Next Monday I will be hosting the first in a series of dinners bringing together some of my favourite people across the industry. The event will be held at Club Cafe Royal, on Regent Street, and is co-hosted by Essence Lifestyle. 

Essence Lifestyle is the luxury magazine (quarterly online, with an annual print edition) recently launched by Essence London, a club and concierge service for high-net-worth individuals.

The first installment of our series focuses on young designers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs. Many of the people you know or have seen on the blog will be in attendance, from Gieves & Hawkes, Levi’s, Gaziano & Girling, Private White, Chittleborough & Morgan and Edward Green. 

The event will be filmed and, in order to involve Permanent Style readers, will feature the attendees answering questions put by you. They can be about craft, style, the future of the industry or indeed anything else. Please make suggestions in the comments to this post, and we will let the guests pick which ones to answer. 

There will also be coverage on Instagram – so keep an eye on our account on Monday evening. 

Looking forward to seeing your questions.

– Thanks for the questions so far, in email and comments. Given less than half will be tailors, more on menswear or luxury more generally would be great. –

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A question from me – Where does the intersection between fashion and bespoke lie, and how are young people, designers and craftsmen going to feel as if the world of Savile Row is accessible?


To what extent do you believe that brand is slowly becoming more important than craft?


Financially, how scalable is bespoke?

Bruce Rogoff

Simon, like most of your readers, I enjoy clothes and shoes, but how does one achieve a balance between collecting them and wearing them? When one has ten odd jackets and twenty pairs of shoes it is not difficult to wear them all. But when one has twenty odd jackets and forty pairs of shoes it is difficult to wear everything, and things don’t have a chance to develop any patina. Any thoughts on this?

E Neale

Q – How do you see the development of heritage brands from ’emerging markets’ on the global stage as those markets increasingly become aware of their own history and craft and commercialise that heritage for a global audience? Or do you see the future of menswear craft & design continuing to be dominated exclusively by old world brands from the likes of England, Italy, France etc…?


Simon, I’m considering purchaing a raincoat from Private White, one of my favorite companies. I’m looking at the Columbo Mac in Putty or the SB4 unlined in Nato green. I gather that the models are very similar with certain design changes such as a lining in the Columbo vs unlined in the SB4 and buttons vs a front zip. Do you have an opinion on the raincoat itself and a model or color preference?


how does a bespoke handmade shoe differ to a factory made goodyear welted shoe in terms of how it feels in day to day wear?


Hi Simon,
Just to let you know that this forthcoming event is great initiative!!!
Thanks for sharing!


Why are Tailors generally such poor dressers?

Missing Link?

Since you look forward to our questions, you wrote above your series will focus “on young designers, craftsmen [and craftswomen!] and entrepreneurs” – but when I was told by the man who answered my phone call to New & Lingwood in London, he told me to ask the shop in Eton about 38S RTW, and Thomas Bauer who answered told me he is a STYLIST! What about the stylists, Simon?


Bruce raises a great point about larger collections of menswear, particularly as fashion can sometimes obviate older items. Whilst co-ordinating the wardrobe can, surprisingly, be harder across more choice. The other issue, as wardrobes grow, is the differentiation between ‘collection pieces’ and wearable items and how to manage this. I’m sure some further advice on this subject would be appreciated.

Simon you mention wealthy Middle East buyers, I think it worth recognizing that the aim, in regards to their wardrobe management, is that they do not wish to display overly-creased shoes (a sign of age and wear and thus an aspect of financial status). The Middle East is redeveloping (particularly in the Gulf) and an appetite for the new (vs. the historic) is reflected in the visual, architecture is a good example of this. I do not believe, therefore, that this is about ignorance. Different cultures address these things differently whilst the English often take pride in something inherited or that has a patina of wear. I think HNW can lend a differing practice to what is purchased and how it is worn.

John C

Ignorance and ARROGANCE. Not only despicable disregard to the earth’s resources, but an insulting indifference to the artisans and craftsmen who invest heart and soul into their work.


In order to survive and flourish do Saville Row brands need to modernise more and appeal to the younger buyer by, for example, adding more affordable ready to wear lines and increase (or in some cases start!) advertising? It seems many need propping up by wealthy overseas buyers these days and can’t retain their independent ownership.


Would you admit to the term “high-net-worth individuals” being even the slightest pretentious?


Hi Simon

I’m always interested in the stories of the people behind the industry and the linkages between their craft (and passion) and their business (and livelihood). Does their work remain a craft or has it become a business for them? Are there occasions they have had to trade off their craft for their businesses success or vice versa? Recognising of course that crafts have always been businesses!

Feel free to edit, just suggesting a general theme.


David W

Hi Simon. My question is regarding that fundamental unit of menswear, the suit.

One hundred years ago it was ubiquitous in British life; of course gentlemen would own several, but every spectator at a football match (no matter what their income might be) would wear collar, coat and tie. All but the destitute had their Sunday Best. Over the last century the areas of life in which one wears a suit have eroded consistently, so that now a good proportion of the male population will never wear one outside of an occasional wedding or funeral. For them it is a costume to be put on, not part of their everyday use. The big companies founded in the last decade have almost no-one who wears suits. White Tie is now effectively fancy dress, and Black Tie is edging towards it even for the wealthy classes. Is the suit in terminal decline, destined to become costume for the rich?

John C

David W– Clearly circumstances requiring a suit have changed drastically. However, the opportunities to be well-dressed have not. No reason one can’t be well put-together at all times… no matter how informal.


During the last few years, we have seen an increased interest in bespoke clothing and menswear generally. What are the causes of this increased interest, andis this just a fad or a permanent sea change?


Hi Simon,

I hope you are very well. Firstly I’d like to say that I enjoy Permanent Style immensely, keep up the great work!

I have a question which I wasn’t sure where to post, I hope you don’t mind it here. I have been having great trouble of late finding an alterations tailor. I have done hours of research on-line and can’t say I’m any clearer on where to go.

I want to take various sports coats to be altered, getting the fit tightened up from RTW and also find a reliable place to get turn ups and side adjusters made for trousers.

Could you recommend a good alterations tailor in London? Do you have personal experience with one in particular or any you have heard to be particularly good. I thought I’d stop researching and go to an expert.

It would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards and many thanks in advance,

Patrick S


Patrick, I would strongly recommend Tosca and Daughters on Lower Sloane Street. Their prices are steep, but they have done incredible work for me on jackets, suits and even a couple of shearling flight jackets from eBay that were much too big. The only thing I would say is be prepared to pay for quality and try to see Tosca himself, who is now only in on Thursdays. If he is not there, then ask for Bashir, as everyone else who works there tends to be better with womenswear.


Patrick, Khan at KS Tailoring (St George St) has done a good job on some jackets, suits and trousers of mine. I heard of him through the Armoury guys. Not cheap but good value.

G. Bruce Boyer

A thought-provoking distinction well worth considering. There’s so much talk about fashion and so little about craftsmanship, it’s good to see craft being discussed.


Simon, Trico, many thanks for your kind replies. I will certainly look into Tosca and Daughters and was also thinking that in the end it might be a case of going to a tailor themselves.

Hopefully I can find someone who I trust and does good work. It would be a terrible shame if not.

Fingers crossed!