What is your role at Edward Sexton?
I am an apprentice cutter.
When did you first become interested in tailoring?
When I started wearing suits around the age of eighteen. I became interested in jazz and the culture that surrounded the music.
What is your educational background?
I did four years of medical school but decided that it wasn’t for me. I was interested in the science of it all and was academically capable, so on paper it looked like a good idea, but it didn’t stimulate me like I thought it would. I dropped out, moved back to London and applied for the pre apprenticeship bespoke tailoring course at Newham College.
Who gave you your first opportunity in tailoring?
Edward Sexton did. On my first day at Newham College I heard all the other students discussing how they had gone around Savile Row visiting tailoring houses to find work experience. I instantly felt a lot of pressure and I knew I had to do something right away.
After the introduction at Newham I took the tube straight here, knocked on the door and introduced myself to Dominic. I told him I was looking for some experience and to get it I was willing to enslave myself by making the coffees and sweeping the floors beneath his feet. It worked and I was given work experience for two days a week. I’m still proudly Dominic’s Nescafe machine, and the little patch of floor beneath his stool remains clean to this day.
What is a day in the life like at Edward Sexton?
It is very stressful, hectic and challenging but I enjoy every minute of it. As of recently I’ve become a permanent fixture of the cutting room, but I used to work on a bit of everything here, whether it was waistcoat bastes, inbreasts or finishing
Is there anything you had wished you had known before you started this journey?
How tough and long it was going to be, it wouldn’t have changed my decision to get into tailoring but it would have been good to know just how committed you have to be as an apprentice.
What has been your most exciting moment at Edward Sexton?
When I was told I got the apprenticeship, I had been working here for two days a week for eight months. That may seem like a long time but others do work experience for even longer and are moving from house to house on placements. So I was happy I got an apprenticeship in the house of my choosing; it was important for me to be working for the house who’s work I valued most.
What are you working on right now?
Edward, Henry and Jessica are speedily working on a navy pin head coat for me, and I’ve just finished the flared trousers to go with it. Separately, for the coming winter, I am basting a beige felt double breasted topcoat with a long centre vent, pagoda shoulders and strong roping.
What is your favourite aspect of tailoring?
The fact that it’s a hand craft. Although it’s an intrinsic part of the fashion world, bespoke tailoring transcends it through its artisanal approach to garmenting, just like couture; we are doing something that’s just as closely linked to carpentry or stonemasonry than to fashion design. We’re also ensuring the posterity of a very old set of skills that are so engrained in British culture.
What advice would you give to anybody who wants to get into the bespoke tailoring industry?
Start talking to as many tailors as you can, push open those scary heavy doors and try to meet cutters or makers even if they can’t offer you any work experience try to get as much advice as you can. Also if you do get work experience or an apprenticeship, assume you will be doing crap jobs for quite some time and know that it is part of the journey on your way to becoming a bespoke tailor.