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September 23, 2006 at 2:15 pm
I’m riding the fence on whether or not it was just to raise the rent prices on Saville Row.
Even if you aren’t into fashion as most of the contributors on this site, you KNOW the name Saville Row. My father even knows what Saville Row is and has never been out of the country and treasures his “Men’s Warehouse” bought suit.
I don’t understand why this hasn’t be treated as a historical area and therefore protected under certain provisions. I can’t imagine people flocking to Saville Row if the tailors there have been replaced by Evisu and Abercrombie & Fitch (both scheduled to launch shops there).
On the otherhand, I feel that times change and we must adapt to them, even if that means losing a bit of history in order to move into the future. An example of change without loss would be French couture houses. Even with all of their skill and mastery, they can’t survive alone on the sale of gowns (there’s only a handfull of women who can truly afford them), so they must also sale fragrances, ready-to-wear, etc., in order to fund their operation. I think the tailors of Saville Row must look to do the same or figure out a way to fight for the neighborhood they made.
New times call for new measures (and alliances it seems):http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9074-2309170,00.html
September 23, 2006 at 6:17 pm
I find it dissapointing to see commerce cashing in on the cachet that saville row has built with long standing traditions and craftsmenship. Without this tradition, and the history of the strip would so many companies be rudhing to set up here? It is like other areas where the creative and innovative move in because of cheap rents – only to have big business ride in on the back of their creativity and force rents up and the people who made the area so valuable in the first place out.
September 23, 2006 at 11:20 pm
The thing about Saville Row is that bespoke tailoring is a perfect example of a modern business that need not rely on location to thrive. People don’t window-shop for bespoke suits and shirts. Ultimately, the great English bespoke houses can survive in new locations and cheaper rents. The success of Thomas Mahon, who built his presence through his blog and travels regularly to visit clients in the states, is a perfect example of a modern business model for Saville Row.
September 24, 2006 at 12:10 am
I feel that they should preserve the integrity and tradition of Saville Row. To hear that Evisu and Abercrombie & Fitch are moving in is just offensive to me. It’s like having a sex shop moving into Downing Street. Just wrong.
October 25, 2006 at 11:11 am
I visited my friends at Kilgour just a couple of weeks ago, and they tell me business couldn’t be better. So it would seem it is possible not only to survive, but to thrive, if one has a clearly articulated brand vision.