Saville Row is well known as the home of some of the finest tailors in the world. But whether it’s high-end tailoring or fund administration, clients want the same thing – a second-to-none bespoke service, as James Orrick explains.
Running parallel to Regent Street and New Bond Street, Saville Row is the undisputed home of men’s and women’s bespoke tailoring. There is no more reputable place on the planet for a handmade three-piece in Harris Tweed, seersucker or gabardine.
Henry Poole is the tailor credited as being the Founder of Saville Row, opening an entrance to his premises on the famous street in 1846. It remains one of the very last family-owned businesses on the street.
Since then this ‘golden mile of tailoring’ at the heart of London’s West End has become the stuff of legend, supplying the great and good with frock coats, dress uniforms and plus fours.
For many years anyone who was anyone wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else if they needed to ‘cut a dash’. But society was changed forever when the teenager ‘arrived’ in the 1950’s. With their newfound independence, they rejected their parents’ dress code. This was further emphasised in the 1960’s Swinging London when Carnaby Street epitomised British fashion.
All of a sudden Saville Row was irrelevant and out of touch with the discerning ruling class of the future. Something needed to be done and in 1969 Nutter’s of Savile Row modernised the style and approach of the traditional tailors.
This continued in the 1990’s with the arrival of designers such as Richard James, Ozwald Boateng and Timothy Everest. They brought twists and a fine sense of colour to bespoke suits. They were seen to ‘push the envelope’ of modern suit making with more contemporary silhouettes and bolder fabrics.
In recent years Saville Row has continued to flourish, re-invigorated by new technology and the internet. The Saville Row Bespoke Association was founded to protect and develop bespoke tailoring. In 2006 the City of Westminster released a report called ‘Bespoke Tailoring in London’s West End’. It estimated that between 6,000 and 7,000 men’s suits were made in the Savile Row area annually.
The word ‘bespoke’ is interesting. In the modern sense, we take it to mean ‘a custom garment made by a tailor from a pattern created entirely from the customer’s measurements, giving the best fit and free choice of fabric’. But the term is understood to have originated in Saville Row when cloth for a suit was said to be ‘spoken for’ by individual customers. Reserved and set aside, in other words.
At PEA we interpret the term ‘bespoke’ to mean a service we can supply that is commissioned to a particular specification by our clients. In this changing world and turbulent economic environment, it is increasingly important that fund administrators keep their ‘off the peg’ solutions back in the stockroom and invest in creating more flexible ‘bespoke’ offerings.
We work with clients that require a dedicated admin house. In particular, new fund managers and entrepreneurs love our style. Our tailored service starts by allocating the right staff member. All our staff hold the relevant professional qualifications, and all our clients have instant access to a director of the company. The way we work, including our processes and procedures, puts our clients’ needs right at the centre. Our clients can place their trust in us to look after their administrative needs, whilst they concentrate on what they do best, safe in the knowledge that we’ll be providing solutions that really are tailor-made for them.
James Orrick holds a Masters in Corporate Governance from Bournemouth University, a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Essex, is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.