In Autumn 2007, Gieves & Hawkes MD Mark Henderson asked James Sherwood to assist Mr Robert Gieve - fourth
and last generation in the family firm - to curate an Archive Room at No 1 Savile Row for the great bespoke
tailoring house. Founded in 1785 and 1771, Gieves & Hawkes had impeccable pedigrees as naval and military
tailors respectively beginning with iconic customers Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Gieves &
Hawkes has held the Royal Warrant for every successive monarch from George III in 1809 to the present Queen.
It was Mr Robert's life's work to rebuild the Gieves archive that had been decimated first by a direct hit during
the Blitz in 1940 and then by an IRA bomb in 1975. Mr Robert's tragic death in November left Sherwood with the task
of preparing the Archive Room for public display.
It was only after Mr Robert's death that it became clear how many secrets still lay in the vaults underneath No 1;
not least the history of Hawkes & Co. Mr Gieve had understandably given precedence to his family and the Royal
family. With the keys to the vault underneath No 1, a warehouse full of long neglected uniforms and a war chest to
acquire significant antique pieces at auction, Sherwood began piecing the histories of these remarkable firms and
their illustrious customers back together. The Archive Room officially opened in May 2008.