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Royal Automobile Club

The Royal Automobile Club’s brief was clear: ‘Design a staff uniform that captures 120 years of luxury and tradition and reflects the distinguished heritage of this world famous private members’ club. Create a smart, fairly formal dress code for staff who ensure that our members receive unparalleled service in the two Clubhouses – at Pall Mall in London and Woodcote Park in Surrey.’ JSD entered a competitive tender process and it was our design concepts that captured the Club’s vision for its new uniform and won us the contract.

It was evident from the very beginning that JSD had a clear understanding of the Club’s heritage and ethos.

Royal Automobile Club, Chief Operating Officer

There was to be one look for staff across both locations: from the moment Club members enter, to the front of house staff, restaurants, sporting and fitness facilities, spas and housekeeping. That was a challenge because each venue has its own special ambience: the Pall Mall Clubhouse is formal and immensely traditional, while Woodcote Park has a relaxed, casual feel.

Introducing this corporate clothing coincided with a rebrand of the historic badge logo. JSD Designer, Lisa Cunningham-Sherret, explains: “The brief was to ensure staff did not blend in with Club members, especially in the Pall Mall Clubhouse where gentlemen’s formal suit attire is almost de rigueur. They also favoured military elements in the new uniform design.”

To create that vital ‘stand-out’ effect between staff and Club members, our design team explored subtle contrasts of navy blue against black. There are hints of the military, with gold braid, hand woven badges with silver wiring, and bespoke branded gold buttons introduced on the formal tailored items. The luxury silk woven tie and ladies’ printed silk chiffon scarf both capture a representation of the Club logo.

Our ability to manufacture bespoke items in a UK factory, to source on-brand stock items for economies of scale, and to manage roll-out logistics and ongoing orders are key to our partnership with RAC. The JSD team went through a full measuring exercise at both locations; Club staff tried on sample items and placed their orders for manufacture.

We hand delivered to each employee and had spare stock for a ‘swap shop’at both sites. This ensured we met the COO’s request for a step-out in full uniform by all staff, at both sites, on the same day.

“The designs presented to us were equally as functional as they were elegant, says the Club’s Chief Operating Officer. “The rich colours, crisp lines and bespoke trimmings have been a pleasing addition to both Clubhouses and well received by members and staff alike. I am delighted with the result and we continue to enjoy an effective working relationship with JSD. It certainly is a talented company.”

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