There was a time that it was a bastion for men’s clothing, when its customers intrinsically knew when to doff and when to stand. Those days are behind us. We have moved on, Savile Row (rightly) hasn’t.
Or, at least, it hasn’t wholly. There are some who would argue that Savile Row, the London street that defined men’s suits for over 150 years, is now a shadow of its former self. The tailors who put the Row on the map have shrunk in number, pushed out by commercial developments, rising rents and, in some cases, an inability to keep up with the pace of change. Yet this tailoring capital remains home to the likes of Gieves & Hawkes and Nutters. In short, it remains sacred to men’s tailoring as we know it.
Yet as Dylan once preached, the times they are a changing. Fast fashion is moving into the Row, and not everyone is happy about it.
With the slogan “give the three-piece a chance” the Chaps, London’s subculture of men more impressed with the quality tailoring of yesteryear than the fast fashion of the present, are to protest the arrival of Abercrombie & Fitch on Savile Row.
On Monday, 23rd April 2012 (St George’s Day) several hundred immaculately dressed Chaps and Chapettes will gather outside number 3, Savile Row, to protest in the strongest possible terms against the opening of a children’s clothes shop there by Abercrombie & Fitch.
The Chap feels that this city is already overwhelmed with American-style chain stores selling overpriced T-shirts and hooded sporting garments for those who rarely do any sport. Savile Row has been the home of gentlemen’s bespoke tailoring for over 200 years, and the opening of this store would signal the end of this one little street being allowed to devote itself to a single trade.
You can find out more about the Chap’s protest here.