Henry Herbert - Savile Row By Scooter

As customers value the experiential aspect of brands more than ever before, forward-thinking companies are reaching their customers in new and interesting ways. Recently I met a Savile Row tailoring company who are doing things a little bit differently to others...

On my recent visit to Henry Herbert (HH) tailors, I had the pleasure of meeting William, who kindly invited me to the Grays Inn Workshop to discuss the fascinating world of Henry Herbert tailoring over a cup of tea. Despite not meeting the founder of Henry Herbert Charlie Baker-Collingwood on this occasion, it is clear that he is very entrepreneurial with a lot of creative ideas to bring a fresh perspective to the traditional tailoring industry. Charlie set up Henry Herbert around seven years ago, and all HH bespoke suits, shirts and other garments are handcrafted in the workshop using only the finest fabrics sourced from mills in England and Scotland.

Image Credit: Henry Herbert

However, there is an interesting twist.

Customers are welcome to visit Charlie and William at either of their central London studios, but HH also have a very unique approach to visiting customers wherever and whenever is most convenient for them...Watch the short film below to see how HH tailors travel around London to meet clients on custom built Vespa scooters!

The Savile Row by Scooter Service offered by Henry Herbert is a lot of fun for customers (and for Charlie and William, too, I’m sure) and less stuffy than some people may expect Savile Row to be. With each of the Vespa's conveniently custom built to have fabric on board, William and Charlie have made their service more accessible to people without losing any of the traditional tailoring quality for which Savile Row is renowned. A well dressed man hops off a Vespa and appears at your door, you choose the fabric, cut, length and feel, then a few weeks later, a beautiful garment appears on your doorstep. Now that's what I call outstanding customer service!

Image Credit: The Holborn Magazine

The character of Henry Herbert himself was once master of the royal wardrobe to both King Charles I and King Charles II, and his name has been resurrected by Charlie in order to continue the tradition of fine English tailoring, in an affordable, personable and non-intimidating way. On visiting HH at Grays Inn Road, I couldn’t help but admire the wonderful illustrations of Henry Herbert, which were sketched on the walls of the workshop using approximately 30 marker pens. I also noticed one of artist Hormazd Narielwalla’s Dead Man’s Pattern skulls displayed in the workshop, and it is these quirky touches, along with the friendly and involving nature of the company, that ensure a visit to HH is always a welcoming and enjoyable experience.

Image Credit: Henry Herbert

Henry Herbert caters to a very broad range of clients, yet as a younger business with a youthful team, it is fantastic to see the company attracting a wealth of younger customers with their unique tailoring services. During my conversation with William, I met a very satisfied HH customer attending the final fitting of a new bespoke suit to celebrate his graduation, and he expressed his pleasure in being able to invest in an exquisitely crafted bespoke suit from a slightly more contemporary tailor.

So what next for Henry Herbert? Well, I read in Drapers that a HH tailor currently visits New York once a month to pick up orders, and with growing interest overseas, it looks as if HH Vespa's may become a familiar sight on the streets of New York...New York residents, keep your eyes peeled!

As a social media savvy company, you can connect with Henry Herbery on Facebook Twitter and Youtube, and you can also follow their work on the  blog  on their website.

Many thanks to William for inviting me to the workshop.

Hormazd Narielwalla - The Artist Revitalising Bespoke Tailoring Patterns

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of talented emerging artist Hormazd Narielwalla, to discuss the inspiration behind his fascinating work and to see a selection of his most recent series Le Petit Echo de la Moda, the focus of his exciting solo exhibition at the Indian Art Fair in new Deli beginning at the end of January 2014.

Having seen a selection of images from this particular series online I was particularly looking forward to admiring the work in real-life, and when I arrived at the studio, the vibrancy of the colours and textures were intensely more striking than I expected. Not surprisingly, Hormazd’s work is continuing to gain amazing responses worldwide, and identifying him as an artist of growing international acclaim, this year the Crafts Council selected him as one of only eleven artists to exhibit in the Project Space at Collect 2013 hosted by the Saatchi Gallery. The Saatchi Online magazine also declared him as “One to Watch” in October this year.

Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla
Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla

I was interested to find out how Hormazd’s fascination with tailoring patterns first began and I learned that, having earned the only International Rector’s Scholarship from London College of Fashion, it was at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row that he started to experiment with tailoring patterns. Here he wrote the tailoring biography of Master Tailor Michael Skinner, The Savile Row Cutter and, inspired by bespoke patterns of customers now deceased, he produced a beautiful limited edition art book named Dead Man’s Patterns, which has been acquired by several art collections around the world, including the Rare British Modern Collection at the British Library and the National Art Library.

Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla

On his first visit to Dege & Skinner, Hormazd was intrigued by the patterns concealed in brown paper envelopes that were destined to be shredded; he couldn’t believe that these beautiful drawings and paper blocks full of knowledge, history and personal details were going to be lost. Finally given set of patterns, Hormazd was never going to make suits out of them, but he started to view the patterns as objects in an aesthetic sense, and saw that he could revitalize them to create things other than clothes.

Hormazd has exhibited in London, Melbourne, Stockholm, Athens and the eminent Scope Art Fair in New York, however, his next showcase is a highly anticipated solo exhibition from 30th January to 2nd February for the Birla Academy of Art and Culture at the Indian Art Fair in new Deli. As India’s premier international art fair and a pioneering platform for contemporary art in the Asia region, the exhibition focuses on Hormazd’s most recent series Le Petit Echo de la Mode, in which he draws inspiration from the similarly named Parisian fashion and lifestyle magazine published between 1897 and 1983.  

Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla

Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla

What is particularly compelling about this body of work is the exploration of the blurring lines between fashion and art, and the tensions that lie between figuration and abstraction. In transforming the ‘do-it-yourself’ tailoring pattern guides into a cubist’s delight of abstracted two-dimensional shapes, Hormazd infuses his works with a sense of rejuvenation and revival. Re-using discarded materials, he reworks the tailoring templates into delicately faceted planes of colour, giving new life and meaning to these once forgotten and abandoned patterns.

Thank you to Hormazd for participating in such an in-depth discussion; I left his studio feeling extremely inspired! To find out more about him and his work please visit http://narielwalla.com/