Emma Willis of Jermyn Street London has been a specialist in making luxury men’s shirts since 1987.They design everything from eveningwear, ready to wear to bespoke online, where you can choose the body fit, sleeve length, collar size, and style of collar, front and cuff…It’s like popping in to your private tailor on Jermyn Street, from the remote coast of the Maldives or New York stateside.
You have all the choices of a bespoke shirt, removing any of the more complicated details that would require a physical fitting. Emma’s philosophy is to adhere to traditional English shirt making techniques, using luxurious Italian and Swiss Cottons, Silks and Linens, many of which are exclusive to her collections.
An Emma Willis shirt is British in style, while being cut slimmer than is traditional – something that endears her to younger, hipper customers. She’s already the darling of the gentlemen’s club set and dressing as many dukes as she does bright young things…she has intuitive knack for walking the fine line between classical elegance and relevance to contemporary luxury.
I transferred my creativity into honing what I felt was the perfect shirt for a man, listening to the requests and fantasies for the dream business or smart casual shirt.
We chatted with Emma about how she fell into the world of menswear. She said “I decided I wanted to be a full time rock singer. I was performing in London with my band, but needed to make ends meet. Seeing the City booming with young men I knew in shirts, I set up a shirt business with a small factory in South London making bespoke men’s shirts. I realized I enjoyed employing the best methods of traditional shirtmaking, and buying the very finest Swiss cottons.”
There are plenty of ‘good’ shirt shops out there, but Emma’s creativity and eye for the unusual makes for a shirt and designed with a certain passion for the look, feel and make of the shirt. She oversees her factory three days a week and will only use the very best quality fabric and the very best employees. It shows in every stitch and mother of pearl button.
The ‘factory’ is a boutique operation with a handful of expert seamstresses/machinists working to the motto of ‘Keep the Blame.’ It keeps them grounded and on top of their game! They cut so that each pattern is matched at the seams, sew 18 stitches to the inch, using single needle stitching for the neatest, strongest seams, hand trim the collars before turning to ensure clean cut, sharp points.
We fell head over heels in love with this Spring Summer 2012 collection…a plethora of stunning Italian silks woven exclusively for Emma Willis, colorful weekend oxford windowpane, and Prince of Wales poplin checks in blues, pinks, yellows and purples.
A little birdie told us that Winter 2012 at Emma Willis will be country looking shirts in wholesome checks, and rich plum, aqua, blue plains using the most luxurious and easy to launder cashmere cottons…Think hay bales and autumn picnics! We can’t wait to go shopping.