Savile Row used to be a tourist destination, I think today it’s better loved abroad than it is at home. Our American friends always used to phrase it as when they “did Europe” – The husband would have a suit or jacket from Savile Row, and the wife would have a gown made in Paris.
There were two major houses that took young people in, put them through apprenticeships. Huntsman’s was one, working and learning under Mr. Packer was possibly the greatest way to learn and train in both the trade itself, and the commercial side of the business. I discovered how the global network operated, albeit before the ease of email had joined us.
The tailoring profession used to have local and global trade associations, exhibitions in Tel Aviv, Paris, London – some of which had over 2000 companies attending. They have gone now, tailoring is simply no longer a sizeable enough.
When I was part of the Federation of Merchant Tailors, I remember going on television and requesting apprentices, we just couldn’t get boys into the profession, for a time, they didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
Today, it’s different, we’re oversubscribed now. There will always be a desire for quality and individuality.