Indeed, Simpson Piccadilly wasn’t just the largest menswear store at that time, it was also incredibly innovative: its uninterrupted concave glass windows and cascade of light fittings were seen as the height of modernity. The building also played host to some of the brand’s most impressive achievements, particularly the honour of carrying three Royal Warrants as outfitters to the Duke of Edinburgh (granted in 1956), the Queen (granted in 1962) and the Prince of Wales (granted in 1983). And although DAKS left is Piccadilly home in 1999 for a new flagship store on Old Bond Street, this royal seal of approval is something the brand maintains to this day.
HERITAGE MEETS MODERN DAY
This comes as little surprise when you consider that ‘Quality first’ has long been the company’s mantra, a fact evident in the spring/summer 2019 collection. There’s a beautifully understated elegance to the designs, with trench coats, tailored shorts, blazers and a dapper double-breasted suit all making an appearance. And with a colour palette of dusky pink, lemon yellow and vivid orange (all auspicious colours in the Year of the Pig), you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into the heady scent of an English country garden in full bloom. So far, so British.
However, while Filippo Scuffi, DAKS’ creative director, might be very good at evoking British nostalgia in his designs, he also knows how to marry the label’s heritage roots with the needs of today’s metropolitan consumer. So, we see that the classic trench coat has been given an update with a cool sleeveless option, for example, and suits are paired with crisp white t-shirts or relaxed knits for a more modern feel. In creating this effortlessly chic silhouette all his pieces become incredibly wearable. There is also one immediately identifiable brand staple that Scuffi has used to masterful effect: the DAKS’ House Check.
Devised in 1976, the pattern incorporates the colours of camel and vicuna contrasted with the deepest of blacks to create a signature check that has become synonymous with the brand. It can be seen in the spring/summer 2019 collection in pretty a dropped-waist dress, but Scuffi has also taken it in a completely new direction. Indeed, DAKS couldn’t let its anniversary year pass without gesturing a nod towards this iconic pattern, so it is has introduced a specially designed Anniversary Check that Scuffi has used in key pieces in the collection.
In honour of its milestone anniversary and to help its Chinese customers see in the Chinese New Year in style, DAKS has devised a celebratory promotion. Between February 1 and8, it is gifting those who visit its Old Bond Street store a gorgeous cashmere scarf in its iconic brand colours (worth £225) (minum spend £250). So, whether your wardrobe is in need of a seasonal update or you simply fancy indulging in a last-minute gift for Lunar New Year, this is the perfect time to invest in 125 years of great British style.
DAKS, 10 Old Bond Street, W1S 4PL. 020 7409 4000. daks.com