Turnbull & Asser is a British clothier established in 1885. In addition to its flagship store on Jermyn Street in London, England, it also has two American locations, one in New York City and one in Beverly Hills, California.
Turnbull & Asser is regarded as an exclusive store and has dressed such people as Prince Charles, Sir Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.
Today, Turnbull & Asser also manufactures some women's clothing. Although extremely traditional outfitters, the company is known for its particularly vivid colours in shirts, knitwear, socks and ties.
Turnbull & Asser was founded in 1885 by Regan Turnbull, a hosier, and Ernest Asser, a salesman. Together, they opened a hosiery on Wall Street in St. James's in central London, called "John Arthur Turnbull." As the foundation of numerous gentlemen's club reestablished the neighborhood, Turnbull's business flourished. The name was changed to "Turnbull & Asser" in 1895.
In 1903, after continued success, Turnbull & Asser moved to its present location at the corner of Jermyn Street and Bury Street. In 1915, during World War I, Turnbull & Asser developed a raincoat which doubled as a sleeping bag for the British Military. It is known as the Oilsilk Combination Coverall & Ground Sheet.
During the 1920s, as dress became less formal, men's dress shirts became more noticeable articles of clothing. Turnbull & Asser responded by focusing its business more on shirtmaking, for which it is most known today.
Between the 1920s and the 1970s, Turnbull & Asser grew its London business from a haberdashery to a clothier, expanding into sportswear, clothing (both bespoke and off-the peg), and off-the-peg shirts. As its symbol, it used a hunting horn with a "Q" above, which it called the Quorn., a name it shares with one of the oldest hunts in England. Many of Turnbull & Asser's articles were called by this name, such as the popular "Quorn scarf."
During the 1960s, Turnbull & Asser even had been known for catering to the Swinging London set, with vibrant colors and "modern" designs. In 1962 Turnbull & Asser began to outfit the cinematic James Bond as first portrayed by Sean Connery, whose dress shirts had turnback cuffs fastened with buttons as opposed to cufflinks, sometimes referred to as the James Bond Cuff.
In the 1970s and 1980s, however, Turnbull & Asser began reviving some of the more traditional aspects of its business. The company found that Americans increasingly were buying its wares, so it began offering trunk shows at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
Beginning in 1974, Turnbull & Asser sold ready-to-wear shirts in the United States through department stores Bonwit Teller and Neiman Marcus. For a brief period beginning in 1979, Turnbull & Asser even operated a small store in Torontoopened by Tony Carlisle and Kenneth Williams.
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, had bought shirts from Turnbull & Asser since his youth. In 1981, after his marriage to Princess Diana, the Queen bestowed upon him the right to grant royal warrants in his own name.
The first warrant he signed was to Turnbull & Asser for shirts which was won for the company by then director Antony Carlisle. He now also wears Turnbull & Asser suits after turning his back on his distinctive £4,000 Savile Row bespoke suits from Anderson & Sheppard (who relocated to 32 Old Burlington Street in 2005 but still qualify as Savile Row bespoke), where he was a loyal customer for twenty years.
Ali Al-Fayed, younger brother of Mohamed Al-Fayed, who owns Harrods, bought Turnbull & Asser in 1986. He renovated the Jermyn Street store, installing computerised cash registers and updating the interior.
He also closed the Toronto location. In 1993, after the Manchester mill from which Turnbull & Asser bought its cotton closed, most of the fabrics the company used in its shirts began to be woven in Italy. However, unlike the majority of other 'Jermyn Street' labelled competitors, Turnbull & Asser still make their shirts in the UK, from their long-established Gloucester factory.
Noticing a continuing influx of Americans to the Jermyn Street location, in 1997 Fayed opened a location on 57th Street in New York City.
In 2003, Fayed opened an additional store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
In 2007, Turnbull & Asser created an on-line store on their British website.
In 2008, Turnbull and Asser opened a new store in Old Broad Street, London