A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to get a grand tour of one of the legendary houses of Savile Row, the location now on Old Burlington Street since 2005 and the name Anderson & Sheppard. My knowledge of Anderson & Sheppard had been fairly limited prior to the visit, but I had always been aware of some of the most famous men from past and present having a penchant for this house, men including Fred Astaire, the Prince of Wales and Bryan Ferry.
On entering the house I was welcomed by Sales Manager Mr. Colin Heywood who was very welcoming and spent a great deal of time showing me around, looking at the fabrics and explaining the cut of an Anderson & Sheppard suit. One of the facts that I was unaware of before speaking to Colin was how popular double breasted suits are at A&S. On some of my other visits on Savile Row many of the houses told me that they didn’t sell many double breasted suits, this doesn’t seem to be the case with A&S though as I was told about 30% of suits made are of the DB variety, and when thinking about it what style of suit do you usually see Prince Charles in? Exactly…
As I was being shown around I even managed to say hello to the legend that is Mr. John Hitchcock, if you don’t know, Mr. Hitchcock is the Managing Director of A&S and is also the Head Cutter. He has worked for the house all his life and started way back when as an apprentice. After saying hello to Mr. Hitchcock I was handed over to Mr. David Walters who is the Trimmer at A&S to show me what he does. I found speaking to David very interesting indeed; he showed me some of the bespoke buttons that are made for customers where any design is possible and can be drawn up from scratch before actually being made.
I was truly in my element at Anderson & Sheppard, the morning passing swiftly whilst you felt in a world of your own, the place was tranquil, relaxed and unstuffy and exactly the sort of place that one day I would like to buy my own suits.
Mr. John Hitchcock and Mr. David Walters
Following my visit to Anderson & Sheppard I attended there party with The Rake Magazine for Bryan Ferry which was held at their new ready to wear trouser store located just around the corner on Clifford St. The new store was beautiful and I got another chance to speak to some of the team at Anderson & Sheppard notably Colin, David, Mr. Hitchcock and under cutter Leon Powell who wasn’t at A&S when I visited but was another lovely friendly gentleman.
Looking back on these two experiences with Anderson & Sheppard, I always think back about how friendly all the team were, whether it be inside the store or when having a drink, nothing seemed too much trouble for these gentleman. You could have understood if there was a litter bit of animosity towards a twenty something blogger walking into a grand old house like A&S but that was surprisingly not the case here. It was a pleasure to meet all at Anderson & Sheppard and I look forward to meeting them all again soon.
I couldn't quite leave the party at the Clifford St store without getting a photo or Mr. Hitchcock and I. I end with the brilliant founding ideal of: The suit shouldn't wear the man; the man should wear the suit.
Images 1-8 courtesy of Anderson & Sheppard.