Friday, 15 May 2015

Valterri Bottas in Pole Position at Hackett

It was a real thrill to meet the Williams F1 driver, Valterri Bottas the other night and to notice how he handled his interviews back to back with journalists from motoring magazines. He was assured, calm and considered as he neatly answered all the questions put to him in a truly professional manner, without doubt he has all the attributes required of a great racing driver.


With barely time for a pit stop we were off to the Hackett event at our  Regent Street shop. The shop was heaving by the time we arrived and the Martini's were flowing  (thank you Martini). Not only was a Williams race car on display but a simulator had been set up which Bottas gamely took part in, setting a lap record for our guests to improve upon, of course no one came near.



Having had a couple of drinks I declined to take up the offer of competing for the fear of being arrested for being drunk while at the wheel of a simulator. I suspect that Bottas having negotiated his way around the shop for two hours and being constantly asked for a photo or his opinion on this and that he was beginning to think that the event had been more pressurising than two hours on the race track with a Ferrari in his slipstream but he never let it show. Thank you Valterri for making the evening such a success.

Jeremy Hackett

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

William Fox-Pitt

A huge and heartfelt congratulations to William Fox- Pitt on his second win at the Badminton Horse Trials on Sunday after an incredibly tense show jumping round. It must be more than twenty five years ago that I met the young Fox-Pitt an up and coming three day event rider at Gatcombe  Park horse trials. I was so struck by his riding ability that I decided to sponsor him, it helped that he was a good looking fellow. 



Credit: William Fox-Pitt photographed by Garda Tang for my book Mr Classic
The sponsorship ran for a number of years  and during that time we regularly took Hackett trade stands at all the major three day eventing events. We introduced a William Fox- Pitt polo shirt in his cross country colours which was always a sellout, bought by his admiring fans mostly teenage girls who adored him. 

I remember having riding lessons from him (long before he gave lessons to Madonna) and him being very patient when I rode one of his event horses very badly. Whilst we never had the good fortune to win Badminton, throughout our sponsorship I have fond memories of the time but as they say in the equestrian world " that's horses".  Well done William.

Jeremy Hackett

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Randolph Sunglasses

Last year, my half brother Robert very kindly sent me from the U.S a pair of Randolph sunglasses explaining that our  father an ex  Colonel  and flight surgeon in the U.S Air Force ( it's a long story) wore them frequently when flying. I showed them to our buying department suggesting that we stock them in our Spitalfields shop  where from time to time we drop in products outside of Hackett branded goods because we believe in their authenticity and find that they are complimentary to the brand. 



The classic Randolph aviator fulfills that criteria perfectly as they are purposeful, well made and have long been in use by the American military. I am thrilled to announce that they are now available in our Spitalfields shop. I shall be making a trip to the South of France shortly sporting my Randolph Sunnies where famously Somerset Maugham commented "A sunny place for shady characters". I should fit in perfectly.

Jeremy Hackett


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Jean-Jeanie

Last week I was in Amsterdam for the latest Hackett shop opening and at the party to celebrate the occasion I was chatting to a journalist who mentioned that Amsterdam is considered the capital of denim so much so that there is course available to study denim. I supposed that once you had completed the course you would be awarded a degree in Jeaniology.



Wandering around Amsterdam I was struck by how many famous jean brands had set up shop in the city from Pepe Jeans to Levi's. I remember when I was around 14 buying my first pair of shrink to fit Levi's and sitting in the bath as they shrunk. I then moved on to a pair of bell bottom Levi's, it was the 70s and in the early 80s I was barely out of Levi's 501s. To this day I still wear Levi's,  my preferred fit being 505s which I buy from a little shop called Cinch off Carnaby St, they are narrow but not skinny, there now I've said it, the Jeanie's out of the bottle.



I often read articles written by fashion pundits that men should not wear jeans after the age of thirty, advice that is widely ignored by the vast majority myself included. At Hackett, our five pocket jeans regularly top the list of best sellers and looking at recent fashion pages it seems that denim is enjoying a revival in the guise of double denim, although I'm sure for many people it never went away. Passing the smart French shoemaker Corthay in well heeled Belgravia I spotted in their window a pair of properly made shoes with dark denim uppers which I thought would look great once they are beaten up a bit but wearing them with jeans might be taking double denim a step to far.

Jeremy Hackett

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Name's Williams...

At a loss for something to read I perused my book shelf and discovered a book that had lain there gathering dust for more than twenty years. It was a paperback edition of the Ian Fleming James Bond novel Moonraker. Inside was a correspondence card of the type you see in the windows of smart Mayfair stationers. I realised that it had been a gift to me from the esteemed journalist and author Nick Foulkes. The note read that it may not be the best written book but the sartorial references are of interest. I have never read a James Bond novel before but Fleming's description of Bond's clothing was fascinating. The photographs I have seen of Fleming show a man who looks as though he was a fastidious dresser and one who cared about the details which is why Bond was always impeccably turned out. 

On my mantelpiece was an invitation from Williams Motor Racing to join them at an event at the BT Tower formerly known as The Post Office Tower and built in the Cold War period of the 1960's; all very James Bond. We have recently become a sponsor of Williams and will be dressing all of the Williams team so it would be a good opportunity to meet them. Security was tight at the communications tower and when the security guard asked for my name and identity I resisted saying the name's Hackett, Jeremy Hackett. 



Parked in the lobby was this seasons Williams racing car and I have to say I did feel a sense of pride to see the Hackett name emblazoned on the nose and I was surprised at how fragile it appeared for a car that emitted such colossal power.  I stepped into a brightly lit and clinically clean elevator that glided me as swiftly and silently up to the 30th floor as a Formula One racing car. 

Inspired by James Bond I had chosen my outfit with care and had decided upon a one button mid grey lightweight worsted suit with turn back cuffs which I wore with a white double cuff shirt made from a two fold cotton fabric from Thomas Mason. I had selected a plain navy blue silk woven panama weave tie and my favourite silver tie pin that coordinated with my silver monogrammed cufflinks, that also complimented my  steel 1963 Rolex Explorer. I checked my tie in the mirror before leaving the lift and wondered if it was two way.



The evening had been planned to celebrate the forthcoming motor racing season. All the Williams sponsors were there, Martini being the most famous, a Martini was thrust into my hand and again, I resisted saying ‘shaken not stirred’. Every one there was awaiting the arrival of Sir Frank Williams who had been caught up in traffic. When the wheel chair bound Sir Frank arrived (the unfortunate result of a car crash) he apologised profusely for being late and made a short speech that was actually more like a cosy chat with friends. He was urbane, self deprecating and extremely relaxed, dressed in a white shirt, navy cashmere sweater and grey slacks. 

Before I left I took a walk around the slowly revolving floor and glanced out of the window into a clear bright night and the stars were twinkling making me think I must read Diamonds are Forever. Good luck to the Williams Team down under on Sunday.


Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 2 March 2015

Well Suited



It was a bitter sweet Sunday afternoon as I settled down to watch the England Rugby team take on Ireland in what I optimistically thought would be England's  third win of the the six nations; only it wasn't to be. Somewhat deflated by the unfortunate result of the match my spirits were lifted when Chelsea held the League cup aloft. To see Jose Mourinho so obviously ecstatic at his teams win was a rare sight. Mourinho rolling around on the grass in his Hackett Chelsea suit like a ten year old made me think that I shall probably be getting a call from Chelsea, no not to play but to provide their manager with a new suit which of course I shall happily oblige. I just wondered if we had kitted out Stuart Lancaster in a Hackett suit would the outcome of England's match have been different? I shall spare you my cod analysis of the matches suffice to say commiseration to England and congratulations to Chelsea.

Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 23 February 2015

Just a Walk in the Park

Walking Muffin in Battersea park early on Saturday morning I ran into a jogger who recognised Muffin. I asked him how he knew and he answered " because I read your blog".  Hurrah,  I've finally met someone who reads my ramblings. It doesn't take much but it made my day. Thank you Simon the jogger.

Jeremy Hackett