Sartorial Stories In The News

Thruth

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Kilgour closing their Savile Row shop.


Kilgour has closed its flagship showroom on Savile Row. Passers-by were surprised to see equipment, including sewing machines, on the steps of the flagship store as it was being emptied at the end of last month.

This week, the doors remained locked with a sign telling visitors to contact the law firm Critchleys for further information.

The company blamed “challenging trading conditions in the bespoke clothing market” and cited, specifically, “supply-chain issues affecting the delivery of garments to and from markets in the Far and Middle East that seem unlikely

But it insists it will continue to operate and is contacting customers to make arrangements to fit and deliver clothing orders currently in hand and to take orders for new garments.

It is known as a heritage brand with strong values and not one scared to take on a modern approach, writes William Field.

A streamlined ready-to-wear aesthetic made the old school way using proper materials, including British wool (supporting British textile industry and campaign for wool), they have also been great supporters of the BTBA (British Tailors Benevolent Association) and have coached numerous apprentices through their careers, including the current cutter of Huntsman “Campbel Carey”

The company’s roots can be traced back to the 1800s although in more recent times its reputation has been shaped by its links to Hollywood’s best-dressed.

Recent modern patrons include: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jason Stratham, Luke Evans and Daniel Craig. It has been Hollywood go-to outfitter since the golden days.

Originally known as Kilgour & French when tailors AH Kilgour and TF French united in 1923, its biggest claim to fame was providing the tailcoat for Fred Astaire in Top Hat in 1935. The likes of Louis B Mayer, Rex Harrison and Cary Grant followed.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Kilgour closing their Savile Row shop.


Kilgour has closed its flagship showroom on Savile Row. Passers-by were surprised to see equipment, including sewing machines, on the steps of the flagship store as it was being emptied at the end of last month.

This week, the doors remained locked with a sign telling visitors to contact the law firm Critchleys for further information.

The company blamed “challenging trading conditions in the bespoke clothing market” and cited, specifically, “supply-chain issues affecting the delivery of garments to and from markets in the Far and Middle East that seem unlikely

But it insists it will continue to operate and is contacting customers to make arrangements to fit and deliver clothing orders currently in hand and to take orders for new garments.

It is known as a heritage brand with strong values and not one scared to take on a modern approach, writes William Field.

A streamlined ready-to-wear aesthetic made the old school way using proper materials, including British wool (supporting British textile industry and campaign for wool), they have also been great supporters of the BTBA (British Tailors Benevolent Association) and have coached numerous apprentices through their careers, including the current cutter of Huntsman “Campbel Carey”

The company’s roots can be traced back to the 1800s although in more recent times its reputation has been shaped by its links to Hollywood’s best-dressed.

Recent modern patrons include: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jason Stratham, Luke Evans and Daniel Craig. It has been Hollywood go-to outfitter since the golden days.

Originally known as Kilgour & French when tailors AH Kilgour and TF French united in 1923, its biggest claim to fame was providing the tailcoat for Fred Astaire in Top Hat in 1935. The likes of Louis B Mayer, Rex Harrison and Cary Grant followed.

The bespoke Savile Row business model is going to be challenged in these times. Don't own your shop paying rents in the circa GBP 100,000 a month. With all the flash cash from the Middle and Far East gone, travelling tailor services to the USA gone, everyone working remotely and big events not happening.
 

Kingstonian

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The bespoke Savile Row business model is going to be challenged in these times. Don't own your shop paying rents in the circa GBP 100,000 a month. With all the flash cash from the Middle and Far East gone, travelling tailor services to the USA gone, everyone working remotely and big events not happening.
‘All dressed up and nowhere to go’ is not good for business either.
 

ASSHAT

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This is even pre-COVID news. I walked by the shop early March, and it had already closed down.


Apparently they are now working out of the basement of n31

8E11A91E-2B23-40D5-B7B7-B3190A64105C.png
 

Rambo

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Lumpen

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Kilgour closing their Savile Row shop.


Kilgour has closed its flagship showroom on Savile Row. Passers-by were surprised to see equipment, including sewing machines, on the steps of the flagship store as it was being emptied at the end of last month.

This week, the doors remained locked with a sign telling visitors to contact the law firm Critchleys for further information.

The company blamed “challenging trading conditions in the bespoke clothing market” and cited, specifically, “supply-chain issues affecting the delivery of garments to and from markets in the Far and Middle East that seem unlikely

But it insists it will continue to operate and is contacting customers to make arrangements to fit and deliver clothing orders currently in hand and to take orders for new garments.

It is known as a heritage brand with strong values and not one scared to take on a modern approach, writes William Field.

A streamlined ready-to-wear aesthetic made the old school way using proper materials, including British wool (supporting British textile industry and campaign for wool), they have also been great supporters of the BTBA (British Tailors Benevolent Association) and have coached numerous apprentices through their careers, including the current cutter of Huntsman “Campbel Carey”

The company’s roots can be traced back to the 1800s although in more recent times its reputation has been shaped by its links to Hollywood’s best-dressed.

Recent modern patrons include: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jason Stratham, Luke Evans and Daniel Craig. It has been Hollywood go-to outfitter since the golden days.

Originally known as Kilgour & French when tailors AH Kilgour and TF French united in 1923, its biggest claim to fame was providing the tailcoat for Fred Astaire in Top Hat in 1935. The likes of Louis B Mayer, Rex Harrison and Cary Grant followed.


great news!!!
 

Pauly Chase

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Thruth Thruth you are one step ahead of me.

That's sad. The story across from WTC used to be destination for me every time I was in NYC, the store always had a good selection of streetwear pieces.
 

Thruth

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Thruth Thruth you are one step ahead of me.

That's sad. The story across from WTC used to be destination for me every time I was in NYC, the store always had a good selection of streetwear pieces.

It did. You could always find something whether MC or SWD.
 

fxh

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Thruth Thruth you are one step ahead of me.

That's sad. The story across from WTC used to be destination for me every time I was in NYC, the store always had a good selection of streetwear pieces.
In lockdown sorting out shit, I found a photo of me on top of the WTC in 1979.
 

doghouse

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Not surprising unfortunately. The brand has totally languished
 

sirloin

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Not surprising unfortunately. The brand has totally languished
True. Did they even produce anything in england any longer? Or in good quality?
Most likely bought by a capital fund at some point, tried to emulate Mackintosh - only cheaper.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Paul Smith in The Telegraph on the state of the fashion industry:

Sir Paul Smith has seen off a few disasters in his time. Now 74, he opened his first store in Nottingham in 1970 and during the following decade managed to expand his business during the three-day week, the miners’ strikes, the IRA bombings and at least two recessions. At one point he had to borrow a generator from a farmer because his boutique only had electricity half the week.

However, “nothing’s as bad as this,” he says cheerily. I’m assuming that rather than being an indicator of genuine delight, the cheeriness is his default setting. He is famously nice and those hyper-mobile eyebrows that always makes him look like a mischievous handful is probably his resting face.

“This is global,” he continues, gliding across the showroom in his Covent Garden HQ where he’s showing me, via FaceTime, around his new spring ’21 collection.

For 16 weeks, from March 23, he drove his Mini into Covent Garden where he worked alone in the 30,000 sq ft building. He has 4,200 employees worldwide and was determined to keep on as many as possible, while trying to get his design brain around next year and his business head around the financial and safety legislation being put in place in all the territories where Paul Smith operates.

“So far we’ve only had voluntary redundancies. I think Rishi Sunak has been excellent, but the problem is that some of our interiors and architectural designers could technically work from home so they didn’t qualify for furlough, but there were no jobs coming in to pay them.”

He has money set aside but anticipates his business will look very different in a year’s time. “Luckily, our 50th had already made us take a long hard look at the way we do things. Things will be a lot leaner and everyone will be much savvier about expenditure. We’ve already reduced our production by 20 per cent. We’re looking at stores with short leases left and asking whether we still need them.

“Do we need big catwalk shows? My first ever show was in someone’s flat in the Rue de Vaugirard in Paris. Maybe we’ll go back to that. The industry had got bloated and ridiculous – too many clothes being produced and being constantly discounted.” Everyone agrees this must change however. “Yes, but how many will be brave enough to do it?”

Paul Smith is sold in 73 countries. “And business, no matter what anyone might tell you, is catastrophically slow.” It’s also volatile. In Japan it’s down 10 per cent, but the average decline around the world is 70-80 per cent. His store on part of London’s golden retail triangle, currently “enjoys” around 13 per cent of its pre-lockdown footfall.

Things were “fractionally picking up,” he says, “and then Boris told everyone to work from home again.” In Los Angeles, his store had to contend not just with lockdown, but fires, riots and curfews. While some of its neighbours were burned down or looted, the famous pink building it’s housed in escaped relatively lightly, with some graffiti.

“But business is bad. Our Nottingham store is currently taking more than the LA one. Even in Shanghai and Beijing, which so many luxury brands seem to be relying on to pull them out of this, things are only OK. It doesn’t get any better for the big players. If anything, the problems are bigger. Big celebrity designer salaries, higher bills.”

He’s right of course. On Madison Avenue in Manhattan, pre-2020, it wasn’t uncommon for names such as Armani and Dolce & Gabbana to pay $24 million plus a year in rent for a single store.

It seems so long ago since that dinner he hosted back in January in Paris, to kick off the celebrations of his company’s 50th birthday. There was a lot to celebrate. Paul Smith is that rare artefact – an independently owned British fashion label with international appeal. The diverse guests – Sir Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Anna Wintour and Bill Nighy representing the establishment and Jonah Hauer-King and Naomi Ackie leading the charge of the new – nicely demonstrated the breadth of his appeal.

He had managed to keep tailoring – the DNA of his brand – current, thanks to a slew of innovations such as crease- proof fabrics. His so-called Suits That Travel, really do, and when that pursuit returns, they’ll be a good investment.

His Tuxedo collection, launched a year ago, which combines modern comfort with the louche elegance of the classic tailoring he so admired when he and his wife Pauline used to sneak into Yves Saint Laurent’s shows in Paris in the late Sixties, have been a runaway success, particularly with women.

“I think MeToo made them perfect for the red carpet,” he says. Meanwhile, devilishly clever technical finishes mean a blazer can be showerproof, breathable, with almost no construction in the front. “Look,” he exclaims, pulling off his own windowpane navy check jacket and scrumpling it up like a tissue, “tailoring is the heart of what we do, but it’s very different from how we used to do it. Now people might wear a tailored overshirt, or a cropped jacket with a zip, wider, more comfortable trousers... or this jacket we’ve done with side zips so that when you’re on a plane, instead of losing your phone down the side of your seat, you put everything in the pockets.”

It’s not long ago that he was selling 90,000 suits a year. This year he’ll probably sell 15,000 Suits That Travel. The rest will be athleisure and trainers, which they’ve done for years, and jackets.

“I don’t want to knock athleisure because we design some excellent versions. But jogging pants are not my calling card – they’re almost too identifiable with the virus. Whereas tailoring,” he continues, “will always be rock and roll. And when this is all finally over, I think we’ll all want to make an effort.” He doesn’t sound ready to throw in the towel, despite having more than enough to live happily ever after. “Never,” he says. “The loyalty to this brand is a beautiful thing. To be honest I’m relishing the challenge.”

 

Pimpernel Smith

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Gap about to exit the UK/EU market, the journalist plays Uniqlo wrong, they tried to break the UK market in the late 90s, my mother worked for them at the time, but they failed to get traction (Gap in the US was ten times better than in the UK in the late 1990s, but back then the UK was the place you could sell the stuff you couldn't shift in the American malls for top dollar. When I first went to the States in 1999 the cost effectiveness for clothes and Nikon cameras was shocking), The Telegraph on Gap:

When news broke yesterday that Gap was considering closing all of its 129 stores in Europe, it felt like we were witnessing the downfall of yet another of the pandemic’s victims. But retailers that went into this crisis looking healthy have always been far more likely to emerge from it intact - and Gap has been floundering for years.

Twenty years ago, the American chain had been riding high for decades. Preppy chic was everywhere, and along with J Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch and Brooks Brothers, Gap promulgated the idea that clean-cut was cool and the US was best. Teenagers and adults alike voraciously consumed television and music from across the pond, and stores proliferated on high streets and in malls around Britain, Europe and Asia.
But it was Gap more than any of the others that became an emblematic part of American export culture: its advertising campaigns used the world’s biggest celebrities and best-known songs to sell us jeans and T-shirts, but also the concept of Californian sunshine and New York coffee culture. I was at school in London at the time and everyone I knew religiously watched American sitcoms and wore Gap (or Gap Kids depending on how tall you were) sweatshirts on weekends, always printed with an unmistakable ‘G’.

And then tastes changed but Gap didn’t - or couldn’t. As brands like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and H&M grew in the years after the millennium, Gap’s slim-fit chinos and simple crew-neck jumpers went from being laid-back and hip to bland and a bit boring. Men and women started wanting to express themselves with colours, prints and maximalist silhouettes, aesthetics Gap couldn’t adapt to.
Not that they didn't try. Instead of sticking to white shirts and navy blue jumpers, but ensuring they were really well-cut and well-made, they also attempted to introduce colour and print. Except, unsure who their market was, they didn’t appeal to the fashion conscious twentysomethings who were now enamoured with Topshop, or the older shoppers looking for well-made separates who now had a range of other high street brands to turn to, which were frankly doing it better.

Then in 2007, Uniqlo arrived in the UK and stole the majority of Gap’s already diminishing market. The Japanese store quickly became the go-to retailer for urban consumers of all ages looking to buy staples like white T-shirts and slim-fit navy trousers. The basics market is an important one as it is enduring no matter what the prevailing fashion winds - even the most trend driven people need to buy a good white shirt or a well-made crew-neck navy blue jumper from time to time.

But Uniqlo did what Gap had always done - only much better. It offered in-store tailoring so that a £50 pair of trousers suddenly fit like a £250 pair would. Puffer coats were insulated with light down, making them warmer than anything else on the market, and sweatshirts came with high-tech add-ons like moisture wicking. Alongside its cotton staples, Uniqlo also sold cashmere and silk, and began releasing collaborations with Ines de la Fressange, JW Anderson and Jil Sander - giving the basics market a hit of fashion clout.

Unlike Uniqlo, Gap also never properly adapted to e-commerce. Foot traffic sharply declined from 2012 onwards in their stores in Europe and America, but online sales never picked up enough to solve the problem. Instead of revamping its website and hiring a new design team, Gap returned to the era it knew best by relaunching Nineties campaigns. Ironically, they were a few years too early for the Nineties nostalgia that has skyrocketed in popularity this year, and which brands like Zara are now using to their advantage.

I’ve known that Gap was in trouble ever since I noticed that the outlet I pass by most regularly has been almost continuously on sale for the last few years. Banana Republic, which is owned by Gap, has already shut its UK stores -suggesting that the fall of the iconic American brand was almost inevitable, even without the pandemic.

Some of this isn’t Gap’s fault. American brands have struggled this century right across the price range as the clean-cut, middle-class aesthetic has been replaced by something more fashion-conscious - largely because it photographs well and gets more likes on Instagram. But Gap also navigated a difficult decade badly and lost what could still have been a lucrative market by failing to work out exactly who they were in this very different century.


 

formby002

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Gap about to exit the UK/EU market, the journalist plays Uniqlo wrong, they tried to break the UK market in the late 90s, my mother worked for them at the time, but they failed to get traction (Gap in the US was ten times better than in the UK in the late 1990s, but back then the UK was the place you could sell the stuff you couldn't shift in the American malls for top dollar. When I first went to the States in 1999 the cost effectiveness for clothes and Nikon cameras was shocking), The Telegraph on Gap:

When news broke yesterday that Gap was considering closing all of its 129 stores in Europe, it felt like we were witnessing the downfall of yet another of the pandemic’s victims. But retailers that went into this crisis looking healthy have always been far more likely to emerge from it intact - and Gap has been floundering for years.

Twenty years ago, the American chain had been riding high for decades. Preppy chic was everywhere, and along with J Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch and Brooks Brothers, Gap promulgated the idea that clean-cut was cool and the US was best. Teenagers and adults alike voraciously consumed television and music from across the pond, and stores proliferated on high streets and in malls around Britain, Europe and Asia.
But it was Gap more than any of the others that became an emblematic part of American export culture: its advertising campaigns used the world’s biggest celebrities and best-known songs to sell us jeans and T-shirts, but also the concept of Californian sunshine and New York coffee culture. I was at school in London at the time and everyone I knew religiously watched American sitcoms and wore Gap (or Gap Kids depending on how tall you were) sweatshirts on weekends, always printed with an unmistakable ‘G’.

And then tastes changed but Gap didn’t - or couldn’t. As brands like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and H&M grew in the years after the millennium, Gap’s slim-fit chinos and simple crew-neck jumpers went from being laid-back and hip to bland and a bit boring. Men and women started wanting to express themselves with colours, prints and maximalist silhouettes, aesthetics Gap couldn’t adapt to.
Not that they didn't try. Instead of sticking to white shirts and navy blue jumpers, but ensuring they were really well-cut and well-made, they also attempted to introduce colour and print. Except, unsure who their market was, they didn’t appeal to the fashion conscious twentysomethings who were now enamoured with Topshop, or the older shoppers looking for well-made separates who now had a range of other high street brands to turn to, which were frankly doing it better.

Then in 2007, Uniqlo arrived in the UK and stole the majority of Gap’s already diminishing market. The Japanese store quickly became the go-to retailer for urban consumers of all ages looking to buy staples like white T-shirts and slim-fit navy trousers. The basics market is an important one as it is enduring no matter what the prevailing fashion winds - even the most trend driven people need to buy a good white shirt or a well-made crew-neck navy blue jumper from time to time.

But Uniqlo did what Gap had always done - only much better. It offered in-store tailoring so that a £50 pair of trousers suddenly fit like a £250 pair would. Puffer coats were insulated with light down, making them warmer than anything else on the market, and sweatshirts came with high-tech add-ons like moisture wicking. Alongside its cotton staples, Uniqlo also sold cashmere and silk, and began releasing collaborations with Ines de la Fressange, JW Anderson and Jil Sander - giving the basics market a hit of fashion clout.

Unlike Uniqlo, Gap also never properly adapted to e-commerce. Foot traffic sharply declined from 2012 onwards in their stores in Europe and America, but online sales never picked up enough to solve the problem. Instead of revamping its website and hiring a new design team, Gap returned to the era it knew best by relaunching Nineties campaigns. Ironically, they were a few years too early for the Nineties nostalgia that has skyrocketed in popularity this year, and which brands like Zara are now using to their advantage.

I’ve known that Gap was in trouble ever since I noticed that the outlet I pass by most regularly has been almost continuously on sale for the last few years. Banana Republic, which is owned by Gap, has already shut its UK stores -suggesting that the fall of the iconic American brand was almost inevitable, even without the pandemic.

Some of this isn’t Gap’s fault. American brands have struggled this century right across the price range as the clean-cut, middle-class aesthetic has been replaced by something more fashion-conscious - largely because it photographs well and gets more likes on Instagram. But Gap also navigated a difficult decade badly and lost what could still have been a lucrative market by failing to work out exactly who they were in this very different century.



Never owned anything by Gap, never even been into one of their stores...
 

formby002

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^
^^

That 90s preppy thing, not my scene, not dandified enough...too, for want of a better word, anodyne

I've always been into that louche bespoke look, slight fucked-up, slightly decadent.

I do like some of the classic stuff though. Baracuta's, A2's, 501s and the like...
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I liked the marketing with The Beats and James Dean for their chinos. Most of their chinos were a bit too baggy.

In the New York store I bought a short sleeved shirt for something like $7 and the quality was spot on. The marketing in the 90s in the UK was all about khakis.
 

aristoi bcn

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I bought quite a few pieces when I was a student in the UK: Decent basics, better quality than Zara and cheaper.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Taki defiantly sartorial in The Spectator on his trip to New York this week:

I went down to the Village with Michael Mailer the other evening and it was a different world. I certainly didn’t fit in. Not that anyone bothered me. I buy my clothes in London, and none of these gentlemen who hit and rob expensive boutiques would be interested in them. In fact, they wouldn’t be seen dead in them. I felt very safe walking around downtown the other evening in double-breasted Anderson & Sheppard grey flannel. People stared at me as if I had just been let out of a loony bin. I think Mailer was embarrassed.

This is what it has come down to: a reverse cultural shift from restraint and elegance to garish vulgarity. If people can be brainwashed into buying ugly, expensive crap, or go as far as to excuse robbery because of systemic racism, it’s a hop, step and jump into swallowing the big lie that our society is one founded on brutal white male dominance and casual misogyny. Post--modernist thinkers without brains told us not so long ago that truth is not universal but malleable. It sure is. The truth I was brought up to believe in had nothing to do with systemic racism or brutal male dominance. My truths had to do with family structure, religion and, most of all, tradition. A fierce dedication to family and country is now considered anathema, like having good manners or wearing a suit.

 

doghouse

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My truths had to do with family structure, religion and, most of all, tradition. A fierce dedication to family and country is now considered anathema, like having good manners or wearing a suit.
Man, this guy is about a big a disgrace to suit wearers imaginable.
 

fxh

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A fierce dedication to family and country is now considered anathema, like having good manners or wearing a suit.

Bullshit.

A fierce dedication to family and country is now considered all that matters. (see: Trump. ISIS)

This is whats wrong with the world today
 
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Thruth

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Supreme sold to VF Corp (The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Dickies, Icebreaker, Smartwool and others) for $2.1 billion.
 
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