The Greats of the Row

Our occasional series looking along Savile Row continues with a trip to…

Chester Barrie

Founded 1935 by Simon Ackerman – an Englishman by birth who made his name in New York City. It was in 1935 that he returned to London to produce suits on Savile Row. His cunning ruse? To make suits for export to the U.S (where demand for the Savile Row name was, and remains high), leaving the button holes unfinished, thus avoiding import duty.

Business boomed – and he took his production to the North West of England, to be nearer the great seaport of Liverpool, gateway to the Atlantic. Deciding that he needed a truly British-sounding name, he stitched together the northwestern town of Chester and the author of Peter Pan… and Chester Barrie was born.

Chester Barrie is the name on Steve McQueen’s suits in The Thomas Crown Affair and other famous clients have included Cary Grant and Winston Churchill. Chester Barrie also won a famous WWII contract producing uniforms for American officers based in Europe.

Needless to say, his suits have become most collectible.


Bill Hornets here. There’s a fine example (pictured) at Hornets Vintage The Online Shop. Click HERE.

Hornets Vintage the Online Shop


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