He may never have lived on Jermyn Street, but Beau Brummel was a man so inextricably associated with the avenue’s restrained elegance that the street saw fit to honour him with a statute. The original British dandy and a close confidante of the Prince Regent, Beau was a man of impeccable tastes and acerbic wit. Often misunderstood as a flamboyant dresser, it’s actually Brummel who popularised the pressed trousers, gleaming white shirts and trim cut navy suit coats that still remain the cornerstones of a good tailored wardrobe. You might even say he was a minimalist avant la lettre, making it all the more tragic that he died as all good dandies do: in destitute disrepute.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Widely considered one of England’s greatest novelists, W.M. Thackeray used Vanity Fair, his sprawling satire of Regency society, to sketch and skewer the narcissism of the Victorian chattering classes. Have no doubt that his residence at No. 27 Jermyn Street afforded him plenty of material for his book, with its invaluable view of the fripperies and follies of London’s well-heeled.
Regarded by scandalised Edwardians as “The Wickedest Man in the World”, legendary occultist Aleister Crowley was one of the most controversial figures of his day. A pioneering figure in Western esotericism, Crowley was also a social critic, prophet, writer, and libertine of the first order who’s endured as a uniquely beguiling icon of British counter-culture. Being not just wicked but wickedly elegant, where else would the great magician take refuge during the turbulence of the 1940s but No. 93 Jermyn Street itself?
Sean Connery may have immortalised his brutishly spruce Bond in crisp Jermyn Street shirts, but it’s the spy’s debonair creator, Ian Fleming, who truly deserves the title of Jermyn Street hero. The author shopped, socialised and swaggered around the area all his life, and legend has it that when serving as an intelligence officer in WWII, he even met with Crowley at The Cavendish Hotel to discuss the possibility of getting the magician to lure top level Nazis into danger using occult spells.