Standing tall in a male-dominated industry Emma Willis has been designing and making men’s luxury shirts, ties, nightwear and much more since starting her business in 1989. Having trained at the Slade School of Art, Emma Willis went on to found her brand and then open her flagship Jermyn Street store in 1999. She was recognised for her meteoric rise in luxury menswear by Her Majesty The Queen, and awarded an MBE after being included in the New Years Honours list for entrepreneurship.
Emma Willis uses traditional English shirtmaking techniques, while adding a graceful delicacy to everything she creates, which sets her pieces apart from her fellow designers. Her style errs towards informality in comparison to her shirtmaking piers on Jermyn Street, yet her creations are made with equal care and craftsmanship. Her pieces are all made in England which is a strong part of the Emma Willis ethos – in the heart of historic Gloucester, lies her workshop-style factory humming with activity as garments are constructed and packaged. Her array of materials are carefully sourced from Switzerland, Italy and Ireland, never compromising on quality of fabric (all their cotton is produced using the Best Cotton Initiative), or its construction.
The brand’s excellence doesn’t stop there, Emma Willis has provided bespoke shirts and donated clothes to wounded veterans, as part of their registered charity ‘Style for Soldiers’ and during the pandemic ‘Style for Surgeons’ was born, as her furloughed workers made scrubs for our hard-working NHS. Emma Willis herself is committed to championing new talent and is an honorary fellow at Gloucestershire University due to her active role in supporting their Fashion Degree Students. She also received a ‘Points of Light Award’ from the Prime Minister for ‘outstanding volunteers who are making a real difference in their communities.’ Bespoke shirtmaking doesn’t really get better than this!