Huntsman & Sons – London, England - Atlas Obscura

Huntsman & Sons

The real clothing store that inspired a fictional spy organization's front.  

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When the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service launched onto cinema screens in 2014, it quickly became a box office hit. But amongst the action, swearing, comedy, fourth-wall breaks, and one-liners, one theme keeps reappearing throughout the film: appearance. Therefore, it makes sense for the base of the top-secret organization to have a discreet front that acts as a high-end tailor shop, creating suits that are second to none. What most don’t realize is that the fictional shop is based in reality. The film’s clothing store is based on a real shop called Huntsman and Sons.

Founded in 1849, Huntsman quickly gained a reputation for being the fashion of choice for the high-class horse riders of Europe. In 1886, Huntsman was granted the Royal Warrant, official recognition for companies that supply goods and services to the Royal Family. Huntsman also supplied high-ranking British officers with uniforms during the First World War.

In the 1930s, Huntsman ownership changed hands and the company’s direction changed to one of a high-end fashion brand, a direction it continues on to this day. During the more recent of its long, distinguished, and varied history, at age 18, then-to-be movie director: Matthew Vaugn, went to get a suit made at Huntsman. His imagination roamed while in the shop and imagined stepping through the eloquent walls of the store and into a world of spies and infiltration.

When the Kingsman movie was made with Vaugn as director, he decided to shoot the film at the actual location that inspired the movie itself: Huntsman and Sons.

The shop salutes and has recognized it’s recent addition to pop culture history. Outside the front of the shop, in an winking display to the discreet organization the shop represents, a gleaming gold plaque with the words: Kingsman, welcomes visitors and customers alike to the shop. Inside, one of the changing rooms is dedicated to the franchise with one of ‘Eggsy’s suits on display and the mirror is recognizable as the same one when Harry offers Eggsy a position as a Kingsman.

Those wishing to visit the classiest spy organization in the world must bear in mind that the shop is a fully functioning and high-end retail store and not meant for a mass of tourists.

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September 19, 2022

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