What is your role at Anderson & Sheppard?
I’m an apprentice trouser maker.
When did you first become interested in tailoring?
I was going to leave school at sixteen and I was looking at options and my textiles teacher told me to look into tailoring at Newham College. I checked it out, liked what I saw and applied for the bespoke tailoring course.
What is your educational background?
I studied GCSE textiles at school and then studied for two years at Newham College.
Who gave you your first tailoring opportunity?
Anderson & Sheppard, I worked under John Hitchcock for four years as an apprentice coat cutter; I learnt so much and was extremely grateful for the opportunity. When Mr Hitchcock was retiring I told him I was interested in making trousers and he kindly introduced me to Keith who has been a trouser maker at Anderson & Sheppard for over thirty years. Keith gave me my second opportunity and I have been working under him as an apprentice trouser maker for nearly two years.
What is a day in the life at Anderson & Sheppard like?
I work on whatever Keith gives me; this could be making forwards, making fittings or working on alterations.
Why did you switch from cutting coats to making trousers?
I have always enjoyed making them, when I was working under Mr Hitchcock as an apprentice coat cutter I was still making my own trousers so I knew I had a passion for it. After I switched I realised I was much better suited to making trousers and because I had still been working on trousers for myself for so long, I already had a good amount of knowledge and practice when I started with Keith.
Is there anything you had wished you had known before you started this journey?
I guess it would have been that I went straight into trouser making. I really value the four years I spent under Hitchcock but I feel like I have found my right place within the company.
What has been your most exciting moment at Anderson & Sheppard?
It would be switching to trousers; it was daunting but extremely exciting at the same time. It was like starting a new journey.
What are you working on right now?
I am making a forward right now on a navy chalk stripe flannel double pleat with slanted side straps and buckles on the hips.
What is your favourite aspect of tailoring?
I really enjoy the whole making process. It’s nice to make things to a high quality standard. We transform bundles of cloth into a beautiful pair of trousers.
What advice would you give to anybody that wants to get into the bespoke tailoring industry?
Be certain of what it is you want to do, in my case I was very lucky to be able to change my apprenticeship but it is not ever that easy. Also be aware that bespoke tailoring is not fashion. You can make your own things in your own time but you are here to make bespoke pieces that customers want. So if your dream is to become a designer who creates personal items this is not the right industry to join.