With Royal Ascot around the corner, we chatted with Kristian Robson – proprietor of iconic British gentlemen’s outfitter, Oliver Brown. Initially the only firm able to sell top hats within Royal Ascot, for 2017 Oliver Brown is now also an official licensee for this prestigious sporting event.
What is your fondest memory of working in a tailor house?
Making a suit for my father was just wonderful.
Was there a light bulb moment that instigated your creation of Oliver Brown?
I started working in fashion and managed a shop on Sloane Street where Oliver Brown is based. The brand was founded in 1980, and I ended up buying it out of liquidation in 1998. The name actually comes from the original owner’s dog, Oliver, who was brown in colour!
What is your earliest memory of Royal Ascot?
Buying my first top hat. It sparked a lifelong passion.
How did your association with Royal Ascot come about?
We’ve been working with the racecourse for a number of years, selling top hats at the racecourse during the Royal Ascot race meeting. So when Ascot Racecourse embarked on signing a cross-category portfolio of licensees – all synonymous with long-standing British heritage and superior quality products - Oliver Brown was an obvious choice!
What are you most excited about for Royal Ascot this year?
Seeing the Oliver Brown collection within the new Ascot Shop. As the biggest race meeting in the calendar and one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, I feel honoured and privileged to have this association.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Having what I believe is the best tailoring house in London!
If you could save one photo in your house, what would it be and why?
A picture of my father and sister on my wedding day.
What is on your Wingfield Digby wish list and why?
The green pheasant feather and glass photo frame. It would go very well in our recently expanded 77 Lower Sloane Street shop!
Favourite feather type?
The green pheasant is stunning.
Green Pheasant Feather Photo Frame - Available from £70 from Wingfield Digby here.
Answers provided by Kristian Ferner Robson, proprietor of Oliver Brown, 75 Lower Sloane Street, London. Oliver Brown is an Official Licensee to Royal Ascot.