The Savile Row Myth
There are very few actual sewing tailors left on Savile Row
So you work hard, save your money and decide to splash out on that craftsman made piece from Savile Row?
Well before you take the plunge maybe 5 minutes reading here could save you a lot of disappointment and a whole lot of your hard-earned money.
Genuine bespoke tailors are hard to find and decent ones outside of London are really, really hard to find. Just do a little research and you won’t be fooled into thinking that some 90-year-old tailor with 80 years experience will be sat crossed legged at the back of the shop front carefully hand sculpting and sewing away on your suit, those days my friend are long gone.
The truth is that the actual making of many a very expensive Savile Row suit will involve many hands, and most of the sewing work is not even done on the ‘Row’ any more. There are very few actual sewing tailors left on Savile Row.
The measuring, cutting and fitting may be conducted on the Row, but the actual sewing tailors could be working from their homes in places like Yorkshire and Kent, I even know of makers in Scotland.
You could argue that these people are specialists in their own right, yes they are, but trust me there is a lot of the rough, very rough mixed in with the smooth and unless you are a very good client or Royalty trust me you won’t be getting the top makers. It is a well-known fact that many hands make different work so you can have huge differences between your initial order and repeat orders.
So where are we at ?
Well the remaining craftsmen that do the actual sewing and finishing work for Savile Row tailors, and most, if not all are freelance, can be under pressure to turn garments out to very tight deadlines while working at fixed rates for their work.
The result of this is that quality can suffer, many houses now carry off the peg offerings made by Wensum in Mauritius.
Some have even established tailoring companies in Hong Kong with the suits being cut and fitted on the Row but the actual sewing done in Hong Kong.
So what are you actually paying for?
Overheads, expensive business costs, salesmen and big mark ups. Savile Row occupies some of the most expensive retail space in the world and someone has to pay for it, you have to pay for it. So do you still fancy that 5k Savile Row suit?
A craft that is as personal as tailoring maintains and services customers, many of these clients for decades, all my clients are important to me.
That one man should create a suit from start to finish was rare 60 years ago and is practically unheard of nowadays.