Savile Row Tailor Protest

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Herschel Krustofsky, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Herschel Krustofsky

    Herschel Krustofsky Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...21/nsuit21.xml

    A protest yesterday by the tailors of London's Savile Row must have been one of the most unusual in English history and certainly the most immaculate.

    Tailors' protest

    [​IMG]

    Immaculate objection: Bespoke tailors in Savile Row say they have become victims of their own success

    Threatened by rising rents and redevelopment plans, more than 150 cutters, finishers and waistcoat makers took to the street.

    Their aim was to preserve Savile Row as the home of exclusive bespoke gentlemen's tailoring and to keep the likes of parvenu Gucci, Paul Smith and Louis Vuitton at bay.

    As the protesters lined the street clutching shears, swatches and tape measures, the whiff of Brylcreem and quality shoe leather was unmistakable.

    There were no placards and no unseemly chanting of "What do we want? When do we want it?"

    Jostling was kept to a minimum and relations with two policemen who turned up belatedly to admire the orderly line and turn a blind eye to the imposing shears, were cordial.

    Mark Henderson, the chairman of the Savile Row bespoke trade association, denied that there was any snobbery involved in the desire to keep off-the-peg stores out of the street.

    Savile Row had "iconic status" that would be undermined if bespoke tailors were replaced by retail outlets, he said. "As champagne and fine wine are to France, Savile Row is to English heritage and craftsmanship."

    The 100 or so bespoke tailors in the street say they are victims of their success. The street has become so famous that stores selling off-the-peg designer clothing are circling. Abercrombie and Fitch have already moved in.

    The demand from the high street outlets is pushing up rents and encouraging developers to convert workshops and cutting rooms into expensive new shops. Rents have risen by 50 per cent in eight years.

    Anderson & Sheppard, established in Savile Row since the 1920s, was forced out last year by rising rents. It has moved to a smaller shop round the corner in Old Burlington Street.

    Anda Roland, a spokesman for the firm, said: "When the lease came to an end, the landlord decided to tear up everything behind the facade and split the retail space into three to build offices and penthouse flats. We would have had to pay 50 per cent more for half the space."

    The tailors say they need to keep Savile Row as a bespoke centre if they are to survive.

    "It would be hugely detrimental to our heritage to lose one of our oldest institutions," Mr Henderson said.

    "Exploiting the name of Savile Row to attract high-paying retailers at the cost of a world-esteemed industry is short-sighted."

    Although the tailors are competitive, they share ancillary services such as cloth and button merchants. They also say that training is easier if the stores are together: it takes so long to train cutters, around five years, that trainees are sometimes passed around the street.

    The tailors have appealed to Westminster city council to protect them against rising rents and the threat from retail developers.

    The council has promised to do so by creating a strategic group of tailors and landowners, by reviewing its planning policy and supporting the training of new tailors.

    Angela Hooper, the chairman of the planning committee, said: "Savile Row has a reputation for excellence that many others in the clothing industry can only dream about and we want to make sure it stays that way."
     


  2. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    Awesome!

    Jon.
     


  3. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    25,725
    Likes Received:
    3,387
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    I love British tailoring and I also love the history of Savile Row. That being said, I can't say that I feel anything for these tailors having to possibly move not do I think that "protectionist" policies help anyone involved.
     


  4. Verb

    Verb Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    What I wouldn't give for a hi-res pic of the huge line of tailors angrily waving their shears! The perfect desktop background. [​IMG]
     


  5. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes Received:
    72
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    I don't even like suits and formalwear, but I'd prefer a Savile Row as it is over a Savile Row lined with Abercrombie.
     


  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

    Messages:
    25,745
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    Constantinople
    How lovely. It's almost the same as Raphael's portest.
     


  7. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    I wish I could've joined them.
     


  8. Vaclav

    Vaclav Senior member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Astoria
    I wish I could've joined them.

    We are having a protest for Raphael,if you would like to join.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by