Bespoke Tailor on Brook Street
Article by Marion Graham Photography by Andy Barnham
Kathryn Sargent’s name was thrust to the forefront of tailoring when she became the first ever female head cutter at arguably Savile Row’s most prestigious address, No 1 Savile Row – home to Gieves & Hawkes. Her career path had started some 15 years earlier, when she enrolled on a fashion course concentrating on menswear at Epson College. After graduating, Kathryn went first to Denman & Goddard as an apprentice and then to Gieves, where Kathryn feels she “really learned all aspects of tailoring”.
These two august houses gave her a thorough grounding in menswear and the rigours of bespoke craftsmanship. Having achieved all she felt she could at Gieves, Kathryn’s drive led her to “what seemed to be the next logical step”, which was to start her own business. “My ambition has always been to work for myself – I’m extremely proud to have worked at Gieves & Hawkes, but my next thing was to establish my own company”.
She took a table within Meyer & Mortimer’s premises on Sackville Street and launched her own website detailing her services. Some of her customers from Gieves followed. Her first commission came in the form of a 40th birthday suit. A long-standing customer was having a Gatsby-themed party and wanted a full Thirties-style white tie and tails outfit.
“That was great to do,” recalls Kathryn. “It was the classic set, with a white Marcella waistcoat with a double row of braid down the side seam of the trousers.”
A unique part of Kathryn’s bespoke service is that she doesn’t have a set house style, instead working with the client and listening to what they want in order to achieve something that is truly unique. Kathryn has customers from all over the world, of various backgrounds and age groups, often making trips to the US for her client base across The Pond.
As well as menswear, Kathryn also does some female pieces. “Originally I didn’t want to do women’s tailoring, but wives would come in with their husbands, and there were business women who wanted more than the classic masculine business suit. There was more opportunity for a softer, fitted tailoring style. So I’d like to do a bit more for women now.”
Kathryn has now moved into the next phase of her career, leaving her space at Meyer & Mortimer to open her own elegantly decorated emporium on Brook Street. Every aspect has been thought about by Kathryn herself, from the hand-made English sofa, to the types of tea she keeps in for her clients.