A Truly British Made Umbrella
When it is raining cats and dogs, you need a Fox Umbrella.
No one engineers a handmade umbrella like Fox Umbrellas. They have been making what some call the Rolls-Royce of umbrellas, since 1868. And when it comes to style, an exquisite designer men’s umbrella can make all the difference to an outfit. Be it a grey city suit or a sporty weekend outfit.
And the patronage of Fox Umbrellas cements just that. These stunning umbrellas have graced the hands of the most illustrious of figures. To name drop a few; John F Kennedy commissioned some for family members. John Steed from The Avengers always carried a Malacca Fox Umbrella to defend the realm from its enemies. The British and Japanese Royal Family both use Fox umbrellas. And more recently to aid authenticity they can be seen on screen in the pop-culture hit Peaky Blinders.
The humble brolly may be seen as only designed to keep the rain off your head. But in fact when you buy a Fox, you are buying sartorial elegance. A British made umbrella that perfectly captures years of craftsmanship. And a little bit of British history all folded up in that perfectly engineered form. When we think ‘designer men’s umbrella’, it’s Fox that comes to mind...
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Designer Men's Umbrella
The history of Fox Umbrellas and their foray into designer men’s umbrellas, all started during the reign of Queen Victoria. One Mr Thomas Fox opened a shop making and selling umbrellas in Fore Street, now London Wall. But Samuel Dixon bought it after only 12 years. It is reputed that maybe Mr Thomas Fox had a small gambling habit and may have owed Samuel Dixon some money. And that is how the shop was transferred into the Dixon family. Unfortunately, there are no records of what happened to Mr Thomas Fox.
Separately, another Mr Fox, this time a Mr Samuel Fox from Stocksbridge near Sheffield (who was no relation). Had invented a way of using steel for the inside frame of an umbrella instead of whalebone. This was a huge advancement and Fox Umbrellas began to use that technique. And is still used in the handmade umbrellas that you see today.
Fox Umbrellas also assisted during war efforts with flare parachutes made of the then new material Nylon. They immediately realised the potential of Nylon, and its impact on their British made umbrellas. The first Nylon umbrella was exhibited to the public at the ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition at the V&A museum in London, in 1946. Years later, Fox’s commitment to style, craftsmanship and a firm belief in the ‘Made In Britain’ ethos knows no bounds. Each masterfully handmade umbrella can take between 70 and 100 different steps and most of these steps can’t be replicated by a machine. So good ‘ol elbow grease and nimble fingers are required.
This dedication to creating the perfect designer men’s umbrella is what made Fox Umbrellas unparalleled for quality. Take George Plonka for instance, a master umbrella maker, he has been working for Fox for a mere 55 years and is now passing his skills onto the next generation of craftsmen. This isn’t a dying trade but it is a specialised one. There are woodworkers, machinists, mounters and cutters all dedicated to creating an umbrella that won’t just last but could possibly be passed on to the next generation it cared for correctly.
So the next time you pop a brolly up, make it British made umbrella from Fox.