Savile Row tailors defend heritage

Savile Row’s exclusive tailors have turned to PR in an attempt to stave off property developers and competition from cheaper retail chains.

Savile Row Bespoke, a group set up to represent their interests, has hired Pelham Public Relations.

The move comes ahead of a Westminster City Council report next week on the future of the Mayfair street, where cloth-cutters have
operated for 200 years.

Around 150 tailors and craftsmen make suits on Savile Row. But pressure for the redevelopment of such prime West End real estate, and competition from nearby superstores, has led Westminster Council to produce its report, aimed at addressing the traders' needs.

Pelham will communicate the value of the street's role in the production of bespoke suits, which can cost up to £4,000. The bigger retailers  sell their off-the-peg suits for as little as £30.

'Bespoke is a term now used to describe very different products,' said Julian Boow, marketing director at Savile Row Bespoke member firm Gieves & Hawkes.

'Look at how Champagne has maintained its reputation against sparkling wine: that is what we are trying to achieve,' he added.

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