Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bengal-stripe, Jan 9, 2013.
Close - about 2,500 GBP excl. VAT - a good 700 GBP cheaper.
Those must be incl. VAT - I just picked up a suit in Smith's Gilt Edge last week, which I was told was slightly mor eexpensive than their standard cloth. I paid a bit more than 2.4K.
I don't think Richard Anderson suits look very much like Huntsman at all (despite the fact that people on internet boards like to repeat "richard anderson is more Huntsman than Huntsman"). I don't know anything about KH&L and have never seen one of their suits so I can't comment, but I think that on the bespoke side most Huntsman clients have been pretty thrilled with the output since Pat has been there. Most of the complaints I've heard relate to the early 2000's and the period around their bankruptcy, so I wouldn't be suprised if people searching for the Huntsman look were going to Huntsman.
FWIW, I have several suits from KH&L, and the output / style certainly varies depending on the cutter you have.
John Kent cuts a suit that's quite close to the body with a slightly extended shoulder and no flare to the skirt.
Terry Haste is pretty darn close to the Huntsman cut as I imagine it - long, lean, flared skirt, not much in the shoulders. I also walked into Dege about 2 years ago wearing a coat cut by Terry, and Nicholas De'ath (one of their sr. cutters) guessed it to be from Huntsman. So, there must be some common DNA there.
I have nothing in progress at Huntsman and my most recent order was placed at Davies (which was not a reflection on Huntsman, just a reflection in what I wanted and who I thought was the natural fit).
I have been very happy with Huntsman and the Smith/Murphy team. I like the look I have gotten and the quality of the make was excellent. But it seems like there may be some change there and the l'Roubi RTW direction is not one that excites me yet.
I'm a Poole customer. I think they are equal in terms of workmanship. It's more a stylistic and/or personality choice IMO.
There's three Asian franchises I think, but I'm not sure.
Peter Smith is no longer at Huntsman. He has moved on to RA to replace Brian Lishak. Sounds like Peter's garden leave ends soon and I'm sure he will do really well at RA.
The garments that Huntsman brought on their current visit are fantastic. Johnny Allen has a great eye. The things I have in process are consistent with everything Pat has done for me, which is to say that they are excellent. I made an order. Sad to see Peter go but glad to see that my beloved Huntsman is still qualitatively the same.
Thanks for the update. I have nothing in progress with them at the moment (or with anyone else other than Davies). I am glad to hear the quality remains very high. I hope you will remember to update us on how this one turns out. If and when I need (want) something that I would consider Huntsman for, I know it will be a bit tougher now, so hearing how you do-post transition will help. I hope that means they go all out for you.
Well this is a fun read. It is hard to tell if the reporter is making fun of them or if they are making fun of themselves: http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle...ving-the-historic-huntsman-brand-9477353.html. Click through to see photos.
Investment banking and Savile Row are not so different: Pierre Lagrange on owning and living the historic Huntsman brand
Want to saddle up in style? Pierre Lagrange and Roubi L’Roubi are your guys. As owners of a Savile Row tailor they are living the brand with unbridled enthusiasm, says Charlotte Edwardes
Riding high: Roubi L’Roubi and Pierre Lagrange on their estate in Berkshire (Picture: Matt Darlington)
Tuesday 03 June 2014
Pierre Lagrange and Roubi L’Roubi, co-owners of historic Savile Row tailors Hunstman, are telling me about their “country lifestyle” which revolves around a Berkshire pile where they host “shooting dinners and weekend parties” where guests dress with “outlandish eccentricity” in “velvet smoking jackets of absolutely absurd colours”, “bright shooting stockings” and “smoking shoes”.
They collect vintage cars — “E-Types, Aston Martins, Bentleys” — and art — “walls of it” — and shoot “English game” with “Holland & Holland 20-bores”. Seven thoroughbreds, a pony, two Bengals and two Hungarian Vizslas live with them. The Tamworth pigs and some “rare” sheep were recently sold but they are “on the hunt” for a gun dog. “Our animals are all pure breeds,” L’Roubi reassures me.
The reason they are telling me all this, L’Roubi explains in his languid drawl, is so that I understand how “relevant” their “private life” is to Huntsman. “Rather than just owning the brand, we have a connection,” he explains. “It’s our lifestyle.” The Huntsman aesthetic, the dream, the tawny adverts of dashing blades in oak-panelled libraries, “is our actual life,” he says. “A lot of people don’t know that.”
What they may know is that Lagrange, 52, who has the rugged looks of a Seventies ski instructor, is the celebrated Belgian-born co-founder of GLG Partners and worth at least £350 million. His private life became sorely public when he left his wife Catherine Anspach and three children in a record-breaking £160 million separation four years ago, and moved in with 45-year-old L’Roubi, a Sudanese-born stylist and tailor who has worked “on the Row” for most of his career. They bought Huntsman last year and installed L’Roubi as “fashion designer and creative director”.
Living the country dream: Roubi L'Roubi and Pierre Lagrange (Picture: Rex)
He’s breathing life back into the company’s archives, this month curating 160 of Hollywood actor Gregory Peck’s suits for an exhibition. We’re here to discuss Peck but we end up on their definition of “Britishness” — a sort of “new” Brideshead that’s more anglophile plutocrat than Anglo-Saxon aristocrat.
We move from the shop (with sofas so pouffed, you’re still sinking five minutes after sitting) to 42° Raw, the Royal Academy café nearby. Lagrange leaps in to buy me coffee — “I insist!” — spilling his money over the counter. He’s all energy in a natty check and loafers. L’Roubi, meanwhile, strikes angular poses like a catalogue model in charcoal grey.
“British upper-class fashion is about individuality,” L’Roubi says. “What we are wearing today is sombre but people wear tweeds and shooting stockings so bright that you’d never wear in the city, and that’s where the character comes out, in the high life.
“For shooting or riding we don’t dress in our suits, that’s for work in London. If you’re relaxing it’s jeans and a blazer. We’re chameleons; in a week you can wear very different things.” Lagrange adds, “Leather trousers, especially plus fours, can only be worn for shooting, otherwise you look like an alien.”
I’m not sure Lagrange has a clue about clothes but he’s jolly nice, taking questions head on, even when I ask if it’s better from a woman’s point of view to be left for another man or a younger, prettier woman. “It’s never easy,” he answers. “Every situation is difficult. That we’re amicable is down to my ex-wife, my kids and Roubi — I am only one of the wheels.”
He douses everything he says in self-deprecation: “I shoot, though I’m not too good”; “We’re both engineers but Roubi is mechanical and I am chemical, so he’s smarter”; “My success is down to talented teams”; “Roubi is a wonderful painter, I’m only a collector.”
Creative director: designer Roubi L'Roubi at the Huntsman store on Savile Row
As for L’Roubi, he interrupts his boyfriend and addresses me at least half a dozen times with the curious precursor “With respect” until the milk in my coffee begins to curdle. They first met at a MOMA exhibition of abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell, whose works sell for upwards of £1 million, and in Berkshire Motherwell’s painting hangs close to L’Roubi’s own work.
“It’s interesting that his art is so similar to mine,” L’Roubi says. “I never learned about Motherwell but his style and mine are so similar it’s uncanny. What is also relevant,” he continues, raising his voice to be heard over an expulsion of steam from the coffee machine, “is that the year our Motherwell was painted was the year I came to England.”
Lagrange grew up in Ohain, Belgium, where his father worked as an architect and his mother owned a gift shop. He worked at JP Morgan in Brussels before “Goldman Sachs offered me a very good job in London”.
Investment banking and Savile Row are not so different, he observes. “A lot of prima donnas — because people are very good at their jobs.” He places emphasis on “teams” and on keeping them intact — some families have worked at Huntsman for generations.
“Huntsman has actual heritage, a legacy,” L’Roubi says. “Starting with Queen Victoria. I love it because it’s real. It’s not made up like some modern tailors. So if we’re shooting or riding, I know this tailoring house has been making clothes for people doing exactly that going back generations. It’s relevant.”
L’Roubi is working on a collection that draws from the firm’s roots in equestrian wear. “Henry Huntsman made his name around riding breeches,” he says. “Did you know that?”
His designs include “riding pants” and saddles, and he’s designed “entire outfits, caps and everything” for a Huntsman-sponsored Polo team. “But it’s not a costume drama,” L’Roubi says, and then spoils the denial by telling me that when he rides everything is “crisp and freshly pressed”.
“I love a cotton shirt, with long sleeves for when you’re stretching with reins,” he poses as if on a horse, “a quilted waistcoat that’s absorbing, and a watch with a big dial that you can read from a distance.” A riding watch? “It sounds silly but it’s very important. This one is Cartier. You can read it from here,” he demonstrates, “and work out the warming-up time.”
He drops that he’s back from Highclere, “home” of Downton Abbey. “I was there at the stud. I have seven horses from the one that was in the Olympic dressage.” He recently bought a German-bred stallion that is “one of the most important horses in the world, called H. Equador. It’s a Holsteiner.”
The boys love a brand. In addition to branded animals, guns and watches, they have branded friends, such as Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer, Bryan Adams and Ben Goldsmith. And branded anecdotes, like the one about how the chairman of ICI was a client and brought nylon to the shop — “so [Huntsman] made the first nylon trousers, including a pair for Liz Taylor”.
Huntsman’s former clients do make an impressive list — everyone from Sir Winston Churchill to the Rolling Stones and Lucian Freud. “The cutters have extraordinary memories of going to [Freud’s] studio in the middle of the night,” Lagrange says. “He’d be washing his brushes and flicking them like this on the wall next to expensive fabrics.
“He had an amazing eye for fabrics. What better judge of quality than an artist well-known for nuance and truth in terms of colour?” Lagrange doesn’t own a Freud, “sadly”, but he once spent $17 million on a Jackson Pollock forgery. Was that the only fake he’s bought? He laughs. “Hopefully.”
L’Roubi wants to talk about Berkshire again. “We love the countryside,” he says. “It’s a big part of living in England. That’s why we love it here. Land should not only be used for shooting — shooting is seasonal,” he says.
Does he hunt? “I find hunting a little irrelevant. First it’s illegal. And to hunt without [a fox] is a little weird, running around on the horses pretending. I prefer eventing.”
Then Lagrange says there are some “absolutely God-forsaken places” in the country too. I suspect, as the only one of us with an unheated English childhood, that this is the country I know, a long way from the sprawling boundaries of the Lagrange-L’Roubi estate.
Impossible to say. Love it more because of that.
Interview with Roubi L'Roubi by Simon Crompton of the "Permanent Style" blog:
That's like listening to Christian Audigier explain to Robin Leach how Ed Hardy represents true rebel biker culture.
If you ever attended his "When I move, you move" tradeshow, you would understand how awesome that would really be. That was back in, 2008? Something like that:
I couldn't find a video that did that alcohol hazed Hunter S. Thompson dream of an event, but this would be what it would be like if you closed the event and just had the show:
“Rather than just owning the brand, we have a connection,”
T shirts soon with Huntsman printed on!
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