With face visors and gloves, London's bespoke tailors reopen

London's tailor-made clothes shops back in business as coronavirus restrictions ease

LONDON (Reuters) - Behind a heavy red curtain, Neil Latchman checks the fit of a suit made especially for him by Maurice Sedwell, a tailors which has been making bespoke clothes in London since 1938.

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Non-essential shops have reopened as Britain’s coronavirus lockdown eases, allowing customers who prefer their outfits made to measure to return to Savile Row, the central London street synonymous with tailor-made clothes.

Standing in front of dozens of suit jackets in old-fashioned glass cabinets, Latchman keeps still while his chest is measured by shop manager Judith Ekblom Jarrold wearing a plastic face visor.

“Part of the joy of bespoke is that interaction that we have with customers - getting to know them, having them in the shops so that we are able to make a really personal experience,” she said.

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Maurice Sedwell’s tailors cut and sew fabrics like vicuna and cashmere for customers including politicians and business leaders, and despite the safety precautions of visors and gloves, Ekblom Jarrold says it is mostly business as usual.

“There’s not much difference in the way we interact with our customers. One of the key things for us has always been making sure that we’re not invading their personal space,” she said.

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Amongst the fabric samples, tailoring scissors and buttons, Latchman said that knowing Maurice Sedwell would not be full of people made him feel more secure and he had decided not to wear a face mask, as he explained why he opted for bespoke suits.

“It gives me the body that I don’t really have,” he said, “so there’s a lot of work, a lot of craftsmanship, a lot of art that goes into it.”

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