The far pavilions of classic English tailoring are set to descend on what was once the jewel in a colonial crown. Things have come a long way since 1947.
While the Tatas are busy buying up the former British Steel, in an elegant counter-move, Savile Row’s pre-eminent suit-maker, having conquered China, is out to woo India’s discerning rich with some old charm.
Gieves & Hawkes, dating back to 1771, and famed for its customer-specific bespoke tailoring and the brand-name address, No 1 Savile Row, is looking for an Indian partner to introduce its brand and accompanying personal tailoring service (PTS), its chief executive Mark Henderson said.
Henderson, due to speak at the two-day ‘
Hindustan Times-Mint Luxury Conference’
beginning in New Delhi on Friday, said bespoke – a name derived from 'spoken for' to serve customers including the British royalty – was on a worldwide revival.
Gieves & Hawkes also offers ready-to-wear suits, which now account for 80 per cent of business, for humbler connoisseurs. PTS, lying somewhere in between bespoke and ready-mades, offers 15 measures to customise from.
Gieves & Hawkes has evolved over the years to adapt to new textiles, and is also a bit flexible on style, but guards its identity, Henderson said. “I don’t want to be like Armani or Hugo Boss. I want to be like Savile Row.”
Gieves & Hawkes has 43 stores spread across Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, with 29 of them on the mainland. That is more than the 23 it has in the UK.