The History Of Crew Clothing

Crew Clothing is one of those rare things; a truly independent firm that has grown quickly and seen high levels of success. The company makes high quality casual wear which they sell via their network of stores, high-end department stores and the web. Unusually, for such a new company, they also use mail order, distributing over 3 million catalogues most years.

How the company was founded

The company was founded in 1993 by Alistair Parker-Swift. At the time, he was training with the England freestyle ski team in the winter, whilst running a windsurfing school in Salcombe, Devon for much of the rest of the year. Attached to the surfing school was a small shop that sold surfing kit and clothes. In 1993 Alistair used some high quality material that he sourced locally to make a batch of navy and white rugby shirts. Within a few days the shirts had sold out and the idea of a luxury casualwear range was born.

In the same year Alistair attended the famous sailing regatta in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. He opened a shop called Cowes & Salcombe for the event and everything sold well, so Alistair knew that he had come up with a winning formula. He had also found his main customer base; people who loved the outdoors and sport, but wanted their clothes to be stylish and smart as well as hardwearing and functional.

At first the Salcombe and Cowes shops were shut in the winter, but after two years Alistair concentrated on the business full-time and in 1995 the company’s first London store opened on the New King’s Road. Soon after that they began their mail marketing campaign.

The company today

Today, 20 years on, the company has millions of customers, many of whom buy from the company on a regular basis. They sell both men and women’s clothes and now sell such a wide range that it is possible to have a wardrobe full of clothes just made by the Crew Clothing brand. Their growing kids range is also popular.

The company still sells thousands of rugby shirts, and their classic polo shirts are popular with both their male and female customers. Sweatshirts and t-shirts, or tees as the company call them, also sell well. For women there is a huge range of tops to choose from – everything from feminine cut tops made from good quality, but light and flowing material to crisp blouses that are smart enough to be worn under a business suit, but look just as good with a pair of jeans.

Men get a good choice of shirts, which can also be worn with chinos and jeans, but also look great with a suit. The quality of the material they use means that their clothes look good regardless of how often they are worn.

Many people now also buy their shoes and boots from the company. Again, the buying team has concentrated on sourcing high quality footwear. For people who enjoy the outdoors, solid, comfortable, but stylish footwear is a must, as is good quality coats and jackets, both of which Crew Clothing also sells.

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