This week our series continues with the personal tailor of Mr. James Bond. David Mason is creative director of The Conduit Cut originally founded by Anthony Sinclair, and official tailor to 007 himself. The namesake of the tailor's house cut was taken from its Mayfair location on Conduit Street adjacent to the famed Savile Row.Until 1848 Savile Row was a street of doctors before the colonization of tailors on streets such as Sackville, Cork, Hanover, Princes, Bond, Maddox, and of course Conduit. Anthony Sinclair's and subsequently The Conduit Cut's relationship with Mr. Bond extends all the way back to Sean Connery and Goldfinger. However, you may be surprised at what you hear about one of the most debonair actors and characters in film history.
Image Granted -
What is your title/occupation/trade?
David Mason -I am the Creative Director of Anthony Sinclair Limited.
IG - What exactly is the "Conduit Cut"? What are the hallmarks of this cut? What was the genesis of this particular cut? How has the Conduit cut changed over the years? Or has it?
DM -The ‘Conduit Cut’ shape of the suits has evolved over time but still retains the key style elements of a firm but natural shoulder, nipped waist and a slightly flared skirt, high armholes and roped sleevehead providing both form and function – the basic requirements of any product that stands the test of time. Lapel widths and pocket flaps have changed in proportion over the years to suit the period, but the basic hourglass silhouette has remained the same.
IG - How did Anthony Sinclair come to be Sean Connery's and subsequently James Bond's personal tailor? What was their relationship like?
DM - Sinclair dressed a number of British Army Officers in the 1950's who were fans of the elegant hourglass shape of the Conduit Cut ... it suited their athletic, military physiques. One of those clients was Terence Young who began a career in the film industry after leaving the army. He got the job of directing the first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962), and was tasked with preparing the little known Scottish actor, Sean Connery, for the role of 007. Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, considered Connery to be unrefined and a bad choice to play the fictitious hero, but Young taught him how to walk and how to talk, how to eat and what to drink. He then dressed him for the part by introducing him to his own tailor, Anthony Sinclair. Connery was not accustomed to wearing suits at the time, and legend has it that Young made him wear them around the clock (even sleeping in them) so that he felt totally comfortable and at ease when filming began.
IG - Today the suits of the original James Bond are auctioned off and/or privately sold for six figures. How do you explain this phenomenon?
DM - Bond memorabilia is generally much sought after, but the rarity of Connery's original wardrobe and the fact that his clothes were such an important part of crafting the character mean that there is great interest and demand whenever anything comes up for sale. The more recent Bond actors have had their suits supplied in multiples by Brand Sponsors, such as Brioni and Tom Ford, so there is a much greater abundance of them.
IG - If one is interested in patronizing your establishment, how would one go about it? When and where are your global visits scheduled?
DM - We see clients for fittings at our Mayfair tailoring premises, and also make regular trips to the United States and other countries to offer our services to overseas customers on their own territory. It normally takes a couple of months to produce the garments from the first consultation.
David Mason; Creative Director at Anthony Sinclair
Sean Connery as James Bond
The Conduit Cut