First female master tailor opens own shop in London's historic Savile Row

Thu Apr 7, 2016 9:47am EDT
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By Ana Nicolaci da Costa

LONDON (Reuters) - Kathryn Sargent made history on Wednesday by becoming the first female master tailor to open her own shop in London's prestigious Savile Row.

After being trained at Royal tailor Gieves & Hawkes for 15 years, where she also broke ground by becoming the first female head cutter, her journey came full circle when she opened the doors to her own store on the iconic street, which has traditionally been dominated by men in its near 200-year association with tailoring.

"It feels just wonderful to be back in Savile Row and to actually have my name across and above one of the shops here," said the softly spoken 41-year old, wearing her own creation.

She said she learned from some great people, all men, who were happy to pass down their skills to a younger, energetic generation of tailors.

"When I was younger, I think people were quite surprised that I wanted to do this and it's still a talking point but everyone has welcomed me with open arms in Savile row," she told Reuters.

And a talking point it is. The store opening was being widely covered by British media with Sargent and her assistant asked to cut fabric, draw with chalk and take measurements for television crews.

Originally from Leeds in northern England, Sargent said her well-dressed father was a source of inspiration and that she got her creative genes from her mother, a keen knitter.

"I have always been inspired by men in suits. My father was a very smart gentleman always wearing nice blazers and jackets and suits, I never saw him in casual clothes. I think that had an impact," she said.   Continued...

Master Tailor Kathryn Sargent poses outside her Bespoke Tailoring shop at Saville Row in central London, Britain, April 6, 2016 .  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez