First female master tailor cuts through on London's Savile Row
Kathryn Sargent made history on Wednesday by becoming the first female master tailor to open her own premises on London's Savile Row -- the epicentre of traditional British bespoke tailoring.
Sargent, who worked her way up the ranks during 15 years on the prestigious street at Gieves and Hawkes, opened her first tailoring house around the corner in 2012, before seizing the opportunity to move back onto Savile Row in her own right.
"It has always been a dream of mine. It feels fantastic. There's a real sense of achievement," the 41-year-old told AFP.
Sargent has started with a six-month residency covering the spring and summer season, with a view to her tailoring house becoming a permanent fixture on the Row.
Having become well-known for her skills in the close-knit Savile Row community, she was offered the chance to open her own premises.
"We're always talking and working together on how we can promote our craft nationally and internationally and also preserve our skills and keep the standards high. The landlords here work with us to do that too," Sargent said.
"It was discussed whether I would like to be on Savile Row and the answer was 'Yes!' I've always wanted to have my name above the door of a shop here.
"The opportunity of having a shop here for the summer to showcase our work and engage with potential new clients, it was too good not to take up."
Sargent discovered her passion for tailoring while studying at fashion college and began her apprenticeship in 1996 at Gieves and Hawkes, which holds the prestigious 1 Savile Row address.
Savile Row's tailoring history dates back to 1803 and she became the first woman on the street to be appointed head cutter in 2009, before leaving to create her own Kathryn Sargent Bespoke tailoring house in 2012.
William Skinner, chairman of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, said: "It's fitting that the first woman to be appointed as a head cutter on Savile Row is returning to open a shop of her own and is testament to the continued appeal of Savile Row as the sartorial home of high quality, hand-crafted tailoring."
© 2016 AFP