The History of Savile Row
Originally a residential enclave, Savile Row now has a thriving business sector of bespoke tailors and ready-to-wear designers. But the Row is much more than its reputation as a glitzy fashion district.
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The first tailors arrived on Savile Row in the 18th century. Initially, it served the aristocracy and the military. It also served the well-heeled residents of Mayfair. The area was a popular venue for literary celebrities, sporting stars, and important people. The street was also the home of the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society. It was where plans to explore Africa were made.
The first major tailoring house to open on Savile Row Salon was Henry Poole. He is credited with creating the first dinner jacket for King Edward VII. He also built a large number of Churchill suits. His work is characterized by a traditional military style. The walls of his shop are covered with warrants from royalty around the world.
Savile Row has been a mecca for men’s tailoring for more than 200 years. Although many of the Row’s finest tailors still play the role of uniform tailors, the row has moved away from its military origins.
The Savile Row Bespoke Association (SRBA) is a group of member houses which are dedicated to promoting the Savile Row legacy and ensuring its place at the centre of modern men’s style. The houses also design pieces for special events.
Today, Savile Row continues to be one of London’s most popular shopping districts. The Row has retained its artisanal spirit, but the larger tailoring houses now need to offer both ready-to-wear and bespoke services.