Savile Row, golden mile or gold mine?

Image above: Savile Row during wool week.

For quite some time now I have been trying to express how I feel about the past and future of Savile Row. The Row’s face has changed so much since I first started and I have watched closely ever since. I remember when Chester Barrie where next to the old Anderson and Sheppard shop at (30 Savile Row) they were the only firm to make ready to wear suits in the Row. They were and are still today the best  ready to wear suits you will find. But, now it seems every so-called tailor has a ready to wear line, most of which is made abroad which completely makes a mockery or what true Savile Row quality stands for.

Another person who has been watching Savile Row closely is Hugo Jacomet of the Parisian Gentleman magazine. Hugo has written a post about his thoughts on the ‘goings on’ in Savile Row.

Here is an extract that I particularly identified with,

“What we really disagree with, is the way that the Savile Row name has been diluted and thrown into brand-communication-sauces as a way to fool the public with products that are in fact less and less British and artisanal.”

“While not going as far as to claim that certain garments are still made in the UK (when in fact the vast majority of them are not), the current marketing gimmick used by deceitful marketers is to place a label onto garments that states that they have been conceived and designed by authentic and legendary British master tailors. This is an ultimate lie that anyone even slightly interested in our field can detect. Many of the new masters of Savile Row are no more British…but Italian designers. And their collections, as everyone knows, are designed where they are crafted, i.e. in mostly very professional and high quality Italian factories. So the infamous « Designed by the master tailors of Savile Row » that one can find on the labels (and the website) of The Kooples, probably the most industrial and least British brand you can dream of, is nothing short of a marketing abuse…”

“Among this permanent marketing noise within Savile Row, in the midst of a massive usurpation of a name which has become the Eldorado of the speculators of many countries, we should for once give credit to Abercrombie & Fitch : at least they don’t pretend that their gross tee-shirts are made, much less designed by Savile Row; and, they do not pretend that the ridiculous body-builders who guard the entrance of their shops have been trained by British master tailors !”

“Thankfully, in this Roman invasion, a few incorruptible British villages still resist and relentlessly try, with talent and courage, to keep the spirit and the artisan know-how of Savile Row alive : Joe Morgan (Chittleborough&Morgan), Henry Poole and Co., Dege & Skinner, Richard Anderson and Steven Hitchcock (St. George Street, Mayfair) are among the last bastions of the dream of an elegant British gentleman.”

To read the full article please go to: Parisian Gentleman

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