Getting a suit made can be a real right of passage. Yes, it is expensive, but trust us, it is worth it. While there are some exceptional tailors dotted around New York, there is nothing like traveling to London, the cradle of the tailoring world. While Savile Row isn’t what it used to be (Abercrombie has moved in!), there are still a fair amount of tailors located on this iconic strip. Huntsman is one tailor still based on ‘The Row.’
From our time spent with these tailors they all agree on one thing, American men are their biggest customers. And while jetting to London to be fitted for a suit sounds delightful, it’s not really accessible to most of us and that is why Hunstman has opened a shop in midtown Manhattan and brought over their very own cutter from London.
This shop is more of a club located in the incredible 130 West 57th Street. The building was built at the turn of the twentieth century to offer combined studio and living accommodation to New York’s thriving community of artists, and for much of its life it’s been home to influential creatives and key figures from the city’s fine art scene. Most recently, the apartment was home to famed crooner, Tony Bennett, before it passed into Huntsman’s hands.
Here in this airy space, customers get first class treatment from cocktails served to a giant chesterfield sofa to chill on while you are waiting for your tailor or simply hanging out with your other sartorial minded friends browsing through cloth books. To bring a bit of the Savile Row shop to America, there are two 1930s steamer trunks that were made on Berkeley Street in London and originally used by Huntsman to transport clients’ clothes across the Atlantic via ocean liner. The space is now also home to an original Art Deco mahogany desk and a substantial Luke Irwin silk-and-wool Ikat rug, both originally handmade for Savile Row’s front-of-house.
When you enter the space, there is a 12-step staircase left over from a previous duplex development. It is the perfect place to display a number of original pieces from star Huntsman client, Gregory Peck’s own wardrobe. Walls and lampshades are covered in Huntsman’s house tweed, naturally.
While many tailors fly to America twice a year to see their customers, perform fittings and then haul everything back to London to be made, Huntsman is making it a bit easier for their clients. As US Director of Operations, Ed Turco told us, “The average suit requires two fitting and since most tailors are only in town twice a year, one suit can take nearly a year to have made. But now that we have a tailor and cutter in Manhattan, a customer can have a suit in about 12 weeks.” That means a quicker turnaround, a happier customer, and we are betting, more suit purchases from said customer.
What we are really excited about is that Huntsman has brought along one of their own talented cutters from the London shop. Ralph Fitzgerald, has relocated to New York City to take-on the mantle of the full-time bespoke cutter for North America. Ralph will be the first point of call for customers to discuss their sartorial needs and is entirely at the disposal of the house’s American clients. At only 24, Ralph is equally interested in tailoring as he is in exploring his new hometown. He is also a huge soccer (football!) fan so feel free to discuss FIFA gossip while getting measured.
Appointments can be made via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone, 646-590-2595
Image Credits: Lily Hope Wokin