A cut above the rest

A cut above the rest

A tailor who made her name on Saville Row after becoming the street’s first female head cutter in 2009 has returned seven years on to become the first woman to open her own tailoring house on the historic street.

Entrepreneur Kathryn Sargent made history last month by becoming the first woman to open her own tailoring house on Mayfair’s Savile Row.

Sargent, who has dressed royalty, actors, politicians and leaders of industry, opened her premises in London's Mayfair at the beginning of last month.

The 41-year-old master tailor, who hails from Leeds, spent 15 years at Gieves & Hawkes, rising through the ranks to head cutter, before opening her first store on Brook Street in 2012.

Having always been "enchanted" by Savile Row, she said: "It feels wonderful, and like a real sense of achievement - it is just great to have your shop and your garments on display for people to see."

With a career spanning 20 years in the West London district, she said she was "delighted" to open her own shop in Savile Row, and also at the prospect of being an inspiration to other women.

"I am thrilled to be making history, although for me being a woman is incidental, I am a tailor first and foremost," she said.

"There are more and more women coming through now and doing the training - 65% of the newly-qualified tailors last year were women. It is more diverse.

"But Savile Row has always been diverse, people from all over the world work in Savile Row and clients are from all over the world as well - it is a global destination for tailoring and it is the best in the world."

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Opening for spring and summer as a seasonal residency, tailoring for both women and men, Sargent said she discovered her passion for the trade while studying at fashion college in Epsom, Surrey.

She then went on to become an avid collector of cutting manuals and books on the craft dating back in some cases over 150 years.

Sargent said the new store will showcase both the history of the tailoring trade and her cutting edge garments.

"We will be cutting suits out in the window and we have also done a display to explain the process of having a suit made,” she said.

"I really wanted to present all the elements of the craft so people can walk through the story - it is a real visual display and I want people to come away feeling energised by that and understanding a bit more about it."

Her house does not have a specific style, and from the initial consultation to the finished product, the garments are tailored to the wearer, their lifestyle and requirements.

The Saville Row store will be sister to Sargent’s established atelier on Brook Street, tailoring for both men and women.

Bespoke two-piece suits made by Sargent have a starting price tag of £4,200, with made-to-measure suits costing £1,500.

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