and Co, they designed the fitments for the coronation crown. On 2nd June, Queen Elizabeth wore that crown in a celebration viewed by over 20 million people worldwide. Three short years later the Duke of Edinburgh grants Lock & Co a royal warrant.

1993 is a big year for the company, not only do they gain their second royal warrant from Prince Charles but they dive into haute millinery with the help of expert Sylvia Fletcher.

If you are in London and want a hat of your own just pop by their location at:

6 St. James’s Street
London
SW1A 1EF
United Kingdom

And be sure to let us know what you picked up! 

Photo Credits: http://www.lockhatters.co.uk/, Alan Fryer

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