Brand watch: Sunspel
Sunspel is an enduring presence in the British fashion industry. It’s the brand responsible for introducing boxer shorts to the UK back in the 1940s, and is also behind the development of some pretty innovative fabrics
Founded in 1860 by Thomas Hill, Sunspel has been making garments in the UK for more than 150 years. Sunspel derives its name from the term ‘sunny spell’, the balance of sunshine and humidity that cultivates the brand's cotton. Although Sunspel was initially based in Nottingham, the Hill family moved their business to the current Long Eaton factory in 1937. The technology at Long Eaton may have changed since then, but the commitment to brand values remains the same.
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Sunspel sources the finest raw materials from around the world to develop luxury fabrics that are entirely unique. The long staple cotton jersey is a descendent of the original lisle cotton first used by Sunspel to produce some of the world’s earliest T-shirts. Now that’s heritage for you.
The T-shirt remains one of Sunspel’s definitive styles first pioneered in 1860. Today’s T-shirt is almost identical to the original 1950s model, slightly updated with a unique two-fold British-knitted jersey fabric derived from the original cotton lisle used on the earliest T-Shirts ever made.
RIVIERA POLO SHIRT
The cellular knitted fabric used to make Sunspel polo shirts was developed in the 1950s on the traditional lace machines at the Long Eaton factory. The comfort and breathable qualities of the material made it perfect for summer wear. Even James Bond thinks so: the Riviera Polo design was created for Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
The Sunspel Beachwear range uses the lightest, softest cotton and pairs it with informal styles designed to be worn in a relaxed way. This versatile range is suited to the resort, the beach and the bar, and places Sunspel as the go-to brand for modern luxury holiday essentials. See you on the sand.
The men’s boxer short was introduced to Britain in 1947 by John Hill, the grandson of Sunspel’s founder. Made with the best quality cotton, this original design has been perfected over the years with subtle refinements and new cuts, but the Hill classic remains instantly recognisable. The Sunspel boxer short secured its place in British culture in 1985 when Nick Kamen stripped down to a pair in the Levi’s Launderette advert.