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The times have changed and some of houses need to change, to adapt to modern times. Gieves were selling RTW suits in the 1920's but it is something that is part of today and so is MTM. G&H, Richard James etc have big RTW and MTM range, while Richard Anderson has a MTM range with a very limited RTW range.

I was in contact with Richard Anderson in the autumn concerning prices the average bespoke suit is £3.2k, with MTM at £1.8k - that is almost double. With the times as they are, I am sure some Huntsman customers that would normally spend at least £3.6k on a suit, going to RA and getting a MTM for half the price.

I would love to everything bespoke, but just considering the basics - 3 bespoke suits from G&H will cost at least £10K. Then there are shirts, ties and shoes to consider as well. Even if I went for the lowest cost true bespoke suits elsewhere, that is at least £6K. In the future, most of wardrobe may be mostly MTM with a few bespoke items for special occasions.


A&S have now lost a warrant because Prince Charles wears MTM from Turnbull & Asser. I am very disappointed in him; I would have thought he at least would continue the bespoke tradition. I have always been a fan of his, even though he was uncool and everyone wanted William to be king; even now at 26 years old, a lot of people my age dislike him.

We have seen A&S and AJ Hewitt move off The Row and I would not be surprised if we saw another. Personally, I feel enough is not done to protect the street and the court ruling does not help either.
Part of it is not celebrating The Row, the same with most British things (e.g. fox hunting on Boxing Day, Northampton based shoemakers), it is seen as being snobby; even if I wear a Hackett sweater - the 1966 England football were wearing suits by Huntsman; 36 years on (2002), they were showing to be liberal and wearing Burtons (which were apparently very good quality, lying bastards); and now they are wearing Armani. The 2006 Italian world cup winning football team were wearing D&G and still do.

I have had this chat with Nathan from Lodgers, (the new shoe shop on Clifford Street, between the Savile Row and the Bond Street’s) about this. The number of shoemakers in Northampton and the Italian equivalent is completely different, in terms of numbers. The latter having so many more makers.


There has been a missed generation or two, in the 70’s and 80’s when the young men decided not to go to Savile Row, the tradition was still kept by the older generation. Now they are not here, that missed generation is making a big affect. When I reach my 30’s I suspect most of my friends will be wearing Italian brands made in China or wherever (as they do now).
 

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Economic downturns come and go.
It has nothing to the current economic issues, The Row has had problems for years, with less and less people going for a bespoke suit made within the Savile Row bespoke suit. Just look at the number of people employed from the early 1900's to a few years ago.

I think Savile Row should retain its original character rather than adapting to the new trends.
As WA points out

"I find it amusing that SR has turned to RTW and MTM, but not into proper advertising, saying We are here, come to us, this why we are better".

They do not really want to advertise but they need too. G&H does some basic advertising (which is poor anyway) but nothing for its bespoke suits. They are not attracting the young generation, the men who need at least 3 suits for work and a dinner suit. The men that be coming back for blazers and trousers for the normal wardrobe. If these men buy 11 suits (3 suits at a time, 3 times; & 2 dinner suits) in their time, that is at least £22-39k and then passes the tradition to his son, that is at least £44k-£78k. This is excluding money made from getting their normal wear from The Row or even more suits. Maybe that person wants to wear a different suit everyday of the week and maybe get his wedding suit made on The Row too. If Armani can hook people and they only wear Armani suits, then The Row should too.

Tom Ford and Calvin Klein have got suits made on Savile Row for a reason; however, they along with celebs are not the people who will coming back for 40 years and passing the tradition.

I used to shop at a G&H concession at busy department store (Bentalls, in Kingston-upon-Thames) as it was easier for me then going to The Row, I was the only returning customer that was under mid-30; on The Row they tried the awful Gieves line. They need to focus on their main line, advertise it and says this is why all these people have shopped on The Row - why spend £500 on something that is poorly made with a label on it when it will only last 18-36 months, when you can get a quality suit that should at least 10 years. For the really young generation, they know you cannot go bespoke because of cost but have this good quality MTM range, which should a long time. Then hook these people for bespoke when they need new suits and have the money.

When I needed suits for work, I just got the blazers for two; I tried to get a matching blazer for a third trouser but they did do blazers for it, so got a RTW instead. The usual brands were advertising and appealing to me. Let's just say if I needed three suits and was not sure where to go, it would be more likely that I walk on Bond Street then Savile Row - Armani, D&G, Prada, RL, etc would be appealing to me.

I am already hooked on the tradition, the only questions are i. money and whether I could go bespoke for all my suits, blazers and trousers or mostly MTM with some bespoke items ii. and from who. However, what about the others. I work as a contractor, so have worked in a number of different offices (7) and add friends from uni, etc and so far I have not met one person under 30 who has gone to Savile Row for a suit (RTW, MTM or bespoke). The closet was some Boateng fans who have never been to any of his shops.

A friends brother spent about £2k on an Armani suit; he knew about The Row and did not find it appealing although it repsected The Row - that is a bespoke suit for Steed or Westmancott. One of my cousins earns £48k annually, he will new suits for work in a year or two, will he go to The Row - I doubt it. If I earned that much, I would have 5 bespoke suits, 1 bespoke dinner suit and varies blazers and trousers. He is more of a casual dresser so will only need 3 suits, that is £10k for G&H that they would miss out on.

Lanvin will arrive soon and suspect more will too.
 

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There are any number of bespoke tailors on Savile Row who are not of the association (Sedwell a case in point), and maybe even some (well, one in particular) who are members but shouldn't be.
Andrew has his own ideas (e.g. about training), which is why MS is not part of SRBA, although he does talk with them. He will be looking to achieve the same results, but his way.

it really needs government intervention to keep out the RTW chains and property investors, and provide rent subsidies for the tailoring industry. Perhaps the latter is already being done, anyone know?
The tradition of The Row is not being protected which is there have been silly rent increases and why A&S moved to Old Burlington St. Evisu do not belong on the street but are here, Lanvin to follow and probaby others in the future too.

Another example is that the silly money spend on the 2012 Olympics, yet a number of British historical buildings need work done, about £300m.
 

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SR putting in rtw and m2m are shooting themseleves in the foot instead of educating the younger generation. We don't live like 100 years ago; Coke once said "If we don't advertis people will forget us".
A well made MTM suit will always be and look better then a badly made bespoke suit.

I think MTM and even RTW to an extent have a place on The Row; however, in my opinion, this should be very limited, especially with RTW.

The average UK student leaves university with £15k student loan debt, expecting them to spend money on at least 2 bespoke suits is asking too much; taking into account they need shirts, ties and shoes as well. This is where MTM has its place. The next time around, they could be go for bespoke or slowly move their MTM suits to the smart section of their wardrobe, while starting a bespoke section.
There will also be people who bespoke suits but do want to that much money on trousers and jackets for general wear, so could go MTM for this (or even RTW).

There will be times when someone wants something casual or want something new for a function happening in a few weeks. This is where RTW will have its place, rather then losing the clients to a different brand.

The focus for all the shops on Savile Row should be bespoke. Kilgour offers a bespoke option that would appeal to the younger generation, with their 'international bespoke' service.

A lot of the shops on Savile Row have been celebrating 20 years association with GQ magazine. Hackett have even brought out a few special edition accessories to celebrate the association. If the shops on The Row put a bit more effort into their bespoke service and advertise why it is so great and why it is so celebrated, they would get more people going bespoke.
 

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A brand new bespoke pattern has never really been tried before, so whether it will work or not is entirely dependent on the skill of the cutter. If it works, it will easily surpass a factory block pattern, but in the hands of a bungler, disasters may ensue.
This is an example of where a bespoke suit looks like MTM (Gieves, picture 2) and a bespoke suit looking like a RTW suit that has not been altered yet (A&S, picture 1). I thought the A&S was MTM because he said the cost was north of £2k; I thought A&S bespoke would cost at least £2.8k, so close to £3k.

In this case, the fault is not 100% of the tailors but also the client for i. asking for too much change on the Gieves suit from the house style ii. not standing up to the A&S nonsense (they added 1 pocket at the back of the trousers when he asked for two) and iii. not telling A&S exactly what he wanted (they only asked how many buttons he wanted).
 

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Actually, the following three Savile Row tailors (all of whom are located in England, of course): Maurice Sedwell (who is in fact a Savile Row tailor despite being located in Eastern London or in Mayfair, which is a bit of a distance or fairly far away from Savile Row), Rubinacci London (who is also in fact a Savile Row tailor despite being located in Mayfair, which, again, is a bit of a distance or fairly far away from Savile Row) and William Westmancott (who is in London very close to Savile Row)
Savile Row is in Mayfair. Originally Maurice Sedwell were based on Fleet Street, which is in central London but on the east side and the postcode is EC4. They then moved to Savile Row in the 1960's, although originally at the much smaller number number 9, now based at number 19.

Rubinacci London is on 96 Mount Street (near Park Lane), Mayfair and is about 1km away from Savile Row. This makes it outside the Savile Row bespoke boundary, which is 200m away from The Row. AJ Hewitt had this problem when they moved to 11 St George Street, there was the issue whether they can still say Savile Row bespoke but they were within the boundary and are part of the Savile Row Bespoke Association.
The only way Rubinacci London can have Savile Row bespoke suits is if they are made within the 200m of Savile Row. I do not know where their suits are made, so cannot comment further on them.

William Westmancott is available by appointment at 12 Savile Row. He also has a business address in Romford, Essex. Romford is near East London, although many still see it as London, it comes under Greater London. Their dailling code is not a London code (0203, 0207 or 0208) but 01708. If this is Westmancott's main base and were he makes the suit, his bespoke suits are not Savile Row bespoke because they are made outside the 200m boundary from Savile Row, (re: info about AJ Hewitt).
 

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What, exactly, does that mean? If a tailor has the temerity to offer "bespoke" tailoring, but whose shop resides outside the "bespoke boundary," they may not do so?
For a suit to be classed as Savile Row bespoke it must be made on The Row or within 200m of Savile Row. However, do not confuse this with bespoke suits, which can be made anyway in the world.

AJ Hewitt are not on Savile Row any more; however, they are within the 200m boundary. When they did move to 11 St. George Street, they had a bit of a fight on their hands as they still wanted their suits to be Savile Row bespoke and they did win. If they had moved to Hanover Street, they would have been outside the boundary. They even used to be part of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, at present Anderson & Sheppard and Meyer & Mortimer are the only members of SRBA that are not based on Savile Row.

I think the boundary was created so that some work could take place off Savile Row but within reasonable distance to still keep the tradition of making the suit on Savile Row.

William Westmancott has a location in Romford, Essex and I assume this is where the suits are made. He makes semi-bespoke and bespoke suits but his bespoke suits cannot be called Savile Row bespoke as they are made outside the 200m boundary.

Is this a big issue? No. A quality bespoke suit can be made that is not Savile Row bespoke. Savile Row bespoke is in place to keep the tradition of Savile Row and the process of making the suits on Savile Row.
 

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Unclear is whether a tailor with a Savile Row address, or one within 200m, but whose clothing is cut and/or sewn outside the "Golden Mile" and its 200m quarantine, say Bayswater, can legitimately be "Savile Row".
I think there is a confusion about companies with a Savile Row address. Take Steed for example, available at number 12 but HQed Cumbria - on the website it days Steed Savile Row and has details for both locations. On the website, there is information about bespoke and semi-spoke; however, Steed bespoke is never called Savile Row bespoke.

From a legal stand-point, there is nothing wrong wihh having Savile Row in the name because they are based there and with the information they are giving, at no point moment is Steed bespoke mentioned as if it is Savile Row bespoke.

To be honest, I would prefer people like Edwin (Steed) and William (William Westmancott) use locations on The Row then designers like Lanvin.
There is also another issue of cost and attracting the younger generation, a Gieves & Hawkes bespoke would cost at least £3.4k. In the summer they had a nice grey 2-piece suit on display in super 130's cloth and it was on sale for about £1.9k, I asked about the cost of bespoke and it would be £4k. Plus, some younger people may not want to walk into somewhere like G&H, Henry Poole, etc and likely find it easier talking to Edwin or William. If I really wanted bespoke for about £2k then I can go to Steed or WW and it is a good way of help The Row a tailors road, affordable and making it attractive for the younger generation.
 

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What's with the 200m thing?
That is the Savile Row boundary despite what MH has said about AJ Hewitt, they can still legally say Savile Row Bespoke. The SRBA may not agree with it but not every true Savile Row bespoke tailor is part of the SRBA.

If you look at the AJ Hewitt website, https://www.aj-hewitt.co.uk, the webpage title is 'Anthony J Hewitt Savile Row Bespoke Tailors'; if they were outside the 200m boundary it would be 'Anthony J Hewitt Bespoke Tailors'. In the content, Savile Row and Savile Row London is mentioned a number of times.
 

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I would certainly hope these historic tailors are still in business when the time comes for me to purchase a bespoke suit. It is certainly a shame that these fashion designers (along with GQ and the likes) are negatively influencing the opinions of the general public.
Recently GQ was celebrating 20 years with lots of British shops like Hackett and even on The Row (Gieves, Nortons, etc) some shop-fronts had a GQ display. With Hackett one can understand, but why The Row took part I do not understand.
 
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