Hope springs eternal. While Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un are playing chicken with life on the planet as we know it, two good outcomes follow. First, Trump’s rhetoric diverts us from thinking about his Russia connection, and second, young men, ages 20-25, who want to look good in a bistro, a bunker or a casket are turning to bespoke [tailored] fashion. (“Savile Row Arrives Stateside,” by Troy Patterson, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 17, 2017, pg. 60.)
Sensing the trend among young Americans, Huntsman & Sons, Ltd., one of England’s more prestigious tailors, begun in 1849, has set up shop in New York. To be clear, Huntsman has enough U. S. clients already to make an annual tour and has done so for a number of years. But now the demand for fine tailoring is on the upswing, so they have set up a permanent shop in the Big Apple.
Why the upswing? Probably because of the improved economy. While those with money may be cautious about how they flaunt their wealth (Blog, 8/1/17), a fine set of threads on one’s back might be allowed. Only those with discerning eyes and their own wardrobe of bespoke suits are likely to notice – an “in-the-know-thing,” like the Mason’s handshake.
Of course, there are fine, homegrown tailors, but, perhaps not fine enough. Tailoring is an art and haberdashers vie for cutters as earnestly as fine restaurants court remarkable chefs. Huntsman has a reputation for fine craftsmanship. Among its cutters was one considered to be the greatest of all time, Colin Hammick. (Ibid pg. 61.) Hammick no longer resides on the planet (Click), but his successor, Campbell Carey, (Click) has a growing reputation.
What inducements do proprietors use to attract the finest? Well, according to one up-and-comer who recently signed on at Huntsman, “I’m the luckiest cutter in the world. I got two huge cutting tables. All to myself.” (Ibid pg. 62.)