Thomas Arthur Hill founded Sunspel. He was born in 1822, the 11th of 12 children, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. His father, John Pinkerton Hill, was a hosiery maker in Nottingham and Thomas followed his father into the hosiery and lace trade.
Steam power was about to usher in a period of enormous worldwide change. The textile industry was one of the earliest manufacturing sectors to embrace this change and Thomas Hill found himself at the heart of it.
Thomas Hill was not only one of the great early British industrialists but also a fabric innovator. His vision to create simple, everyday clothing from beautiful fabrics continues to be the Sunspel philosophy to this day.
Thomas Hill opened his textile factory in 1860 in Newdigate, Nottingham, which was to become the centre of the British lace making industry. He used his fabric expertise to make lightweight, soft clothing in very fine cotton and pioneered the development of luxury undergarments, as we know them today.
Some of the earliest garments made in the Newdigate factory included tunics and undershirts that were some of the first t-shirts ever made.
We've included in our selection the Rivera Polo Shirt, a polo developed for James Bond in Casino Royale.
In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig wears several Sunspel shirts. Award winning costume designer, Lindy Hemming, explains why:
“I have dressed so many different characters in film and theatre in Sunspel because they are classic, timeless and beautifully made. With Daniel Craig as the new Bond, I thought it would be a perfect collaboration of quality and Britishness to ask Sunspel to create all his t-shirts, polo shirts and underwear. He looks very sexy and happy in their clothing.” - Lindy Hemming, award-winning costumier. Sunspel continues to provide clothing for a wide range of costume designers, actors and musicians.