Meet Kristian Ferner Robson: proprietor of Official Men’s Formal Wear Licensee of Royal Ascot, Oliver Brown.
Ferner Robson’s independent retailer specialises in top hats, offering the largest collection of antique silk hats in the world, housed in vaults within the basement of the Lower Sloane Street store in the heart of Chelsea. It was an antique silk top hat from Oliver Brown with which rugby legend Mike Tindall performed his trick at Royal Ascot, that had the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in stitches!
Ferner Robson is an authority on top hats having purchased his first from a second-hand shop on London’s Portobello Road during his teens. He bought it for £40, wore it to a race and everyone was asking him about it so he realised there must be a market for it. He took it to a shop in Jermyn Street and sold it to them for £200 and it was that experience which ignited his interest in racing attire and built the foundations that Oliver Brown has evolved from ever since. Today the brand has reported that Royal Ascot contributes over £1 million to its annual turnover and their formal morning wear hire during Royal Ascot week 2019 will exceed 2,000 suits and 1,000 top hats across the Royal Meeting, up 30% on the previous year.
As one of the foremost suppliers of morning wear and top hats, Oliver Brown has and will be dressing a number of famous faces for Royal Ascot this week including singer Liam Payne, esteemed actors Sir Derek Jacobi, David Suchet and Martin Compston, comedian Bradley Walsh, footballing legends Peter Crouch and Glen Johnston, racing royalty AP McCoy and Aidan Patrick O’Brien, and ITV Racing’s presenters Ed Chamberlin, Chris Hughes and fashion correspondent Mark Heyes, in addition to Eddie Olczyk and Brian Fichera of NBC who will cover Royal Ascot for the first time this year.
Pictured: Mike Tindall wears antique silk top hat from Oliver Brown; Sir Derek Jacobi and Ed Chamberlin wear full morning suit and top hat by Oliver Brown.