The birth of Cambridge can be tied to the arrival of the Scots-Irish Macky family to New Zealand in 1844. Two of the brothers set up a trading business soon after arriving that dealt in many things, including the manufacture and wholesale of men’s clothing. This arm of the business – Cambridge Clothing Company – outfitted fellow pioneers with hard-wearing denims, coarse woollen jackets, trousers and oilskin coats necessary for the tough days ahead.

Joseph Macky, c.1880

Joseph Macky, c.1880

Joseph Macky (founder) and wife Mary, circa 1915, Devonport

Joseph Macky (founder) and wife Mary, c.1915, Devonport

Cambridge Football Team, c.1892

Cambridge Football Team, c.1892

Cambridge Factory, Auckland, circa 1892

Cambridge Factory Auckland, c.1892

Cambridge 1892 Old Factory

Cambridge Old Factory, c.1892

Prior to the Great Depression, the firm was the largest wholesaler of general products in the country, with branches in London and the Pacific. But like so many others, it was a casualty of the time. Following its collapse, the Macky and Goodfellow families rescued Cambridge Clothing from the wreckage of the original trading business and set about changing its direction.

Instead of supplying rural New Zealand, the rejuvenated firm sought to serve the growing urban market, specializing in tailoring men’s suiting and distributing through the growing number of independent men’s outfitters spread throughout the country. By the 1960’s Cambridge was a market leader, using the cachet and flair of designer Hardy Amies to bring excitement and sophistication to men’s clothing. By the 1970’s Cambridge had extended its reach into Australia.

Today Cambridge Clothing is approaching 150 years in the business of building men’s professional wardrobes. As ever, the company is innovative and resilient in the face of a challenging marketplace, while drawing from its experience to provide the Australasian male with exceptional, contemporary clothing. Long may the story continue…