When a Savile Row tailor visits NYC, itâ€™s part of a continuous cycle.
I bring a good selection of cloth samples with me, which includes the basics of everything youâ€™d want- classic worsteds, tweeds, lightweights etc. New customers are consulted on their requirements and have their first measuring, so I can draft a personal pattern when I return to England. Then the fitting will be arranged for my visit a few months later.
And naturally, I also bring with me the fittings to try on customers who ordered on my previous trip a few months earlier. After I fit my clients in New York I then return to the UK. There I recut and alter their suit and/or amend their pattern if necessary.
Once completed I courier the suit to the US. But this is not the end of the story. I ask my customers who have received their new suits to meet me my next visit in New York, so I can check the fit after they have been worn. Should they need a little tweaking, I arrange to have that done in New York.
And then, yes, if the client in happy with his latest suit thereâ€™s a good chance heâ€™ll want to order a new one- the cycle begins again.
So itâ€™s cycle of new clients, doing fittings and looking after old friends. Should a new customer meet me only in New York, it usually takes four to five months for final delivery. Yes, itâ€™s a lot longer than the usual 6-8 weeks delivery for UK customers. But when you consider the logistics and all, people generally donâ€™t mind the extra wait. If you can make it over to London for your fitting, then delivery of course will be much sooner.
I find my customers donâ€™t mind the delivery time. Letâ€™s face it, the suits could easily last you twenty years, so why worry?
As with all Savile Row tailors, my customers vary immensely. I have the regular buyers who order a couple of times a year. And thereâ€™s my big hitters who order a dozen or so suits then disappear for a few years.
I love meeting and making for all my customers. But thereâ€™s always that little extra joy when a customers try on on his first bespoke suit. It could be the successful young executive whoâ€™s just realized that bespoke REALLY IS as good as they say (Frankly, if it wasnâ€™t, I couldnâ€™t realistically stay in business). Or sometimes itâ€™s the fellow whoâ€™s decided that before he dies heâ€™s going to have at least one real suit in his wardrobe. Itâ€™s a great moment to witness.
Iâ€™d love to keep New York all to myself, but luckily for the customers, there are other wonderful Savile Row tailors who visit, so thereâ€™s plenty of choice. Here are a few:
My former partner, Edwin ofÂ Steed.
Welsh & Jeffries.Â They may not have a website, but they are seriously good tailors.
Yes, the deal in New York is business. Sadly, I have to pay the landlord and the taxman, same as anyone else. But I do have serious fun when Iâ€™m there. Of course I do. Itâ€™s New York. They say â€œDo a job you love, and youâ€™ll never do a dayâ€™s work in your lifeâ€. To be able to ply my trade in the most exciting city in the worldâ€¦ Lucky, lucky, Tailor.