“Production is done best when it is in the hands of the Experts” (Monocle)
This recent edition of Monocle (note the tailor on the cover!) contained news that might raise the spirits of craftspeople all over. Its feature “Craft makes a comeback \Welcome Home” highlights a recent trend for manufacturers to bring their production units back to their home roots and values. We have seen this happening with other outsourced services too such as call centres. The reasons cited in this case were twofold; the difficulty in monitoring and maintaining quality, and soaring logistical costs.
Good news perhaps for all the highly trained craftspeople ‘back home’, and in particular for those in Savile Row which has been hit over the years by a popular misconception that price was the sole determining factor in purchasing a suit. Depite this homeward bound trend however, there seems still to be have been a recent burst of activity from internet-based suit makers with their own version of bespoke garments manufactured on the other side of the world … it would seem that now even the term bespoke has to be redefined according to the Advertising Standards Authority .
From my daily meanderings through the Square Mile I must admit to having some reservations about the final outcome of these cyber suits. ‘Distance learning’ is one thing, ‘distance fitting’ quite another.
In this inspiring article in Monocle, I was particularly taken by the comments made by Martin Frechen, MD of Steiff Teddy Bears (yes…teddy bears!), whose manufacturing base transfers from China back to Germany in 2009. Clearly passionate about his product he says,
“It has to say take me in your arms, hug me, I’m here for you, I’m your best friend. It’s that lifelikeness and friendliness that gives the animals soul, that sets it apart from everybody else on the market. This can only be achieved with talented and skilful craftsmen.” This may sound a bit hokey, but I think it is much the same experience a client wants from a hand crafted suit.”
Unfortunately, for copyright reasons I can’t show a copy of the complete article, but it might be worth getting a copy whilst stocks last.
Image: Thanks to Monocle. www.monocle.com