God, it makes your blood boil. Splashed all over the front of City AM (the free business paper in London), Sartoriani is claiming to be selling “The finest bespoke shirts in the world!”

Where do they get off? Their shirts are not bespoke and I can’t imagine what criteria they have for saying they are the best in the world.

For those who are not familiar with the background to this charade (see previous post), Sartoriani won a case earlier in the year allowing it to use the phrase “bespoke” in its advertising, despite the fact that its suits are made by a machine. That’s right. They are made by a machine, in a factory, on a block altered to a customer’s specifications. That probably sounds like the age-old definition of made-to-measure to you. And it is. Yet they claimed their suits were bespoke because they were “personalised to the customer”.

The association of Savile Row Bespoke, representing tailors on the Row, took Sartoriani to the UK Advertising Standards Authority. It lost. The ASA said it considered bespoke and made-to-measure to be synonymous. It was a loss to menswear everywhere. As I said at the time, “once one company can get away with it, everyone will advertise their made-to-measure service as bespoke, and a refined section of tailoring will lose a crucial communication skill.”

It’s happening now. Sartoriani apparently has bespoke shirts; there’s a picture of someone in “a bespoke suit”; apparently “it’s now easier than ever to make a bespoke suit.” Bespoke, bespoke, bespoke. It’s an assault on the language, eroding the meaning of words in the pursuit of profit.

Who actually thinks that a bespoke suit can be made, “cut and sewn in London”, for £495? And a shirt for £99?

Sartoriani seems to have decided to adopt the old adage “if you’re going to lie, lie big.” Because it has the cheek to lecture people in its advertisement on what bespoke means, maintaining that it is just something that has been altered to a customer’s specifications, “as opposed to off-the-peg or ready-to-wear”.

Not only that, but it proclaims in its headline that is has “the best bespoke shirts in the world,” as mentioned earlier. Does the ASA have anything to say about this? Has Sartoriani commissioned a piece of thorough, independent research that compared its shirts to Charvet and Turnbull & Asser, which concluded that Sartoriani was the finest? Ridiculous.

And the cherry on the cake: Sartoriani advertises itself as “Savile Row – London”. But look carefully. It has an office at 10 Savile Row, and shares some of the basement. Its shop is actually at 24 Old Bond Street, and now 1 Canada Square in Canary Wharf.

It makes your blood boil.

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SFTrny

I’ve always believed that those who at best at anything never have to say it themselves.

initials CG

They can make a claim to the EU to protect the name “bespoke”. The

Italians did this with cheese from Parma. At first, the Americans laughed at the request. The Italians replied with something about enforcing trademarks for Microsoft, music, etc. The Americans stopped laughing. In fact, the defense of “bespoke” is the enforcement of a trademark, not just a word. Like many other products that are made in a specific and unique manner, the trademark, copyright is a critical marketing element. Bespoke tailors should defend this term at all cost.

So many artisans, craftsmen, farmers, etc. throughout Europe run to the EU court to defend these things, Why doesn’t Savile Row do this, too?

Fat Lazy Guy

I appreciate this post. Honestly, I didn’t know the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure, so thank you for pointing that oot.

I’m new to this whole fashion thing, and your blog has been a big help to me.

Anonymous

Very Bad quality and bad customer service – The only thing they are good at is marketing in the FT presenting their brand as a top tailor. I have had very bad experience with their suits and would seriously suggest to go to prada next door and buy a suit for the same price.

Anonymous

catastrophic service and quality – it took months to get my suits and after one year and multiple re-measures the shirts still did not fit at all (yes not a bad fit but no fit at all)- the tailor could not even copy a sample shirt. Customer service is extremely unhelpful – all you get after weeks is meaningless holding statements. Do not go for this company – you will regret it

Anonymous

Italians always claim hand made.
That means their tailor uses hand to sew on machine & rest whole world uses their feet to sew clothes.

Mike

Sartoriani now have a presence in Zurich and a web presence in Switzerland http://www.sartoriani.ch with an outrageous promotional video featuring that former contestant from The Apprentice.
The claims they make are infuriating and deceitful. I can’t believe they are legally allowed to pull this of..

Anonymous

I have tried the services from Sartoriani in Zurich. At that time I had not seen this post. I have never experience such a bad work. The suit cannot be used. It looks ridiculous, ready to wear would have been better. The jacket neck is totally open on the sides and the back (more than one inch apart from the neck), the sleeves are too short and the vest (I ordered a 3 piece) is too short, showing even a portion of the shirt.
I am still trying to get my money back, but I only get rude responses from them. They also claim that they cannot fix the suit since, to their eyes, it has a perfect fit.
So, the problem is not only that their suits are not bespoken. Their “made to measure” suits simply do not fit.