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Savile Row tailors up in arms over The Kooples' opening

Savile Row tailors are up in arms over news that premium French retailer The Kooples is to open a store on the historic London Mayfair street.

According to The Independent on Sunday, news that The Kooples is to open a store at 5 Savile Row has prompted heated reaction from a number of tailors and the Savile Row Bespoke Association that the fashion chain would lower the tone of the area.

Mark Henderson, chairman of the Savile Row Bespoke Association told the paper: “A fashion store is not particularly welcome as it does not fit in to what Savile Row, including its heritage and history, is about.”

Vice chairman of Anderson & Sheppard tailors, Anda Rowland, added: “We just feel it is a great shame to see Regent Street wrapping into Savile Row. It has been the home of tailors for hundreds of years and we won’t be able to get that character back when the chain stores move in.”

The Kooples’ plans to move into the area are what Savile Row tailors see as the latest threat from the high street.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s plans last month to open a kidswear store on Savile Row prompted angry reaction among tailors, concerned that the heritage of the area would suffer.

The US retailer’s Mayfair store, which launched with half nude male and female dancers five years ago, has caused tailors in the area to complain that “uncouth” youngsters, queuing customers and “nuisance” pushchairs have flocked to the area.

A member at a long-established Savile Row name said at the time: “If it carries on like this, the Row will just become another chain-store high street.

Readers' comments (4)

  • I agree with them, every major city centre has just become a repeat of one another.
    The standard is New Look, Topshop, River Island, etc. it has become hard to distinguish one city from another when looking at the highstreet.
    Saville row have every right to want to hold onto their heritage, and the fact that it is not riddled with chain-stores makes it what it is.
    We should be fighting for the independent stores before there is no way for any of them to survive.

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  • Next we will have a Tesco Extra or how about Mc Donalds , come on landlords where is your respect. We have all suffered from the dreadfull A& F nonsense and now this. I mean no harm to Kooples but not on Savile Row.
    They will not take the money its way too casual ,why dont they learn the Row is formal!
    I wonder if they would be allowed on MOUNT STREET??????

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  • I agree the tailors of Savile Row have every right to protect what they have created over the years. This area is true heritage, quality, formal, these high street chains don't belong there and once one moves in then another, Saville Row will lose what it stands for!!. Savile Row is for the professionals/tailors, lets keep it that way.

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  • darren hoggett

    I have a deep sympathy with Savile Row tailors, but it's a sign of the times. Whether you can call it 'progress' is another matter altogether...

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