After having worked together for a number of years with a certain Mr. May using the May & Brettell label, in 1880 Hodgson William Brettell, aged 24, set up shop under the name of H.W. Brettell in the newly opened shopping arcade in London called simply The Arcade.
The Arcade, which connects 28 Old Bond Street with 12 Albemarle Street, opened its doors in 1880. Just two years after its opening, the arcade was renamed The Royal Arcade, after shirtmaker H.W. Brettell received Royal patronage from Queen Victoria. The now protected London landmark is still known by this name today.
Queen Victoria was not the only royal among Brettell’s clientele. A large number of other royals and members of the nobility followed in her footsteps. Probably Brettell’s most famous customer was Sir Winston Churchill, who remained a client for most of his life.