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The new Savile Row and the workplace (article >>>)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Fortune article:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/22/maga...ion=2006092714

Quote:
London Calling: The new Savile Row
The latest styles are anything but stodgy. Will they fly at work?
By Nelson D. Schwartz, Fortune senior writer

(FORTUNE Magazine) -- The suit is silky-smooth as I slip my arm into the sleeve, the three-button jacket's gray, white, and blue windowpane pattern offset by an eye-catching canary-yellow lining.

It's the last thing I expected to find on Savile Row, the heart of traditional British tailoring, but it's exactly the mix of bold colors, beautiful cloth, and a bit of bling that's made designer Ozwald Boateng a favorite of City lawyers and traders in London as well as American music stars like Usher.


"I've revolutionized Savile Row," says Ozwald Boateng, never one for understatement.


Richard Anderson offers fresh style with a clean English look.

I'd always been a bit intimidated by Savile Row. With leather armchairs and fireplaces, most showrooms resemble the posh private clubs that dot London's West End, and I'm not a member of one of those either.

But Boateng is different. The son of immigrants from Ghana, he is young (39), brash, and self-taught, an outsider until recently on the Row, where most tailors toiled for decades at old-school shops before setting up their own establishments.

"I've revolutionized Savile Row," says Boateng, never one for understatement. "Before it was gray, white, or black. I've made color wearable for men."

Jamie Foxx wore a Boateng suit in Miami Vice this summer, and as one of Boateng's hip salesmen tells me, "we get footballers, film stars, City boys, and the odd gangster." It's no wonder Boateng's the only Savile Row tailor with a reality show (House of Boateng, on Sundance).

Savile Row's traditionalists might scoff at Boateng's designs (and bemoan the fact that newer, less experienced tailors are driving up real estate prices), but they realize the Prince Charles demographic alone can't sustain the Row.

"If it brings the 25-year-olds in, they will eventually make their way up the pendulum," sniffs Simon Cundey, manager of Henry Poole & Co., a 200-year-old firm that is considered the oldest on the Row.

And even the old guard is happy to indulge modern sartorialists. In between showing me moleskin-bound volumes detailing measurements of past clients like the Kaiser, Disraeli, and the Maharajah of Jaipur, Cundey confides that Poole's tailors recently created a $20,000 vicuña-and-cashmere suit with pinstripes made from real platinum.

The truth is that Boateng, along with new-breed couturiers like Richard James and hip traditionalists like Richard Anderson, has changed the feel of the place. Tweedy Englishmen still abound, but recently Pete Doherty, the bad-boy rocker and boyfriend of model Kate Moss, was seen shopping for a custom Richard James suit.

Buzz is good for business, and the new blood has helped prevent Savile Row from following other once-stylish British icons like MG into business oblivion. Sales at Richard James rose 12% last year to $7.6 million, and Boateng's empire is growing by 15% annually.

Although Savile Row is known for bespoke tailoring - custom suits created from a bolt of cloth you select, which is cut to your exact measurements over a series of fittings - most newer tailors have introduced less expensive ready-to-wear versions as well as made-to-measure, an in-between category balancing the unique fit of bespoke with the preselected shape and material of ready-to-wear.

Off-the-rack suits start at about $1,500, made-to-measure are about $3,000, and bespoke require up to four fittings over several months and cost north of $5,000.

So does Boateng & Co. fly in the boardroom? Although the canary-yellow lining and the bold checks might not be annual-meeting attire, his dark worsted wools would fit more traditional types just fine. Says Boateng: "I sell a hell of a lot of black suits."

Undoubtedly he does - to people with deeper pockets than mine. But a few doors down at Richard Anderson, when I slipped on a ready-to-wear suit, I had to admit I was tempted. The store was welcoming. The style was fresh. But the suit had enough of that classic English look that you know it's a Savile Row suit - one-button jacket, suppressed waist, high armholes, and none of the usual bagginess in the middle.

"It's clean as a whistle," declared Anderson's partner, Brian Lishak. At $3,000 it was a stretch. But, hey, on my way up the fashion pendulum, I've got to start somewhere.

Guide to Savile Row
From perfectly fitted bespoke, to a new breed of off-the-rack options, Savile Row has something to suit every style (if not every budget). Here's a look at the players. - Telis Demos

RICHARD JAMES NO. 29 SAVILE ROW Since he opened in 1992, James has lead the Row's new-wave tailors. The suits, both ready-to-wear and bespoke, feature modern flourishes (high pockets, vented sides, etc.) on a classic English cut. richardjames.co.uk

GARY ANDERSON NO. 34--35 SAVILE ROW This newcomer (2001) is good for those looking to go dandyish with brightly colored silk suits, top hats, cravats, and waistcoats. A veritable bargain - some bespoke suits start at only £550. garyanderson.com

TIMOTHY EVEREST NO. 35 BRUTON PLACE Some New Guard tailors like Everest have ditched the Row entirely. Don't miss his trademark ties. timothyeverest.co.uk

HENRY POOLE & CO. NO. 15 SAVILE ROW The Row's oldest name (in business since 1806) and the inspiration for the American tuxedo. Their suits emphasize materials and comfort, not flashy design detail. henrypoole.com

RICHARD ANDERSON NO. 13 SAVILE ROW A young gun but adamantly old school. Start with a bespoke suit in Anderson's favorite style (single-button, long-lapel) cut by the man himself, then get accessory advice, all at his Savile Row premises. richardandersonltd.com

OZWALD BOATENG NO. 12 SAVILE ROW While the new-generation style icon (ask clients Mick Jagger or Jamie Foxx) keeps his offthe- rack storefront on Vigo Street, for a bespoke job you'll have to visit his atelier on the Row. ozwaldboateng.co.uk

KILGOUR NO. 8 SAVILE ROW The only tailor Cary Grant ever trusted. And in these retro-loving times, today's Alphie (Jude Law) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) still sport the Kilgour look. Make an appointment for a bespoke version of their retail collection, the Row's first. kilgour.eu

GIEVES & HAWKES NO. 1 SAVILE ROW This old name has expanded into edgy, urban apparel in shops from Moscow to Hong Kong, but still does bespoke tailoring on the Row. gievesandhawkes.com

___________________

Savile Row at your service...if you can't make it to London, Savile Row's best tailors will come to you.
post #2 of 13
Wow , that is a suit Richard Anderson is wearing. Calling oscarthewild
post #3 of 13
Not only is Anderson's suit atrocious, but it's a bit too tight!!

I guess he wears stuff like that to get attention. It got his picture in the article.

I couldn't imagine even a tasteless Billionaire in that suit. Think Mark Cuban and Richard Branson.
post #4 of 13
I like Boateng's stuff, but has he never heard of Tommy Nutter?
post #5 of 13
For the real bargains in Bee Yellow, Chartreuse, Tangerine, Lilac, Asparagus, Cyan and Magenta suits - I'd suggest to keep an eye out for those garage sales over @ Arsenio Hall's.
post #6 of 13
Guys, Avoid Gary Anderson at all costs, The guy is rude and arrogant and thinks he is doing us a favour by giving us the previlege of buying his suits...

Normally the shop carry out the alterations for you and keep it ready but in this case he made me to to the tailor and then when i being a tourist and new to London was not able to find the tailors place he accused me of lying to him!

I then decided to leave it with him and collect it back another time from him so asked for a alteration receipt to identify which suit was to be collected as the person collecting the suit had not seen the suit before(which is standard in all stores around the world that carry out alterations!) and the guy went bezerk saying they don't do that at Gary Anderson and brought up issues of trust!!!! If you ask me i think the guy is a racist and i regret buying his suit... Perhaps he doesn't like the idea of non-white people wearing his suits. He claimed i have insulted him by asking for a receipt!!!!! I have never been spoken to so rudely in any shop in the world!

Pretty shocking considering i spent close to £1000 on a suit


The standard of Saville Row is obviously down hill when they allow such shops on there. You can buy a suit significantly cheaper at Armani and you get service with a smile and they are happy to take care of all alterations and have the suit ready and waiting for you...
post #7 of 13
What race are you and did he call you a derogatory term for your race?
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagsm View Post
Guys, Avoid Gary Anderson at all costs, The guy is rude and arrogant and thinks he is doing us a favour by giving us the previlege of buying his suits...

Normally the shop carry out the alterations for you and keep it ready but in this case he made me to to the tailor and then when i being a tourist and new to London was not able to find the tailors place he accused me of lying to him!

I then decided to leave it with him and collect it back another time from him so asked for a alteration receipt to identify which suit was to be collected as the person collecting the suit had not seen the suit before(which is standard in all stores around the world that carry out alterations!) and the guy went bezerk saying they don't do that at Gary Anderson and brought up issues of trust!!!! If you ask me i think the guy is a racist and i regret buying his suit... Perhaps he doesn't like the idea of non-white people wearing his suits. He claimed i have insulted him by asking for a receipt!!!!! I have never been spoken to so rudely in any shop in the world!

Pretty shocking considering i spent close to £1000 on a suit


The standard of Saville Row is obviously down hill when they allow such shops on there. You can buy a suit significantly cheaper at Armani and you get service with a smile and they are happy to take care of all alterations and have the suit ready and waiting for you...

Did you look at his site before going ? That is some of the most International Male looking clothing that I have seen in a long time.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rssmsvc View Post
Did you look at his site before going ? That is some of the most International Male looking clothing that I have seen in a long time.

Don't you insult IM like that.

It looks more like a Prom Rental catalogue.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I hear he trained at teh Andover Shope
post #11 of 13
I am Indian origin, Ofcourse he did not say anything racist but was extremely derigatory when talking to me, which is why his assistants all apologised to me.
I didn't see his site but walking around Saville Row and came across his shop.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Appleby View Post
I like Boateng's stuff, but has he never heard of Tommy Nutter?
I'd say Edward Sexton was more the tailor as Nutter was simply a stylist of sorts.
post #13 of 13
In some of his interviews, Boateng plays up having met Tommy Nutter, with some articles suggesting he even worked for Tommy Nutter (I think the truth is closer to the former).

RJ, Timothy Everest and Boateng all sort of clamored for any connection to Nutter. Everest actually did work for Nutter, apparently.

Gary Anderson's stuff is godawfully hideous and seemed very expensive (RTW shirts were over 200 pounds in one magazine spread some years ago). They also seemed to be focused on wedding outfits, from their website.
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