When myself and my twin brother were growing up, he always knew what he wanted to do. He knew he’d leave school at 16, go and do an apprenticeship in engineering and get into industry that way. But I never knew, so I ended up staying at school as a default.
Then in my second year of A-levels I started working in Ede & Ravenscroft in Oxford. I’d never experienced anything to do with men’s outfitting and certainly not bespoke tailoring. But working there gave me a good grounding in the style of menswear, the fits and the garments.
Ede & Ravenscroft still does some bespoke in Oxford, though its main business in London is ready-to-wear. So I saw a little of that being done. There was a great Italian tailor, Giovanni, who had been doing bespoke there for over 40 years, and John Ramsden who was the manager and cutter. They instilled a passion in me for making bespoke garments and everything it represents.
I began juggling with the idea of getting into bespoke, so I looked around at what was available. I looked on the Savile Row Bespoke Association website and emailed everyone, inquiring about training and apprenticeships. Anderson & Sheppard were one that replied, asking for my CV.
That obviously wasn’t very full, but I was coming up to London anyway the following week, so I popped in and met Mr Hitchcock and Maggie. Luckily there was an apprentice cutter role available under John Malone, so they asked me to come in during my Easter holidays for a week and get some experience. That went well, they seemed to like me and they offered me the job.
I started on 4 August 2008.