The man In the hat

In 1765, James Lock opened a shop at 6, St James's Street, London. It is still there and is reputedly the oldest hat shop in the world. Lock & Co's list of illustrious customers is awe-inspiring, from Prime Ministers to Presidents, Princes, Kings, military leaders, movie stars, writers, Winston Churchill and David Beckham.

Throughout the 19th century, the staple hats of Lock & Co were Top Hats and military headwear. In 1849 came the creation of the first Bowler Hat, or Coke (the commissioning customer's name). The Coke was designed to offer strong protection for the head, when riding a horse. As such, it was rather heavy. Later, the company introduced a lighter version which it called the Town Coke.

Nowadays, Lock & Co offers a complete range of classic hat styles, from reconditioned silk Top Hats to Bowlers, Homburgs, Fedoras, Trilbys, Porkpies, Flat Caps, Newsboy Caps and Panamas.

Lock & Co London shop
Illustration of Conformateur Lock & Co uses
Conformateur - still used at Lock & Co
Customer - David Beckham