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- Emily Durham -
Apprentice Trouser Maker
Emily DurhamHenry Poole & Co.
• Born - 29/09/1991
• Mentor – Amos Gustavus, Trouser Maker

What is your role at Henry Poole?

I’m an apprentice trouser maker.


When did you first become interested in tailoring?

When I was a child I used to watch The Tailor of Gloucester video on repeat, it was my absolute favourite. I wanted to be that little old man who practically lived in his workshop with all these cute mice that would help him make the clothes. So I’m well on my way, particularly now that I have discovered a mouse in my flat.


What is your educational background?

After I left school I went to Newham College for two years and completed the bespoke tailoring course.


Who gave you your first opportunity in tailoring?

Philip Parker gave me work experience at Henry Poole, I was here for two weeks and then our trouser finisher Scean was going on maternity leave so she trained me up in finishing before she left, and I covered for her whilst she was away.  Once she came back I started my trouser making apprenticeship with Amos.

I quit my job and moved back to my parent’s house in Essex to focus solely on getting an apprenticeship; I would come  up to London and ask almost every tailoring house if they had any a space for me, it took almost three months until I got the opportunity here.


What is a day in the life like at Henry Poole?

I arrive in the morning and finish off anything I may have started the day before or I begin marking up and preparing something new which Amos will give me. Amos will guide me and answer my questions and pick me up on anything I may have done wrong.


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

Way before I actually knew what it was like I wish I had known how hard it would be to get in. I didn’t know how difficult it would be to get an apprenticeship. But on the other hand if I had known that I may not have pursued this career and it was definitely worth the effort.


What has been your most exciting moment at Henry Poole?

When I discovered I had got my trouser making apprenticeship. It was this unspoken thing for a while so I had an inkling that it may happen, but I was not completely secure until it was officially announced. I can say I was very pleased when it was.


What are you working on right now?

I have been preparing some trousers for a customer who has ordered some straight finishes to be done quite quickly. So I have been preparing them to the stage where it is two separate legs and then pass them to Amos who prepares them to be made up into a finish. He will then pass it back to me when there are things I am able to do on them, for instance he will prepare the hip pockets and then I will put the hip pocket in. This is just so that I can get practice in every aspect of the trousers and watch him if I don’t know how to do something yet.


What is your favourite aspect of tailoring?

I really like making trouser because they are so integral to the suit; it is also much more technical than people think. If you do something even slightly out it can be really obvious in the final finish. I love the precision involved in it.


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

Be persistent; don’t give up and you will find something.  Get out there and meet people, let them see your personality. Some say it’s about being in the right place at the right time but if you can be everywhere almost all the time, within reason of course you, will stand a much better chance of getting an opportunity.