Once more our series of American posts is interrupted by some news.
Huntsman has hired a new senior cutter, Gordon Alsleben. Or rather have re-hired him, as he was an under cutter at the house in 1980 and from 1999 to 2008, leaving as head cutter. Gordon had a reputation for softening the Huntsman look slightly during his tenure.
As well as being a cutter, Gordon is a tailor (he was a self-employed coatmaker during the late 80s and early 90s) and has experience running manufacturing. When he left Huntsman in 2008 he worked for an Indian company, helping them set up stores, factories and a made-to-measure service. He will be in charge of overseeing production at Huntsman, with a new title at the house – workroom manager.
Huntsman now has four cutters: Pat Murphy (head), Dario Carnera (senior), Gordon and Anette Akselberg (senior cutter for women’s bespoke). David Ward, who cut my Huntsman shooting three-piece, left a few weeks ago.
Gordon’s other main employer over the years was Kilgour: he trained as an apprentice coatmaker there, rejoined them in the late 90s and joined them again in 2011 – before coming to Huntsman. He was also briefly at Ede & Ravenscroft.
As well as this hire, Roubi L’Roubi has ordered a cataloguing of the entire Huntsman archive, which has never been done before. The house has complete records going back to 1849. The archives will be displayed on the shop floor (example above).
A refurbishment is also going on that will move all of the cutters up to the first floor and open up the ground floor for sales, examples of bespoke and ready-to-wear. It seems rather a shame not to have cutting on the ground floor, but it was the original set-up of the shop and the space upstairs is much bigger and brighter.