On Friday I went to visit the new shop of the bespoke tailor Kathryn Sargent. Always keen to see women leading the fashion industry, I had read a piece in the Guardian about her becoming the first ever female master-tailor on Savile Row, and was interested to find out more about her.
Kathryn founded her eponymous brand in 2012 after a 15 year career at Gieves & Hawkes, where she rose to the position of Head Cutter, the first woman to do so in the entire history of Savile Row.
Her new shop is located just across the street and stands out amongst the many other famous tailors with its modern, welcoming feel – which is many ways reflects Kathryn herself.
Kathryn demonstrated the pattern-creating stage of the bespoke process from the initial consultation to the drafting of a pattern. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the level of detail and precision that goes into the pattern blocks
Unlike other tailors, Kathryn Sargent has no ‘house style’, instead they design each pattern individually according to the customer – everyone gets their own unique paper pattern which is held in the store’s archives for future visits.
Kathryn’s warm and approachable nature, I am sure will see more women chose her over traditional tailoring names.
Their female client base has grown over 10% since they first doing business, from around 20% to now more like 30-35%.
This is unsurprising with more women gaining boardroom positions there is greater demand for smart female tailoring.
Kathryn explained how other tailors in the area will often send female customers to her, as they still have an “old school mentality”, where working with women is seen as too complicated.
However, Kathryn said that “working with women is something we are passionate about. I enjoy working with women, and they certainly won’t get turned down here!”
Kathryn doesn’t make a fuss about being a leading female figure though. She thinks that her success is a reflection of a more diverse industry.
She said: “There are more women training to become tailors now, 65% for newly-qualified tailors last year were women.”
It is really encouraging to see both the increasing diversity in tailors themselves and the customers visiting them.