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A quality shotgun has evolved into a symbol of class and luxury and remains to this day a staple indication of affluence and social position. One need only look to the history of the United Kingdom to find an oil painting of a stylish young noble with a hound at his feet and a double barrel shotgun under his arm. So what is it that ties firearms to fashion, and where has it led us today?

The Beginning: The Hunt

So what is it that ties firearms to fashion, and where has it led us today? Embraced by the wealthy nobles, the humble fowling piece was quickly adopted as a staple amongst a gentleman’s collection of leisure items, particularly for use in ‘the hunt’.

By the 13th century, hunting had become a stylised pastime of the aristocracy and privilege of nobility. Further, it was an important arena for social interaction and brought into connection those with an eye for the latest trends in style and fashion, and the wealth to afford such a habit.

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The Birth of Clay Pigeon Shooting

But as cities spread, industrialisation sprawled and game was hunted to extinction, hunters turned to technology to give them an alternative to shoot: the clay pigeon. And fashion kept up with the times too, as the sport’s popularity saw it become a gentlemanly pursuit amongst the aristocracy.

Today, the sport has evolved into three main disciplines: trap, skeet and sporting.  All three remain a symbol of class and a throwback to European noble tradition, and with such comes the very finest in on-trend clothing and accessories.

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A Case Study: Holland and Holland

Beginning as a firearms manufacturer in 1835, Holland and Holland has become one of the most renowned shotgun manufacturers, and without a doubt is a symbol of luxurious style. With a standard double barrel shotgun retailing at over $100,000, their target market is definitely those with an eye for flair.

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And flair is exactly what Holland and Holland do. Intricate designs, immaculate workmanship and attention to detail have earned the company its unblemished reputation. A recent collaboration saw the release of a special edition Range Rover, complete with the finest soft-touch leather, an interior cut from a single piece of walnut, and finished to resemble the stock of a Holland and Holland gun . It was the most expensive Range Rover ever made, with only an estimated 40 scheduled for production.

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Where exclusivity and wealth reign supreme, fashion and style is never far from the spotlight, and so Holland and Holland prove with their exclusive range. Not solely intended for the field, their collection includes menswear, womenswear and accessories for all manner of pursuits of leisure. And it is on-trend.

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Their latest A/W collection is a stylish mix of dark earthly wools, sharp cut tweeds and elegant cashmere knits. Silk cravats are boldly patterned but not to excess, heavy coats speak of eternal style, and smoking jackets reflect the latest looks on the catwalks of Pitti Uomo. They even offer a bespoke tailoring service for the lady or gentleman seeking that incredibly exclusive touch.

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So next time someone suggests an afternoon of trap and skeet, embrace it for the leisurely pursuit that it is. Just don’t forget your sartorial finery.
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