Richard James, celebrates 20 years, this year, as a resident of Savile Row. The ever sartorially Nick Sullivan, now of US Esquire, wrote in 1992 for it’s British counterpart, of James. “There’s a new boy in the Row and he’s causing quite a stir. What’s more, he’s not a tailor. Richard James is too busy to worry about his neighbours”.
Ever since then Richard James has been both too busy and causing quite a stir in equal measures on what has to be the most famous of streets on the face of the Earth, when it come to matters of the cloth, scissors and chalk. He first caused raised eyebrows for, bless yourself, introducing Saturday Opening on Savile Row !!! But maybe a few more browed were raised when his Ad campaign back in 1996 featuring a man dressed impeccably in one of his suits is seen throwing himself off a building, resulting in it being banned, OK moving on.
The philosophy of this man is to produce classic clothing of unsurpassable quality, but to push the boundaries through design, colour and cut, which has resulted in Richard winning many awards from the British Fashion Council’s Designer of the Year & GQ’s Man of the Year.
Over the years he’s dressed everyone from Tom Cruise, Mr James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, both Liam & Noel Gallagher for their wedding days, Robert De Niro, David Beckham and even SpongeBob Square Pants, kinda.
Even the old school of Savile Row have softened to the charms of Richard as he was made one of the founding members of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, which is formed by the Row’s tailors to promote and protect the traditions of bespoke tailoring on Savile Row.
Recently, as the more regular readers of Clothes-make-the-man.com will know, he has worked with that bastion of British retailing on an inspired by Savile Row suit range for Marks & Spencer. But amongst all of this he managed to answer a couple of questions for our good selves, enjoy.
If you could have invented anything what would it be?
The suit. A perfect piece of design, the detail of which affords endless opportunities to express individuality.
If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret?
That I haven’t traveled more. It’s such an inspiration and there are too many countries that I haven’t seen. Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador…
What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire?
A floral Mr Fish shirt from the late sixties. The shop was on Clifford Street, just a couple of doors away from where Richard James Bespoke is now.
Who is your style icon?
Tommy Nutter. He made Savile Row so exciting in the 70s.
The tailoring icon Tommy Nutter
If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life who would it be?
It would have to be Richard James. I get a discount!
Tell us something no one else knows?
If you make suits, you can only call yourself a tailor if you work for yourself. If you’re employed by someone else you’re a cutter.
What piece of style advice do you live by?
Dress for yourself, not for other people.
Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it?
Stunning vintage Cazal sunglasses. Too bling for me. But I still put them on from time to time and try to convince myself that they’re not.
What do you have to do after this conversation?
Have a cup of strong coffee and work on the very exciting show we’re doing for London Collections: Men in June.
What would you like to be doing after this conversation?
Exactly what I am doing. I love my work.
Who would be your ideal dinner party guests ?
Tommy Nutter, The Queen Mother, Lady Gaga, Les Dawson and Greta Garbo. That would be interesting.
Images from the Spring/Summer 2012 Richard James Collection