Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bespoke in Beverly Hills: A visit to Jack Taylor's

Prior to my visit to his shop today, I only had a handful of references to Jack Taylor's.

  • Flusser's entry in Style and the Man describes Taylor's cut as "British-inspired, with narrow shoulders, shaped torso, slant pockets, and deep vents".
  • A recent article on Mr. Taylor in the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

It was a wonderfully mild and sunny day today when I dropped by Jack Taylor's. The shop is on Canon Drive just north of Wilshire Blvd and near Spago's. When I walked in the store, Mr. Taylor greeted me from his desk at the back of the long and rectangular retail space. For a man of 87 years, he has remarkable energy and enthusiasm for the business of tailored clothing.

What did we discuss? Why suits of course. He made no secret of his preference for single button, peaked lapel jackets. But he also said that he would naturally accommodate the customer's wishes. At my request, he brought out a suit jacket and trousers in progress. Interestingly enough, regarding the trousers, he mentioned that he recommends horizontally slanted pockets - something about hanging better for the wearer. He also had some fairly critical comments about MTM garments (which came up because I was wearing one!) but I didn't mind at all.

During our conversation, a customer of his walked in to check on some jackets in progress. He was wearing a superb-looking Taylor sports coat - double vented (fairly deep), slightly roped sleevehead and noticeable waist suppression.

When Mr. Taylor left to attend to the customer, I spoke briefly with one of the tailors who is an assistant to the head tailor. He's a Vietnamese gentleman who said he's been there for 15 years. The head tailor is a Hong Kong-trained tailor who's been working for Jack Taylor for 20 years. He does the pattern cutting. There's also another tailor who's been there for 45 years.

All in all, an interesting set of conversations. As for the future, Mr. Taylor mentioned that his lease is up in 3 years. Amazingly, it appears that his plan is to keep on working at least a few more years! I hope he does as I am looking forward to trying him out (and hopefully Giacomo Trabalza too).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so thankful to Jack for his mentoring over the years. Eventhough, i was considered a competitor. thank you Jack.

Art Lewin
213.785.2400
http://LosAngelesBespokeSuits.com