The Crombie Story

Crombie is one of the oldest brands in the world,

Founded in Scotland in 1805, Crombie has been the choice of Royalty; Queens, Kings, Prime Ministers and Presidents across three centuries.

Beginning as a cloth mill, at Cothal on the banks of the River Don, Crombie quickly became known for the quality of their cloth in natural colours, reflecting the colours of the Scottish Hills, in tweeds and tartans in wool, cashmere and vicuna.

Crombie rose to prominence as the most eminent of Scottish mills.  Believing no one could match it in terms of quality, John Crombie set off by horse for London to visit the finest Royal tailors who embraced and highly valued his fine Scottish cloth.

Crombie’s reputation grew rapidly around the world and Grandholm Mill, on the banks of the River Don in Aberdeen, where Crombie moved to ,would become the most famous mill in the UK.

Thomas Glover, who became known as the Scottish Samurai, sailed to Japan, representing Crombie, to introduce the Japanese to the fine cloth.

He became friends with the Emperor and before long Crombie was established as the first western company in Japan with a million pound turnover.

Glover would go on to be a founder of the Mitsubishi Corporation and inspire the story of Madame Butterfly.

Crombie was in such demand in Paris that even when the city was under siege, a letter arrived at Crombie office in London sent by hot-air balloon by a concerned customer seeking assurance he would still receive his delivery of prized cloth.

Crombie began to supply tailors buying lengths of cloth for bespoke coats with woven labels, asking them to sew the labels onto the finished garments, to signify that the item was made from Crombie cloth and the Crombie label became a sign of prestige. Customers would demand  a “real” Crombie.

Crombie’s fame grew and the word Crombie itself became the generic term for a Gentleman’s overcoat, included in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Crombie began to produce ready to wear coats for the British Army and the Royal Air Force and became the largest supplier of Great Coats to the forces and British Warm coats to officers.

Crombie was now over a 100 years old, and the next century was to see Crombie Coats being embraced by film stars, presidents and of course the Royal Family.

Crombie also has a unique connection to British youth culture as shown by The Beatles who choose to wear Crombie coats as a sign they had made it in 1964.


The aspiration to own a genuine Crombie has been a right of passage from the Soho Mods of the 60’s, to 1970’s suede-heads, through eighties 2-Tone Rude Boys and into the 90’s and beyond with the rise in interest in heritage and iconic menswear.

Into this century and Crombie was being sold in over 35 countries in all the best department stores in the world.

Spring Summer Collection were introduced for the first time and new categories: Accessories, Leather goods, rainwear, and sportswear.