Is it a pig or is it ram? It’s a sheep. Our logo explained.
Representing the highest measure of excellence, this ancient symbol was painted over our doors in 1850 and has signified heritage, quality and legendary service ever since.
In 1850, Daniel, John, Elisha and Edward Brooks assumed leadership of their father’s establishment, H. & D. H. Brooks & Co. Formally changing the name of the company to Brooks Brothers, they adopted the Golden Fleece symbol as the company’s trademark. The logo, a sheep suspended in a ribbon, has served as a symbol of fine wool since the fifteenth century, when Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy—an area renowned for its woolen fabrics—founded the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430 as an enduring gift for his wife, Isabella of Portugal. At the time, it became one of the most prestigious orders in all of Europe.
Reflecting its association to the symbol of fine woolens, the Knights of the Golden Fleece were among the best dressed and the most colorful in all of chivalric Europe. Years later, European wool merchants adopted the symbol as a way of advertising woolen goods to a largely illiterate public.
But far beyond its roots in medieval Europe, the symbolic nature of this important emblem dates back to ancient Greece. The Golden Fleece was one of the most coveted objects at that time; so, when called upon to find it, Jason and the Argonauts knew that they would make any sacrifices necessary to obtain it. Jason’s feats became the stuff of legend, and Philip chose the Golden Fleece as the symbol for this important order, because it came to represent a certain standard of excellence.
When the four Brooks brothers painted this lamb over their door, they used the icon to symbolize the European tradition on which the company based its early identity. Behind those doors, customers would find quality, heritage and excellence.