Aquascutum is an English company created in 1851 that started its work as a tailoring shop in London. In 1853, its founder, John Emary, created a new kind of waterproof wool and soon obtained its patent. After patenting it, he changed the name of his store to Aquascutum, which is Latin for “shield against water”.
The waterproof fabric caught the attention of the English king Edward VII and, in 1897, the royal family granted a royal certificate to Aquascutum, proving that the store sold products that met the king’s demands.
For both world wars, coats were made for British soldiers with Aquascutum’s waterproof fabric. These coats (or trenchcoats) had epaulets, brass rings on the belt, which emphasized military style and its length went up to the ankles.
Then, the brand’s trenchcoats began to be produced for civilian men and women, and were so successful that they are now part of the common clothing of England and the world.
In 1953, Aquascutum produced a nylon and cotton poplin blend fabric for the first ever expedition to Mount Everest, made by the group and team of explorer Edmund Hillary. Soon after, raincoats were produced with this same fabric.
In 1955, again in a pioneering bid, Aquascutum launched raincoats with the colors of the rainbow, which was unprecedented until then, since the coats’ covers up to that time were made only in colors such as beige, blue and grey. In the same year, the brand presented another new attraction in its raincoats, their shortening to the knee.
In 1959, the Aqua 5 fabric was launched, which removed the need to dry clean the products.
The company has already dressed people like: the Prince of Wales, the Prince Rainier of Monaco, Sir Winston Churchill, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Sophia Loren, Cary Grant, and Michael Caine. In addition to Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher.
After several sales and a bankruptcy filing, Aquascutum was bought by YGM Tranding, a Chinese clothing retailer, and then sold to an unknown British buyer.
Aquascutum exists and works until today. The current designers are the duo Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler.
Bibliography: Allan, Georgina O’Hara; Fashion Encyclopedia: From 1840 to the 1990s: Companhia das Letras, 2010.