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.