Sunday, July 16, 2006

Savile Row Bespoke Code

This recent AskAndy thread discusses the latest activities by Savile Row to maintain and extend equity and reputation in the Savile Row brand. It's an idea which is sorely needed and rather belated in my opinion. But better late than never. I had in fact intended to write an entry on ways to revivify the Savile Row brand from a business perspective. This is a marketing and production initiative that certainly falls under that rubric.

Savile Row Bespoke Ltd is a promising new joint initiative by some of the most prominent names on the Row - Gieves & Hawkes, Huntsman, Dege & Skinner, and Henry Poole. Created in 2004, Savile Row Bespoke Ltd aims to "protect and develop the reputation of bespoke tailoring on Savile Row, to maintain craft skills on Savile Row, and to develop a training programme for bespoke tailors."

The craft definition of the Bespoke Code appears to be fairly demanding: hand-made and finished to the last stitch for at least 60 hours over six to eight weeks in one place.

In cooperation with a local school (Newham College), Savile Row Bespoke offers a course of study including:

  • Basic sewing skills
  • Sewing machines and equipment
  • Underpressing and shrinking
  • Constructing canvases
  • Constructing pockets and details
  • Block construction
  • Figuration
  • Constructing bastes
  • Workshop practice
  • Bespoke patterns

A recent Times article mentions the Savile Row Bespoke Code in the context of a series of baffling remarks by Giorgio Armani on the Row.

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