New York, of course, doesn’t have a Savile Row hidden anywhere among its tailored clothing district (if there actually is such an area to speak of, anymore). But one Brit is intent on making Madison Avenue one step closer to that legendary English destination — Tony Lutwyche, who has been offering hand-crafted bespoke tailoring in England since 2000 and stateside at Saks for about ten years. This December, the career military man and his crew opened a stand-alone shop, housed in upscale, uptown digs on Madison Avenue. This past week, I was invited by my dear fashion friend, the always dapper Tom Mastronardi, who is the brand’s brilliant U.S. marketing mind, to experience the beautiful environs and unique tailored offerings.
The Lutwyche brand stands for artisanal skills, in particular, hand-stitching that can take anywhere from 40 to upwards of 60 hours of painstaking preciseness. Tony’s philosophy is that of draping, molding, stitching Italian piece goods to create the “frame of style” for a man, using the brand’s nearly vertical manufacturing abilities. Now owner of one of the last factories of its kind in the U.K., Lutwyche allows men the opportunity here in the U.S. for made-to-measure, ready-to-wear and bespoke tailoring at a level not unlike Savile Row.
The second floor atelier of the intimate town house setting is an open dressing room area for trying clothing, getting measured and picking out appropriate piece goods while seated on a comfy divan in front of the cozy fireplace. Fancy a snifter of brandy or demi-tasse coffee? Be prepared to meet your maker, or at least your suits’ maker, notably a master craftsman tailor, as you commission a suit, topcoat or formalwear but note this experience is not for the faint of finances or lightweights of wallet, with prices ranging from $5000 to $10,000. Each tailored artistic endeavor incorporates the old-world charm and craft of incorporating horsehair canvas, to create a fit and drape unlike any you’ve possibly worn before. The “making” is done at Lutwyche’s headquarters in Crewe, England, where crafting is held to the highest standards. Once you’ve placed an order, give yourself approximately eight weeks before being able to show off your new acquisition. Tailoring and trying by appointment only. But, naturally.