Recent Evening Standard article on Savile Row

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by novalis, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. novalis

    novalis Senior member

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    I came across a blog that mentioned an interesting Evening Standard article on the real estate and business model issues of today's Savile Row. There's no direct link to the ES website but the blog has links to the scanned article. Incidentally, the blogger in question is apparently one of Thomas Mahon's friends/colleagues who convinced him to do the English Cut blog. A brilliant piece of marketing advice I think. The article highlights the defining issue of Savile Row from a business perspective - namely, the classic question of "make v. buy". In other words, do you keep as much of the tailoring/cutting/sewing and production in-house or do you disaggregate/outsource to achieve efficiencies that keeps pricing competitive? The older houses are struggling to keep things in-house in an environment of increasing real-estate prices. It's a real challenge but I certainly hope the traditional method survives and indeed thrives. If "old" Savile Row survives, it will do so in part because of the loyal support of its customers above and beyond the payment for bespoke apparel. Perhaps the appropriate word is less "customer" and more like a partner or a patron. According to the article, A&S has survived only because of the "support" of wealthy clients (including Prince Charles).
     
  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Good article, especially in the way it delves into the real estate issue.  But the notion that the "old way" of sewing on the premises is just now in peril is really out of date.  The vast majority of Savile Row sewing has been outsourced for decades, thanks in large part to British tax and benefit laws. The real threat to "Savile Row" is that the Pollen Estate will force all the tailors onto side streets, and the cachet of the Row will be lost.  But the industry's business model is not changing because of this.  Cutting is still all done in-house, sewing is still largely done by outworkers in Soho, and finishing and alterations are still a mixture.

    Still there are benefits to the "new regime."  A&S's rent, for instance, dropped by a staggering 75% when they moved to Old Burlington Street.  As much as it hurts to leave the Row itself, that's alotta dough.
     
  3. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Now, let's see how this shows up in their prices...
     

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