Before there was the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, and the cities of Hollywood and Chicago, there was Brooks Brothers.
Saturday, April 7, 2018, marks the 200th anniversary of America’s oldest retailer—a benchmark few brands can claim, at least in the U.S. Since opening its doors on April 7, 1818, in New York City, Brooks Brothers has grown from a small family haberdasher into a global brand that has shaped and defined American style through its product innovations.
“Our anniversary marks a significant and historic milestone not only for Brooks Brothers but also for the retail industry,” stated Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers. “This is a moment to celebrate two hundred years steeped in both tradition and innovation.”
While best-known today as a “classic” brand, the brand’s founder, Henry Sands Brooks (1772-1833) was not a traditionalist but a dandy and an influencer among his peers, always on the lookout for the newest and most novel styles for his emporium in lower Manhattan selling “every new style of cloth, of the finest quality, made to order in the best and most fashionable mode.”
200 years later we continue our #MadeToMeasure service. Our customers, like @wallstreetpaper, come to us for our selection of more than 1,000 fabrics and custom details like collars, linings, buttons and more. The result is a one-of-a-kind creation with second-to-none service. #BrooksBrothers200 #MadeInAmerica #HaveItMade
Some of Brooks Brothers’ classic items were the result of either invention and innovation — many radical for their time. In fact, Brooks Brothers is responsible for the introduction and popularization of some of fashion’s most iconic and enduring items, including the navy blazer, the reverse striped rep tie, the polo coat and the Number One Sack Suit.
Garland, North Carolina is the small town that is home to an American icon – the Original Polo® Button-Down Oxford, a Brooks Brothers invention. We proudly own and operate this shirting facility which uses only the finest American-grown @Supima cotton to craft this classic wardrobe mainstay. #BrooksBrothers200 #MadeInAmerica
Brooks Brothers also lays claims to the athleisure trend, having invented the Original Polo Button-Down Oxford shirt in 1900. Brooks Brothers also was responsible for a pillar of American fashion—ready-to-wear tailored clothing, which was introduced in the mid-1800s as a consequence of the Gold Rush.
In honor of our bicentennial celebration, we open up our archives to share snapshots of the past 200 years as America’s oldest retailer. Pictured here is John E. Brooks, son of original founder Henry Sands Brooks, and his sons, passing down the tradition of #BrooksBrothers style. #BrooksBrothers200 #AmericanFashion #FashionHistory
This sartorial passion was passed down from Henry to his sons, Elisha, Daniel, Edward and John, aka the Brooks Brothers. The Brooks Brothers brand has outfitted an ever-changing world, pursuing quality and innovation with a respect for the past and an eye toward the future.
Our New York City tie factory is proof that American manufacturing is alive and well. In a tradition that spans two centuries, generations of talented craftspeople continue Brooks Brothers expert tie-making practice just across the East River from our Manhattan headquarters. #BrooksBrothers200 #MadeinAmerica #TieTuesday
Take home a piece of our history with our commemorative bicentennial tie collection. Only 200 of each pattern will be made. Each tie is crafted from pure silk, tipped with our 200 anniversary pattern and embroidered with its sequential number at the keeper loop, securing your slot in this special celebration. #BrooksBrothers200 #MadeinAmerica #TieTuesday
Throughout its history, Brooks Brothers has forged relationships for generations of customers: artists and politicians, working people and captains of industry, and Hollywood legends, as well as 40 out of 45 U.S. Presidents.
Today, Brooks Brothers has more than 280 stores in the U.S. and more than 700 locations in 45 countries. Brooks Brothers continues to lead with a pioneering spirit, continually developing materials and designs that deliver performance, innovation and high-quality design.
Two of Brooks Brothers’ early expansions were pop-up shops in Newport, Rhode Island and Palm Beach, Florida, following our customers where they vacationed. We introduced seersucker, madras and nautical stripes, all of which would go on to become staples in our warm weather collections and synonymous with great American summers. #BrooksBrothes200 #AmericanSummer
In 1818, Henry Sands Brooks opened a clothing store called “H. & D. H. Brooks & Co.” on the corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets. The first recorded transaction was a loan to a friend.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln wore a custom-made Brooks Brothers coat to his second inauguration. Sadly, he was also wearing it when he was assassinated a month later.
In 1900, Brooks Brothers invented the Oxford button-down-collar shirt after noticing that polo players in England were pinning down their collars while playing.
In 1902, Brooks Brothers introduced the reverse-stripe rep tie, an adaptation of British regimental ties.
In 1915, Brooks Brothers opened its 346 Madison Avenue flagship store, where it remains today.
In 1953, Brooks Brothers invented the first non-iron shirt.
In 1957, Brooks Brothers introduced Argyle socks to America.
In 1961, Brooks Brothers designed the “#2 suit” — a favorite of longtime customer President John F. Kennedy.
In 1976, Brooks Brothers launched its women’s line.
In 1979, Brooks Brothers was one of the first global fashion brands to expand to Japan.
In 2008, Brooks Brothers acquired Southwick in Massachusetts and resumed the manufacturing of tailored clothing in America.
In 2016, Brooks Brothers appointed Zac Posen as creative director for the Women’s Collection.