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Cad & The Dandy <--> Jon DeBoise / Michael Brown?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Grammaton Cleric, May 12, 2013.

  1. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    A question on CATD and its relationship with noted London cutters Jon DeBoise and Michael Brown has perplexed me for awhile, and I wanted to get the SF memberships thoughts.

    CATD offers a full bespoke suit at 950 gbp - an attractive price that is well below its Savile Row peers, and comparable to Graham Browne and Chris Kerr. I'm told that this is truly a bespoke product (custom pattern, Huddersfield cloth, multiple fittings, SR levels of handwork), with the one caveat that some of the handwork is performed at CATD facilities in Asia.

    However, and this is where it gets interesting, if one visits CATD in London you can request either Jon DeBoise (the older brother of Edwin DeBoise of Steed) or Michael Brown (of Chittleborough & Morgan) to measure, cut and subsequently fit your CATD bespoke suit. This leads to my $64K question - why would one pay 1,750 gbp for DeBoise's services via Castle Tailors (his company in the City), or 3,200 gbp for Brown's skills at C&M, when the same product can be had for substantially less via CATD?

    The only difference appears to be the fact that some of the CATD suit is constructed in Asia. If the construction there is up to snuff (and I've read nothing to indicate that it isn't), what accounts for the substantial price difference?

    Put more bluntly, why would anyone pay Castle or Chittleborough prices when they can access the skills of their cutters for far less? What am I missing?
     
  2. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Because some people who buy garments want the 'Made in England, and on the Row' cachet. Just like how some people think that it's worth paying more for a Made in USA or Made in Italy shirt than that which is Made in China. Not everybody is as interested in the substantive quality/fit, and price-quality ratio of the suit as they are in the prestige factor. Well, that's why Prada and Vuitton, despite their gauche products, have their followers don't they?

    I can't comment on CATD since I never used them, or spoke much to them, but I've used these guys below whom I believe have a somewhat similar business operation, though are of a different pedigree than CATD.

    These folks here employ a Savile Row Cutter who cut at Kilgour and Dege but allows for two choices: 1) Made in Asia and 2) Made in England. After inspecting their coats -- Savile Row made and the Asia-made garments -- and on the encouragement of the tailor himself, (and other forum members who have used the cutter from his days at Kilgour), I tried the Classic Bespoke (Made in Asia) garment, and found that the coat fits as well as my SR garments I bespoke at the more reputable houses, if not better than a few, since it's a small operation and they're more dedicated.

    In fact Kilgour also had two options available some time ago: A Made in Shanghai and Made on the Row offering.

    CAD can probably offer good prices because labor costs are significantly lower in certain parts of Asia, and it's possible that the interior of the garment isn't as well-finished/as much handwork as the SR-made ones. Though I think 950 GBP probably excludes cloths from forum favorite merchants and mills.

    However, that said, Castle Tailors and Chittleborough & Morgan are not as famous as the other SR houses (Poole, Gieves, A&S, Kilgour etc) and it stands to reason that they don't have much business in the first place which is why these cutters are able to spare time and do part-time work for CAD.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  3. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    It's an interesting question, and I'd be curious to learn the answer myself. If I had to guess, it's some combination of CATD being satisfied with lower margins (relative to other bespoke operations) and hoping to make it up in volume, the Asian manufacture, and less personal attention from the two cutters. And, as mentioned above, DeBoise and Brown probably have free time on their hands and would like to earn the cash.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  4. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    That being said, I can't imagine how or why Chittleborough & Morgan allow Michael Brown to do this on the side (and very visibly at that).
     
  5. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Not strictly related but I actually went to Chittleborough & Morgan today to check out the Girling Decos that I have set eyes on. The Girling showroom (plus the CATD sales room) is located there.

    Chittleborough & Morgan


    Took the opportunity to speak with a young cutter there (not Michael) and feel the garments -- They tend to prefer to cut a lean chest with a build up shoulder, with a strong waist that is quite typical of houses on the Row except for A & S. The garments on display had extremely padded shoulders (the most I've actually felt on any garment I've had made up on the Row, and I felt 3-4 display pieces) and it wasn't just the ends. The waist of the display garments were also noticeably more pronounced than most other Row-made garments. Entirely hand-padded and hand-canvassed except for the seams. Starts from £3000 (VAT inclusive) which puts a Chittleborough & Morgan coat in the price range of A & S and Poole.

    Cad and the Dandy

    I wonder if CATD creates a pattern from scratch for each of their bespoke customers, or modifies a block pattern etc.

    Here are two examples of CATD bespoke suits (probably worth using for a sports jacket/linen coat given their extremely reasonable (I don't want to use the word 'cheap'. LOL) price --

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  6. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Update: Michael Browne doesn't cut for CATD. I just rang them up and casually inquired. They have 6-7 different cutters and a Lesser 11/12 oz suit costs approximately 1250 GBP.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  7. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Quote:Weird, because Giant Beard posted that grey suit just a couple of days ago, and indicated that Brown was his cutter at CATD.
     
  8. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    ^ I specifically asked about Michael and was told he doesn't cut for CATD, but does so privately and that the prices are not in line with company (CATD) prices. That, or I was speaking with a sales person who doesn't know what he's talking about. But he seemed quite knowledgeable about Michael which leads me to believe that he has probably been asked that question a few times.
     
  9. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    If you look on their website they do have a price grid. What would be helpful if they give cloth examples.

    They are currently making me two mtm trousers, Minnis 16oz flannel and H&S crispaire. Their mtm trousers start at £190 but mine cost £280.
     
  10. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Have you taken delivery of any? MTM? So, not their bespoke offering? Graham Browne cuts pretty decent trousers for lesser I think. I use him for odd trousers.


    *I actually prefer how Jon has cut a suit for Giantbeard more than I do Michael.
    Giantbeard in Jon's --

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  11. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    Is that with the £400 upcharge gor bespoke
     
  12. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    I said full bespoke and given that they quoted me 1250 GBP with Lesser's 11/12 oz fabric, I'd think so. They say there's a basted fitting. Do you get fittings on your trousers?

    Oh well -- am not about to jump and change tailors given that I've got my pattern down pat at my tailor.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  13. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    I have had a bespoke suit and a mtm tweed jacket made.
    Trousers should be ready wiyhin 2/3 weeks. Getting 5/6 trousers made in total.

    trousers made to finish
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  14. TTO

    TTO Senior member

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    Now I'm confused, Michael took my measurements, discussed with me all the design elements and did the fitting? Maybe it was just my assumption that he was cutting it, but I specifically wanted to use him because of his connection with the Nutter house cut.
    I will check with the guys next time I see them.
    Regarding costs, there are definite differences in what you can achieve with C & the D and with Chittleborough & Morgan. C & the D are great, and superb value, but there are limits to the amount of handwork or complications to cut that they can or are willing to produce, some of my more complicated ideas have been off the table with them but it was suggested that Deboise's entirely London based team could fulfill them.
    C & M at Nutters is a very different story, there you can get all the handwork and detailing you desire, with most of the more popular cloths included in the price and with access to all the design quirks and technical know how of the Nutter cut. I would love to try them out but at nearly £4000 a suit I'll stick to the excellent product at C & the D for now, I get all of the fit, most of the handwork & if I want something truly out there, Deboise and his access to London makers through Castle should be able to help out.
    -TTO
    ( sorry for any confusion that my confusion has caused )
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  15. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Maybe he does the fitting, but not the cutting, which are two very different things.

    I called -- 02072831975.

    *What are examples of complicated ideas? I'd think that could be true given that their Asia-based coat-makers/trousers-makers might not be skilled enough to follow through on more complicated ideas, which is fine, given their price.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  16. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Quote:Makes sense, thanks.
     
  17. WhippingBoy

    WhippingBoy Active Member

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