Jaeger: the timeline of a British heritage brand
Jaeger will soon vacate its flagship store at 200-206 Regent Street, which it has occupied for 80 years, to make way for American accessories and apparel brand Coach.
Coach, which is celebrating 75 years in business next autumn when it hopes to open the new store, will move into the 27,500 sq ft unit with its recently acquired sister business, the footwear brand Stuart Weitzman. It currently occupies a smaller store on Regent Street at 70-78.
It has been a tumultuous year for Jaeger which announced the departure of its CEO Colin Henry last month. After Henry left, Jaeger’s owner Better Capital appointed turnaround specialists Alix Partners to act as its adviser and is now understood to be exploring a sale of the business.
One Industry member in particular, Harold Tillman, will no doubt be watching events closely. He departed Jaeger shortly after Better Capital acquired it from him in 2012. Tillman himself had purchased Jaeger in 2003 for a “token sum” when it was close to collapse. Might he see the chance to repeat history?
At this crucial juncture in the brand’s history, The Industry takes you through a timeline of the key milestones in the Jaeger story:
1884 Established by British businessman Lewis Tomalin as “Dr Jaeger's Sanitary Woollen System Co Ltd” specialising in wool-jersey long johns
1910 Receives a Royal Warrant and begins creating woollen suits
1919 Launches the first Camel Hair Coat
1935 Opens its flagship store at 200-206 Regent Street
1950s Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn both appear in ads for the brand
1956 Designer Jean Muir joins the company and is put in charge of the Young Jaeger brand and is credited with attracting a more youthful audience
1967 Coats Viyella acquires the brand
1980s Brand falls out of favour in face of European rivals entering the UK market
1996 Brand enjoys a resurgence, wins a British Fashion Award under the direction of designer Jeanette Todd
2000 Bella Freud appointed as designer; she stays for 2.5 years
2003 Coats sells the brand to entrepreneur Richard Thompson who quickly sells it on to Harold Tillman
2004 Belinda Earl, formerly of Debenhams, is appointed CEO
2005 Tillman acquires Allders department store in Croydon
2008 Stuart Stockdale is appointed as creative director of Jaeger; Jaeger returns to London Fashion Week
2009 Tillman’s Jaeger team acquires Aquascutum (the heritage brand founded in 1851) from Renown
2012 Tillman sells his Jaeger shares to Better Capital, owned by Jon Moulton. Acquascutum falls into administration and is subsequently bought by its Asia licensee YGM Trading. Allders of Croydon placed into administration and subsequently ceases trading
2013 Colin Henry, formerly of Esprit, appointed Jaeger CEO; creative directors Jsen Wintle (menswear) and Sheila McKain-Waid (womenswear) also appointed
2015 Colin Henry departs and Jaeger announces sale of Regent Street flagship. Alix Partners is now reviewing its future