The venerable tailoring houses located on the centuries old Savile Row in England find themselves between a rock and hard place. These tailors, cutters, and sartorial masterminds have been in business for centuries and have dressed dignitaries, presidents, entertainers, and every other member of high society in the world over the last 200 years. They have built a reputation of quality, satisfaction, discretion, and are regarding by their clientele to be the epitome of the bespoke garment world. However, in business there is always competition, and their competition has moved in across the street in the form of Abercrombie and Fitch; the fashion forward design house catering to the "tween" market with their larger than life advertising and aggressive movement into a prime real estate spot on the corner of the Row. The tailors are dismayed. Coming from a line of tradition that boasts civility and discretion, they are looking out their shop windows to see half naked young men and women plastered against the facade of an otherwise unimposing building. What has the fashion world come to when marketing and advertising gurus are willing to infiltrate and decimate and established brand developed in their own country for the sake of providing short shorts and ripped jeans for teenagers?
In the US Abercrombie and Fitch has come under deres and has been losing sales, but the opposite is true across the pond. How can this be? Is the jeans and t-shirts American style migrating to Europe and taking a strong hold where anything less than a crease in trousers is seen as casual? Maybe Fitch should have set up shop on the more stylish and fashion forward Jerymn Street. Jermyn Street, the equivalent of 5th avenue in NYC is having troubles of its own and may need an infusion of sorts. Its an interesting debate, but an untimely circumstance for the Row.
Take a view into the work and lives of the Savile Row tailors HERE in part 1 of a 3 part series featured on the Sundance channel.