So why is this interesting? From the business perspective, as Hugh points out, its all about strategy:
demand for bespoke English suits is fairly steady, but the supply of
young tailors willing to endure a 7-year apprenticeship has been drying
up over the last 50 years. Now the average age for a good English
tailor (at Thomas' level) is around 60. So even if the market for
bespoke is tiny, there's only about 20 people IN THE WORLD who can cut
an English suit at Thomas's level. And a good portion of Thomas' direct
competition have never even sent an e-mail before, let alone started
The service being offered here is neither cheap (a two piece suit will set you back a cool £1610) nor commoditized, so any differentiation could mean defining a whole new market segment.
course, the other thing thats interesting here is that its the
opportunity to read the thoughts and insights of a highly skilled
personal artisan in a business thats otherwise dominated by alienated
labor, large corporations, and mass marketing. Sound familiar? Thomas
brings it home in his post about how to pick a bespoke tailor (emphasis added):
be convinced by the narcotic effect of labels, they mean nothing. Have
your eyes and senses tuned. Don't trust the glossy magazines for your
info, they are writers, not cutters. Their world is about PR, not about
the actual stitching.
No journalist ever had to spend seven years as a proper tailor's apprentice. Their agendae are different from yours.
All business is personal. Especially in tailoring.