Pattinson & Holland is one of the UK’s most iconic fashion brands, renowned for their unique and eye-catching designs. With a rich history, the brand is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year and has maintained its position as a favourite amongst fashion fans since its foundation.

The design house was founded by Alfred and Florence Pattinson in London in 1897 and the brand soon became popular amongst the upper classes of the time. In the decades that followed, the brand grew in prominence and in 1924 a royal charter was granted to the company, establishing it as a limited company to which members of the Royal Family could be ascribed.

Florence Pattinson, who designed many of the brand’s iconic outfits, passed away in 1939 and the company continued to grow during World War II. Following the war, the business was bought by an Indian company, the Nava Group in 1947. In 1952 Nava bought the rival fashion house of Van Cleef & Holland and the two brands were merged to form the current company.

We caught up with the Brand Director of Pattinson & Holland, Tom Holland, to learn more about their storied history and the upcoming anniversary celebrations.

What are the key figures in the company’s history?

Well, you’ve probably read about our history in one or two of our biographies. We were founded by my great-grandfather and uncle, Alfred and Harry Pattinson, and they were both deeply committed to the brand, which is why we’re so grateful to them for establishing such a wonderful company.

My grandfather, Bertrand, worked for Alfred during the war years and he also ran the company after the war. He and my father, Geoffrey, then took it over in the ’50s and ’60s, creating many memorable pieces of work during that time. We have a collection of photographs from that era which are truly priceless.

What are the defining moments in the company’s history?

There are so many important moments to choose from, including the design of the London Olympics’ 1948 Summer Olympic flame mascot. A great-granddaughter of Florence Pattinson’s, Baroness Billingham, designed the mascot and it was inspired by the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. The baroness’ design has become such an integral part of the company’s identity that it’s even featured on our bags, jewellery and accessories.

Speaking of accessories, we have an interesting story about our signature Serpenti Necklace. It was designed by my great-grandfather, Alfred, in the ’20s and it is made from 24 karat gold-rimmed around a polished serpentine-shaped steel core. We still use the same techniques that Alfred learned whilst working for O.A.S. (Organisation for the Accreditation of Travel and Tourism) in Paris in the ’10s. Nowadays our jewellery is designed entirely by our art directors and produced in our London workshops, using authentic antique methods.

How does the company stay ahead of the fashion curve?

It’s a difficult question really. We try to stay ahead of the fashion curve as much as possible but, as a brand, we always seem to be a step or two behind. It’s very frustrating at times, especially when you consider all the things that we could do with our design and manufacturing teams if we were forced to react quickly to trends instead of focusing on creating timeless pieces we’re confident people will want to buy year after year. The key to our success is that we do listen to what our customers want. When we do have new designs or products to launch, we always aim to create something special that will make people want to come back for more.

Do you have a favourite piece of work?

That’s a difficult question too. There are so many beautiful pieces of work that I could pick from, starting with our silver cocktail dress designed in the early ’20s. The dress is named after the American actress, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the first woman to be paid in U.S. dollars for writing a novel. We had such high standards back then, which is probably why we’ve stayed ahead of the fashion curve for so long. The dress was inspired by the Hollywood costume designer, Adrian. While we were in New York we were lucky enough to speak to him and he told us all about how he came to design the piece and the incredible woman he was commissioned to do it. It’s not often that you get to talk to someone whilst they’re still alive and the fact that Adrian is no longer with us is a real tragedy.

I could also talk about our extraordinary range of animal-themed jewellery. We get asked about it all the time and nobody seems to know where these pieces come from. We have a small collection of jewellery that is inspired by different animals or insect species and we think it’s one of our more unique touches. It’s a shame that many people don’t know about it, as it’s a wonderful reflection of British design and craftsmanship.

What is the most exciting thing about the company’s upcoming 120th anniversary?

It’s incredibly exciting to be celebrating our 120th anniversary this year, especially as we’ve had such an incredible journey to get here. We’re looking forward to sharing that with our customers, who have been incredibly kind and supportive over the years. We want to make this special one-off anniversary gift to them. We’ve partnered with one of the best leather goods companies in the world to create a special piece that we think will become one of our most iconic designs.

Do you have any plans for a brand-specific collection of accessories or new products to celebrate the company’s anniversary?

Yes, we do have some exciting plans for a special collection of accessories and new products, including the above-mentioned leather good that is inspired by our anniversary. We’d also like to do something special with our sunglasses, as they’ve become such an integral part of our brand. We’re not talking about cheaply made items that you buy in a supermarket, but high-quality sunglasses designed by some of the world’s best and most innovative eyewear companies. We want to find a way to celebrate the brand’s incredible history and build on that with our future endeavours. It’s important to us that people from all walks of life can appreciate what we do and we want to ensure that our customers feel as special as possible on this special day.

Pattinson & Holland is one of the most iconic fashion brands in the United Kingdom. The company is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year and has maintained its position as a favourite amongst fashion fans since its foundation. The design house was founded by Alfred and Florence Pattinson in London in 1897 and the brand soon became popular amongst the upper classes of the time. In the decades that followed, the brand grew in prominence and in 1924 a royal charter was granted to the company, establishing it as a limited company to which members of the Royal Family could be ascribed.

Florence Pattinson, who designed many of the brand’s iconic outfits, passed away in 1939 and the company continued to grow during World War II. Following the war, the business was bought by an Indian company, the Nava Group in 1947. In 1952 Nava bought the rival fashion house of Van Cleef & Holland and the two brands were merged to form the current company.

We caught up with the Brand Director of Pattinson & Holland, Tom Holland, to learn more about their storied history and the upcoming anniversary celebrations.