I’ve been an apprentice coatmaker at Anderson & Sheppard for a year now. Prior to this I was at Newham College, doing the 18-month bespoke tailoring course that a few other apprentices were on as well.
For the first six months it was three days a week, then for the last year we were at college two days a week, with one day’s work experience. That was the attraction of the Newham College course, the opportunity to be directly placed in companies for work experience; it gives you a feel for the different tailors, a lot of exposure and awareness of Savile row.
For over six months of the course I was doing my experience with John Kyriakou at Anderson & Sheppard every week. I really liked the atmosphere at Anderson & Sheppard and the work ethic. They were the second of six companies I did experience with, and I was fortunate enough to be offered an apprenticeship with them.
My interest in tailoring started at school. I did textiles at both GCSE and A-level and both were very practical. I then went on to study design at university, it seemed the obvious choice to follow. However I wasn’t fully satisfied because I wanted to be working more hands in creating beautiful garments, and I was always more satisfied by learning about construction.
Whilst studying for my degree I began exploring the option of a Savile row apprenticeship and made my first trip down Savile row visiting companies. I still think there should be more awareness at school level, and aimed at young people, of the options for apprenticeships and vocational training.