What do Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, David Beckham and the crowned heads of the UK have in common? They have all worn luxury hats made by Lock & Co. Hatters! In addition to being the oldest hat shop in the world and the oldest store in London, the company is also one of the oldest family businesses still in operation. Founded in 1676 by Robert Davis, a hatter, it wasn’t until 1759 that the Lock family name became part of the company’s destiny. The family trees of the Davis and Lock families became intertwined, as James Lock, an apprentice hatter, married Mary, the only daughter of Charles Davis, the founder’s son. At this time, James Lock inherited the family business and renamed it Lock & Co. Hatters. Throughout its long history, the company has established its reputation by developing a prestigious clientele that has recognized the Lock family’s exceptional craftsmanship and quality products from generation to generation. Revered for the originality of its handcrafted hats, Lock & Co. Hatters has created many classic designs. From the Coke bowler hat created in 1849 and popularized by Charlie Chaplin, to the Ascot top hat worn at horse races and royal weddings, to the Cambridge hat designed especially for Winston Churchill. The principles of excellence established almost 350 years ago are still maintained by the seventh generation of the founding family who own and run the company. Two royal appointments—first as hatmaker to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and then to Prince Charles of Wales—are proof of the durability of these principles. During its recent history, Lock & Co. Hatters has created artistic partnerships to renew its image. The famous hatter’s headwear was featured in the films Goldfinger (1964), Kingsman (2014) and Darkest Hour (2017) or in the play A Christmas Carol presented at the Old Vic in 2017. It is also working to enhance its rich history through, among other things, an archiving project with the London Metropolitan Archives. These initiatives not only allow the company to be known to a wider public, but also to perpetuate its history.
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Discover the history of Lock & Co. Hatters…