In the thirty years since the original company ceased production, Richard Allan enthusiasts have continued to seek out his vintage scarves as collectors’ items.
It was the vision of the unique Richard Allan designs as art that inspired Cate Allan to relaunch her father's company.
In celebration, she produced a collection of archival scarf designs as art prints in limited editions. On museum paper, at 30” x 30", which was the original scarf size, the prints are beautiful, vibrant and impactful, a testimony to the best of 1960's design and a fitting tribute to her father's legacy.
Next, with the fashion industry revisiting the square scarf, it became clear that there was a place for contemporary Richard Allan scarves. Working with the Echo Design Group, the leading American scarf company, Cate has recoloured archival designs for their first new Richard Allan collection, with 14 styles ready for this autumn 2016, marking a new and exciting era for the classic brand.
The aesthetic of the company remains true to its roots - an overarching theme of fantastic, original sixties and seventies design and beautiful colours presented in fabulous quality. Just as Richard Allan's original scarves perpetuated such a wide following, the new collection too appeals to a classic taste as well as a more outlandish taste of any age.
It is with enormous pride that we see Richard Allan scarves back in vogue!
Richard Allan established the company in 1962. It was a time of great social change when boundaries were pushed, and Britain led the way with the Beatles, psychedelia and Carnaby Street living edgily alongside haute couture, tailored chic, department stores and British reserve.
Popularity for his scarves grew rapidly, and Richard Allan gained a reputation as an innovative producer of silk scarves in bold, abstract designs with distinct colours, as well as striking monochromes. The silk squares were heavyweight silk twill, which were screen printed at David Evans & Co in Crayford, Kent and finished by hand in London.
In the first year of trading, Richard Allan sold over 50,000 scarves. The fledgling company moved to 87 Duke Street in Mayfair, where it flourished for the next twenty years.
Richard Allan became a household name. His groundbreaking designs and use of colour were perfect for the Swinging Sixties, but he also maintained a firm focus on classically elegant scarves for those who wanted timeless chic. His scarves were sold in London at iconic stores - Fenwick, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Marshall & Snelgrove and Selfridges. Demand grew and soon Richard Allan scarves were being sold across the United Kingdom and in most upscale stores internationally.
In addition, Richard Allan undertook commissions for corporate gifts and promotions. Clients included Alfred Dunhill, Newmarket Racecourse and the Rank Organisation. He collaborated with Schiaparelli and Yves St Laurent. And Richard Allan scarves were used in many film and television productions, for example, Diana Rigg wore Richard Allan scarves in the popular 1960's television series The Avengers.
Richard Allan possessed an extraordinary eye for line and colour; aesthetics mattered to him, his style was eclectic; his collections included the daring and the bold. His designs were striking, avant-garde and stylish but he also offered classically elegant scarves. Sometimes his collections included amusing or whimsical designs, but his hallmark was always superb design, excellent quality and brand defining colours.