Amies entered the men's wear market in 1959, when he designed a range of silk ties for Michelson's. During the 1950s the preference of young adult men for more informal, body-conscious clothes and the popularity of American and Italian styles persuaded British manufacturers to reformulate their image and product. Hep-worths, a middle-market multiple tailoring group, approached Amies. His first collection for Hepworths in 1961 was designed "to make the customer feel younger and richer than they were, and more attractive" (Amies 1984, p. 68). His designs were never cutting edge but formulated to attract a broad customer base. By 1964 the annual sales of his men's wear was about £15 million, compared with £0.75 million for women's wear. His collaboration with Hepworths led to a string of licensee agreements selling men's wear and some women's wear across the globe from the United States and Canada to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. As
Amies dedicated more time to the licensee business, the women's wear design was taken over by his codirector, Ken Fleetwood (d. 1996). Amies sold Hardy Amies, Ltd., to Debenhams in 1973 to develop a ready-to-wear business but bought the company back in 1980.
Hardy Amies was appointed a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) in 1977 and honored with a knighthood in 1989. He was elected a Royal Designer for Industry in 1964. He received the Harper's Bazaar Award in 1962, the Sunday Times Special Award in 1965, and the British Fashion Council Hall of Fame award in 1989. He sold Hardy Amies, Ltd., to the Luxury Brands Group in 2001. Amies died on 5 March 2003.
See also Diana, Princess of Wales; Haute Couture; Savile Row; Travel Clothing; Tweed.
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