Christie Brinkley wears our White Oxford Cotton shirt for the cover of FN

For the first in our 10 Year Anniversary film series, The Rake looks at the rise of Emma Willis, one of Jermyn Street’s finest bespoke shirtmakers.

In an 18th century townhouse, nestled in the heart of Gloucester, hangs a series of black-framed photographs, all with a common theme: Emma Willis, shaking hands with a plethora of high-profile people. The moments are symbolic of the successes Emma has enjoyed as one of the UK’s most prestigious shirtmakers, as well as someone who’s used that acclaim to give back.

It was high profile customers that helped Emma’s business initially grow. Having worked for other menswear companies, she launched her own label in 1989, focusing on bespoke shirts made in England from the finest materials. Personally travelling to homes or places of work, she built up strong relationships with customers, who’d then refer her to their equally high profile friends, quickly developing a client book bursting with reputable names.

It wasn’t until 2000 that Emma opened her store on Jermyn St, where she immediately stood out in an area dominated by male-led brands. She used this as an advantage, adding a delicate flair to menswear, which has become the brand’s signature. “I don’t tend to like the really bold, masculine look at the very traditional end of British shirtmaking,” says Emma, from the cosy basement of her flagship store. “So it’s probably a softer look, slightly less formal. Even if it’s a linen shirt or a brushed cotton shirt, you still make it with equal care. One, it can still be bespoke, and two, you can make it with as much care and trouble as you would with your formal business shirt. So I think that combination is quite characteristic of us too.”

Of course, another value Emma holds in high regard is material, which is sourced from Italy, Switzerland and Ireland. “I’ve used the same mill in Switzerland for 25 years – they’re absolutely superb. It’s called Alumo, and most of our shirts are made from their cottons which are woven using the highest quality Egyptian Giza 45 or West Indian Sea Island raw cotton. And then for the more creative and casual fabric like linen, I would go to Italy, and Irish linens are beautiful too.”

Country Life – Huw Edwards ‘A few of my favourite things.’

Emma interviewed in the Guardian Weekend magazine today

Click to view online 








‘What men really want for Christmas, from barbershop shaves to bespoke suiting.’ – The Telegraph









Custom made shirts from £290, Emma Willis

As the item that every man probably wears most, a shirt is also an informed place to start in the world of bespoke. Excellent British brands such as Drake’s and Emma Willis offer custom-made shirting services. Italian shirtmaking brand Apposta also runs a subscription service online whereby your shirt can be crafted to your specific measurements and specifications – round collar or pointed etc – and delivered to you as a one-off gift or every month.

Editor’s Picks, Gentleman’s Journal

Button it: Emma Willis Navy Cashmere Polo

Editor’s Picks: Sir Plus Pyjamas, Coffee Alarm Clock and Whisky Blending Kit

There are few garments as versatile as the long-sleeved polo. And Emma Willis’ offering, in cashmere no less, is one of the best. Knitted using traditional methods on the Scottish borderlands, this raw cashmere polo is washed in the waters that run alongside the mill before you slip it on. Stylish, timeless and sublimely soft.

How our beautiful Swiss cotton is spun and woven.

Emma Willis launches on

Proud to be launching our women’s collection on and working with Fashion Buying Director Natalie Kingham to create beautiful shirts and nightwear. – Emma

‘Emma Willis’s charming navy tartan pyjamas are a classic set crafted in a Gloucester-based 18th-century townhouse studio and are exclusive to MATCHESFASHION.COM. The top is hand-cut with a chest patch pocket and features piped edges, while the trousers have loose legs and matching-fabric drawstrings. The relaxed fit makes them ideal for lounging at home.’ 

Click to view the collection

The New York Times

For the Man on Your Holiday List: Shopping London’s Jermyn Street

EMMA WILLIS, No. 66, shirts handmade in Gloucester, England, from around 210 to 420 pounds ($269 to $539).

“I don’t personally own any yet, but she makes some of the best shirts around and I use her when I’m doing some styling for a lot of my clients.”

Your SS19 Wardrobe, According To The Fashion Buying Director

White shirts, kilts, hair accessories, tapestry bags and naked sandals – these are just some of the key pieces you’ll be adding to basket next season.

This morning we spent some time with the Fashion & Buying Director Natalie Kingham for the luxury e-commerce platform, who talked us through the must-have items and emerging designers we should have on our radar.

Explaining that rather than buying the ‘trends’, her and her team focus on the personality of a woman (or the everchanging personality) such as ‘The Free Spirit’ or ‘The Warrior’ and curate a wardrobe that is functional, wearable and timeless.

Natalie was particularly enamoured with designer Emma Willis who is men’s shirt designer. Keeping her button downs masculine, for the online platform she made some slight alterations on the sleeves and tail to create a more feminine silhouette. You can also expect T-shirts from the likes of Calvin Klein and Christopher Kane being an instant sell out.

Natalie highlighted the kilt from Chopova Lowena that combines traditional Bulgarian fabrics with sportswear inspirations like mountain climbing – trust us, this combination of ideas really works. She also spoke of working with couture and demi-couture designers and their continuous sustainability plans.

You will hear more from Natalie in our January issue of a&e magazine, but for now go ahead and click through the gallery above to see the seven hero label’s that will be championing over the next few months.

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