Reflecting on his 25 years in fashion, tailor Timothy Everest chats to Drapers about the idea behind his new Shoreditch concept store and plans for retail expansion. He already trades from sites on London’s Elder Street and Bruton Place.
What was behind your decision to open the new store on Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street last month?
We’ve been looking at the Timothy Everest brand for a few years, ever since 2008 when we thought no one was ever going to buy another bespoke suit. So we looked at collaborations as a new way to reach out to consumers, but we started to think that was silly. We were advising people what to do and not listening to our own advice. So we started to think what would Timothy Everest do in this our 25th anniversary year and decided to open a shop.
I wanted to explore the brand and think about the future of retail and tailoring. I describe Redchurch Street as our first concept store. We wanted people to see who we are and we didn’t want to go to where our contemporaries were. We wanted to do something different.
Our Shoreditch store (opened on November 26) will be the first of a few and we’re also looking internationally. We have a strong international following, especially a brilliant business in Japan and we’re reasonably well known in America.
I’ve got a mantra of three things: one is to redefine the modern wardrobe, and customisation is key for us; two to build a bigger small business that still feels personal; and three to be the benchmark for British tailoring.
Why did you decide to mix your own brand with a curated selection from independent brands and designers?
I believe it is important to support emerging designers. When I started out it was really difficult to find support. As a business we have great experience and a very youthful, creative mind, but we don’t know everything and we need to engage with other people who have a different way of seeing things. The mix is important.
I think with brands these days it’s important you have a specialism and my specialism is tailoring, so everything I do, even the parka cut with a high armhole, has to have a touch of tailoring. I don’t make glasses, but it’s important that I work with people who do like Camden Town-based General Eyewear. By curating things and saying this is a pretty good product then maybe we’ll get a chance to do some of those products ourselves.
What’s next on your to do list?
I want to get everything right with the new store, which will help with the next step as we look more into exploring retail. We’re planning to take the next six months to a year to polish what we’ve got. We’ll be revisiting the existing atelier at Elder Street and also Bruton Place. So Bruton Place has become more like a lounge, although there will be elements of the Shoreditch store.
Elder Street is going to become more experimental like TV chef Heston’s kitchen. It will be the place where we start to develop product and the Shoreditch shop has become like my kitchen. We have the plat du jour and then we have some specials in the shape of our tailoring service.
We’re not planning on being a big retail operation but we need showcases in key places, so people can understand who we are and it would be very silly not to explore the partnerships we’ve already got in places like South Korea, China, Japan and India.
We’re also continuing to work on our collaboration with Argentinean polo brand La Martina. We launched a small ready-to-wear collection for autumn 15, which went into the brand’s Jermyn Street store in October. Collaboration continues to be a big part of our culture.
Will you still be working on other projects? Any films coming up?
Well we’ve just done the James Bond film Spectre, for which we dressed Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes. We’re also working on a Netflix BBC production called The Crown from the people who made Game of Thrones. It follows three decades of the relationship between the royal family and politicians, starting with the Duke of Windsor and his relationship with Wallace Simpson. We’re very studious and we put moodboards together for every look. We won’t just make a blue suit, we’ll look at what the Duke of Windsor actually wore.
We’re also dressing Jeremy Irons for the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed film which is really exciting.
To take the virtual store of Timothy Everest’s new Shoreditch store click here