In the summer of 2019 Kirby Allison of The Hanger Project visited 11 Savile Row to spend the day with Head Cutter Campbell Carey to discover what makes bespoke a cut above the rest.
Kirby Allison is dedicated to helping the well-dressed acquire and care for their wardrobes while discovering the world of quality, craftsmanship, and tradition. A long-standing friend of Huntsman, Kirby's philosophy is akin to our own; that the thoughtful investment in quality articles of clothing can yield a lifetime of enjoyment.
“An eighth of an inch can make all the difference. The devil’s in the detail.”
Campbell Carey, Huntsman Head Cutter
Huntsman Head Cutter welcomes Kirby Allison of the Hanger Project to 11 Savile Row to experience exactly how a bespoke garment is made. In an age of fast fashion, technological advances in machine tailoring, Kirby came to find out what makes bespoke tailoring unique from any other type of garment making.
Spending the day with Campbell Carey, Kirby explores every aspect of how a Huntsman suit is made- from your first measurements in our legendary Kingsman fitting room, to where your garment gets sewn, pressed, and finished in the workshops of 11 Savile Row.
“Everything is one big production line. We all speak the same language. The talent we have here is incredible, we have generations of talent and we’re blessed to have so many young tailors.”
Perhaps you’re already familiar with the how’s of a bespoke garment, but in this exclusive interview, Campbell reveals the centuries-old practices and techniques handed down from tailor to tailor for generations, which makes each bespoke garment so special.
“We use 28-35 measurements adapted to a centuries-old draft… That’s when your rock of eye takes over. It’s your instinct, your intuition.”
From boiler suits to business suits, velvets, flannels, and mohair, our Cutters and Tailors know how each cloth reacts differently to your body, which is why each garment made is a unique process, something that cannot be interpreted by a machine, or configured with any less than exact measurements.
“We always recommend at least one fitting, even if the customer has already had 200 suits or more made already! Each cloth reacts differently to heat, to moisture, and being made by hand.”
And what about all of that handwork? Is it still relevant? Absolutely. From the workbenches of our tailors, Campbell shows Kirby why it makes all the difference.
“All of the padding stitches are training the canvases to take on that third dimension. You just can’t achieve that with a machine, or with fusing- By hand is still the best way.”
But for those of you who have already enjoyed the Huntsman bespoke experience, you’ll already know there’s something more magical than just the stitching that goes into your garment. As Campbell explains “It is the soul of the garment.”
“It’s the soul of the garment, it’s the structure, the shape that will stay in that garment for life.”