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Savile Row Bespoke Association

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John Hitchcock of Savile Row’s Anderson & Sheppard scoffs at the blurring line between made-to-measure and bespoke. “A salesperson can learn to take measurements in a single day. It takes five years to train as a tailor, another five to become a cutter—that’s longer than it takes to become a doctor.” So now, perhaps a little belatedly, real London tailors are fighting back. Founded in 2004, the Savile Row Bespoke Association aims to do for high-end menswear what the Appellation d’origine contrôlée system has achieved for wine: Lay down some laws. To be considered bespoke, a suit must start with an individual pattern created by a master cutter, who will also superintend all production; the tailors will be based in England; and all work will be done by hand and require a minimum of 50 hours. The garments resulting from this time-honored process—and only those—will be worthy of bearing the label Savile Row Bespoke.

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