Did James Dean peel off a pair of Pike Brothers jeans when he failed in the first scene while shooting “Giant” with the film diva Liz Taylor? He walked back towards the 4000 spectators who were watching the shooting and peed in front of them. Improbable. But not impossible. And when Elvis Presley was stationed in Germany from 1958 to 1960 and singing “Muss i denn zum Städtele hinaus?”, was he perhaps wearing a Pike Brothers uniform? Probably not. But who knows? George and Joseph Pike opened their independent custom tailoring shop in the London district of Notting Hill in 1930. During the Second World War, when more and more American soldiers were coming to England, the brothers were given the job of tailoring uniforms for the US soldiers stationed there. Robust British fabrics and European tailoring encountered American-style. In the process, the Pike Brothers created their own unmistakable style. Until the brothers’ trail disappears in the early 1960s.
More than 50 years later a roughly 30-year-old man holds up an American officer’s jacket in a small shop. On the label: Pike Brothers. The past comes back to life. Fabian Jedlitschka: “I was inspired by the material and the workmanship of the jacket.” While searching for the garment’s origins, he discovers the story of the Pike Brothers and an idea begins to form. In 2008 the English and history teacher, Fabian Jedlitschka, helps to revive the Pike Brothers and founds a company with the same name. “I have always collected old cars and old clothes, like jeans from the 1950s.” With Pike Brothers Fabian has made his hobby into a job. His wife Anna is a textile engineer and brought additional expertise to the company.
When designing their collections the couple draws their inspiration from vintage workwear from the 1930s to the 1950s. “We strive to continue the Pike Bros tradition with everything we design. We develop our clothing without considering the conventions.” The result is a truly unique style: high-quality, robust clothing which develops a personality of its own, just like the person wearing them. “Our clothing is made of 100% natural materials such as linen, cotton or wool. We do not use chemical washing for our clothing”, says Fabian Jedlitschka. As a result, the clothing is somewhat stiff in the beginning and first has to be worn in like a leather shoe. But every Pike Brothers customer also wears a piece of their own identity because: “A guitar player’s trousers will have a different type of wear than a motorcyclist’s”, says the company founder Fabian Jedlitschka. Clothes for real men. Many Pike Brothers fans around the world value this about their clothing – from a motorcycle riding senior teacher to rockabillies to musicians and artists. Whether James Dean or The King were ever customers remains a mystery. But they would have been a good match.