May 1999 – The Back Street Boys and Westlife were vying for the number one spot on the singles chart and the film Notting Hill was just being released. On TV the first ever Pride of Britain Awards was being broadcast.

But more importantly, in Reigate, Ashworth & Bird opened its doors on the High Street. Offering a selection of brands including some of the big designer names from the States, a selection of major Italian labels and a couple of British marques - this was a whole new style of retailing for the town.

Initially trading from just the ground floor, the double-fronted shop quickly became very popular with the men of that part of Surrey. The mix of brands brought a cosmopolitan edge, while a commitment to personal service quickly inspired a loyal cohort of customers.

This success was recognised nationally in 2002, when Ashworth & Bird was crowned the Contemporary Classic Retailer of the Year at the Menswear FHM Awards.

The foundations were set for long term business growth. The first floor was acquired and more brands were taken on, including some footwear brands. And then a custom-tailoring service was added, cementing the store’s reputation for tailoring and complementing its strong casualwear offer. 

Today the store carries a strong roster of premium designer brands and the store is neatly split into tailoring and luxury goods on the first floor and more casualwear focused names on the ground floor.

Brands include Boss, Ralph Lauren, Eton, Paul & Shark, Loake footwear and Gant. It is this mix as well as the exemplary personal service that inspire men to keep returning to Ashworth & Bird.

Harri Clews