The eclectic tailor is as happy dressing David Beckham as he is designing suits for Marks & Spencer. But which mountain does Timothy Everest plan to climb next?
Timothy Everest is strolling around the restored Georgian house that serves as his east London atelier, making arrangements and leaving instructions with staff. His recently grown-out beard and hair give the bespoke tailor a relaxed look mirrored by the softly sculpted lines of his grey windowpane-check jacket and bespoke jeans.
The house, in Elder Street in London’s Spitalfields, sums up Everest’s quirky take on traditional tailoring, with its panelled walls and stripped floorboards painted alternately in bright yellow and purple. The decision to base his business here, rather than in the typical tailors’ enclave on London’s Savile Row, typifies his desire to shun the stuffiness of traditional British tailoring.
While the backdrop of the atelier serves perfectly as the customer-facing side of his bespoke operation, Everest prefers to conduct his interview with Drapers in the more modern and functional HQ around the corner. The Corbet Place office is the hub from which Everest is hatching plans to drive his business to the next level.
Everest has always cast his tailoring skills far and wide, while keeping an unswerving eye on the commercial viability of any project. He is well known for his celebrity clients and has garnered a following not dissimilar to late Savile Row tailoring legend Tommy Nutter, for whom Everest worked in the late 1980s.
High-profile customers include the likes of David Beckham and Tom Cruise, as well as indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs and US hip-hop mogul Damon Dash. But his star really started to ascend following consultancy work with Marks & Spencer on its formal menswear, which led to him designing a collection for the retailer’s Autograph range.
Everest’s latest plan is to launch a wholesale ready-to-wear collection in a bid to create what he calls “a bigger small business”. He has tried his hand at ready-to-wear before, but the collection was short lived and ceased wholesaling a few years ago.
“We were trying to do too many different things at the same time, and we had various manufacturers that were difficult to maintain with the size of business we were,” he says. “We experienced all the classic delivery problems. We also needed to get the price points a little keener.”
Even the brand’s more recent return to wholesale ran into initial problems when manufacturer Miro Radici UK kicked off a corporate reshuffle that resulted in the departure of UK chief executive Greg Tufnell. He was the man through which Everest had brokered his manufacturing agreement, and Tufnell’s departure signalled a major hiccup in the tailor’s ready-to-wear strategy.
Everest says although it was unfortunate, the shake-up forced the business to take responsibility for sourcing the range in-house, which was always the plan in the long term. A dedicated sales manager, former Marlboro Classics sales manager Lee Rekert, has since joined the business.