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Max CastanoAnderson & Sheppard
• Born 01/07/1993
• Mentor – Danny Hall, Head Coat Cutter

What is your role at Anderson & Sheppard?

I’m an apprentice coat cutter under Danny Hall.

 

When did you first become interested in tailoring?

There was no significant moment for me; I have just always been around it. My dad is a Savile Row courier and I would often come to work with him so I have been visiting tailoring shops from a young age. It dawned on me after a few years of assisting my dad that bespoke tailoring might be something I could get into.

 

What is your educational background?

I finished my A levels and had been accepted into university but I made the decision to come to Anderson & Sheppard instead.

 

Who gave you your first opportunity in tailoring?

My first opportunity was given to me by Mr Hitchcock and Danny Hall, I was here doing work experience for a year straight. I was lucky because you rarely get that much work experience at one time. I learnt so much; it was extremely valuable since I hadn’t studied at Newham College or any other institution like most apprentices. I bided my time and showed them how dedicated I was and after the year was up I was offered a full time apprenticeship.

 

What is a day in the life like at Anderson & Sheppard?

Every day is interesting, there is never really a dull moment here. I love meeting the customers and witnessing the senior staffs work ethic. The day consists of me getting in early and doing some buttoning and pressing, and throughout the day I will watch Danny cut some coat patterns and maybe have a go myself under his supervision. Organisation is also a key aspect of what I do, I ensure all the customers are in place and the book is arranged properly for Danny.

 

Is there anything you had wished you had known before you started this journey?

I’ve always been very particular about my appearance but since starting at Anderson & Sheppard I can say I wish I  had known how addicted I’d be to getting private pieces made for myself.  Over the past two years I have had a lovely Lamlana sports coat made, as well as a couple of pairs of cool wool trousers made for the summer months.

I also wish I was better informed about the money you make as an apprentice. You are surviving on little so you have to be very smart with your wages and budget properly. Even though it’s not a lot of income I don’t get downcast about it because the path I am on is leading to a career.

 

What has been your most exciting moment at Anderson & Sheppard?

It came after the first year of my work experience, I had received an invitation to the BTBA black tie dinner but I didn’t have a dinner suit. Leslie Haynes and Leon Powell who are coat cutters here both volunteered to make me a bespoke suit. Wearing my first bespoke suit made by two such talented cutters to a black tie ball was definitely one of my favourite moments.

 

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently expanding my cutting knowledge. It’s been wonderful to get more hands on with the cloth, under Danny’s supervision of course.

 

What is your favourite aspect of tailoring?

It has to be seeing pieces of 2D cloth on the board transformed into a finished jacket. We watch and assist as apprentices, but I think it is the knowledge that one day I am going to be doing this by myself and have my own customers. I really enjoy meeting the customers and also others in the trade, everybody is so friendly.

 

What advice would you give to anybody who wants to get into the bespoke tailoring industry?

Work hard and stay focused; if you are finding it hard to get an apprenticeship or work experience just keep your name and faces in people’s minds. Don’t get despondent if things don’t happen for you right away, if bespoke tailoring is what you really want to do then put in the effort to make it happen.