Memories of Edward Sexton 

Friday, July 28th 2023
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Edward Sexton, the English bespoke tailor, sadly passed away this week.

We were, as many readers will know, supposed to be holding a talk with Edward this past Spring, but his health has been poor for a while and that was postponed. 

In preparation for the talk, Edward and I had had a reminiscing talk together, going over the old days with Tommy Nutter, the celebrities and the personalities, and disrupting Savile Row. And that's how he comes back to me now - looking intently as he made a point, gesticulating slowly, with an occasional curl at the corner of his mouth that would turn into a smile.

I didn’t know Edward anywhere near as well as many peers or customers, but we had many such interactions over the years. He and wife Joan were always front and centre at our Symposium talks in Florence - always curious, always interested. That’s them above at the Retail Symposium in 2017.

Two years earlier he had taken part in the tailoring iteration of that series, alongside the likes of Lorenzo Cifonelli, Antonio Panico and Antonio Liverano. There was a discussion at the Four Seasons (pictured top) and then a demonstration of styles in the atelier of Stefano Bemer (below).

Of those other tailoring greats, it was Lorenzo that Edward seemed the most like, and I remember the two spent a good time talking that day. Both had a similar mix of the serious and humorous - often smiling, welcoming, but turning on a sixpence to serious discussion as soon as it was raised. 

I remember I had an unexpectedly long conversation with Edward that evening about overcoats. 

He had a thing for long coats, and bemoaned their ever-shortening proportions - couldn’t understand it as a fashion choice or a practical choice. I agreed, obviously, wholeheartedly, and we spent the next half an hour discussing our perfect coat, with its length, its drama, and a satisfactory buttoned-up-to-the-chin quality. 

A couple of months later we started work on making a similar model - which I’ve worn with joy ever since, even as it evolved and was shortened, always in consultation with Edward. 

Talk during our fittings was rather more limited, with most of it around particular cloths or aspects of fit that Edward preferred. 

He liked a jacket to cover the seat completely, so that from the rear (or from the front with a double-breasted) the legs seemed to have no end, running up into the jacket and theoretically carrying on forever. There was a parallel there with a woman’s skirt which I always thought hinted at the sexiness of Sexton clothing - for men and for women. 

Edward’s occasional comment about cloth was always worth noting, for example regarding Lesser’s or Lumb’s Golden Bale, because they came from experience and you came to Edward for a very particular look, so it made sense to use whatever cloth he liked for that particular look. 

Over the years we made two suits to compliment the coat - a grey flannel DB and a brown linen DB - and they will both be more special now, simply because they are means to remember someone you always felt you got on with, and enjoyed being with. 

I remember when we were preparing for our talk, sitting outside The Service, Edward said something like, “the talk will be great Simon, you’re always good at putting people at their ease”. I can’t think of a greater compliment as an interviewer, and I suspect it’s one that will stay with me.

The other thing that struck me during that talk was how radical Edward and Tommy were back in the 1970s. 

Not so much for the exaggerated styling of the clothes, or the celebrities that came to the Row for the first time, but the overall anti-establishment attitude. At one point their shop - on the western side of the Row - had a window display of dustbins and dancing stuffed rats.

Everyone that has been heralded as ‘shaking up the Row’ ever since pales by comparison, whether it’s the nineties Richard James/Timothy Everest/Ozwald Boateng generation, or the various streetwear and other iterations since. 

Everything seems suddenly more commercial and mediocre. 

I’m sure every other article online at the moment will tell about the tailoring on Abbey Road, the suits for Mick and Bianca, jumpsuits for John and Ono, dressing Bowie, Hockney, Sir Hardy Amies. It really is an incredible list. 

But arguably Edward’s work was more significant for the impact it had on industry - for the different ways he worked. 

What started with innovations like women’s tailoring later extended naturally into making costumes for Poor Little Rich Girl and other films; becoming a consultant to Wilkes Bashford and then Saks Fifth Avenue in the US; and curating Stella McCartney's first collection for Chloe. 

All the time he was breaking new ground. 

Besides, as he told me during that chat: “I didn’t know most of the celebrities, Simon - Tommy brought them in, promised them the world, and then I had to deliver it!” He was much closer to Paul and Stella McCartney, later, than to the crowd around Nutter’s in the seventies. 

Thank you, Edward, for our times together. And my absolute best wishes to Dominic and the whole Sexton team as they take the company forward. 

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Lindsay McKee

This is fearfully sad news to hear… another veteran tailor gone.
My sincere sympathy to all his family and colleagues.
I trust that he has garnered an able team and that the business will successfully carry on.
Very, very sad news.

Lindsay McKee


Thanks for letting us know.
I have loved the Sexton style for what seems forever, it seems universal, my 16 year old daughter loves the almost unisex nature, being more elegant than sexy.


Your daughter has consummate good taste !


Very sad news indeed. I coincidentally (and somewhat presciently) started reading Lance Richardson’s Tommy Nutter biography a couple of weeks ago, and hope that someone will write a similar celebration of Edward’s career.
Unfortunately I could only admire from afar – but definitely admired. My long time tailor who also, sadly, died a few years ago was a contemporary, and regaled me with wonderful stories of Edward’s and Tommy’s “shaking up” of the ‘Row.
My condolences to his family and the Edward Sexton team.


What a lovely article.
It is always sad to see our heroes go and my thoughts are with his family and team at this most difficult of times.
As a child of the ‘50s I followed his career with awe. With Nutter and Morgan he formed a trio of disrupters who disrupted not for the hell of it but because they had something new, different and better to offer.
OK, their look was hugely influenced by the ‘30s & ‘40s but they refined that look for the modernist era and truly made it their own.
This was a look that Edward continued to refine for the rest of his life and he was never once blown off course by the vagaries of fashion. He had true ‘Permanent Style’.
The most stylish guy in the room has now left. RIP Edward and thanks for all the fabulous tailoring.

Jay H

Sad news indeed.
He was a lucky man though. He did something he was clearly passionate about , for most of his life.
Not many of us can say the same.

David Tillinghast

I am so saddened to hear of this news. I am new to Savile Row tailoring, and the house of Edward Sexton was my first choice without hesitation. I met with Nina Penlington, senior cutter, here in LA, and she is cutting an overcoat for me now, in the spirit of the one you created with Edward, Simon, so the timing makes this even sadder. I had really hoped to meet him on a visit next year to London. Such an icon of an era, and a real loss. My condolences to his family and to the team at Edward Sexton.

Peter Hall

Lovely piece of storytelling,Simon, it’s obvious the affection you held for each other.

Perhaps a longer ,more technical piece about his importance and style awaits in the future.

My condolences to his family and all of his colleagues.


RIP Edward Sexton master tailor.
Simon do you think you could pull out some of your Edward Sexton suits again in commemoration? Nice to see them in photos, especially that shoulder line.


Edward of the greatest of the greatest in his profession…Your name will live on…Rest in peace…

Ryan Liu

Sad news indeed. Who would be running the bespoke workshop from now on? I visited the Savile Row store last winter but only got the RTW coat instead of bespoke, mainly due to budget and can’t travel frequently to London for the fitting. Lost the opportunity now to actually meet him in person. Big regret.


Do you happen to know when Edward stopped cutting Simon?

I’ve got a couple of things from them and it was clear that the latest would be cut by Nina (and also clear, unfortunately, that Edward was not in good health).


Dear Simon
Sorry to learn of the sad news. So well-written by you. Heartfelt and respectful.
Sincere condolences to all.


To me, he was the epitome of permanent style. His look was like a signature, unmistakable, timeless, beautiful.


should have gotten at least one thing made when i had the chance. lesson learnt way too many times already.

Matthew V

Very sad news, but what a wonderful life to have lived and legacy created in the form of his suits, etc.
Lovely words too, Simon. I feel as if I learnt a lot of about him from this article.
It is difficult as a generation slowly passes that includes peers, inspirational people and ‘heroes’ from different fields.


I’ve never been able to afford anything from Savile Row but that doesn’t stop me appreciating the history and artistry/technical ability of such wizards of cloth. I liked reading about your previous experiences at Edward Sexton, truly sorry the man himself is no longer with us now. May he rest in peace, and best wishes to his family and firm.

David Harris

Beautifully expressed Nisha. As a great admirer of such skills I can also feel the loss of one of its finest contemporary exponents. May the tradition live on with his team.

Mark Seitelman

Bruce Cameron Clark, a bespoke clothier on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was Mr. Sexton’s assistant. Mr. Sexton brought Bruce to America on some of his trunk shows, and Mr. Sexton introduced Bruce to America where Bruce eventually settled.
The New York Times ran a lovely obituary.

Stuart R

So sad…For me the pieces he cut and fitted seemed more than just clothes, they lifted your move, they made you feel “it”, to me more than the work of any other tailor. Perhaps it was Abbey Road, Jagger’s suits, Lennon’s suits and his place perhaps as an iconoclast in the ‘60’s though Of course he respected tradition and craft.

I will miss the conversations with him and the fittings where a millimetre here on the waist, the button up a touch made a world of difference.

I will treasure the pieces he made, particularly evening-wear that will last me for ever, and will probably last generations.


I was so sorry to hear the news of Edward’s passing. He was the tailor who I would have most liked to have met. I’ve been rereading your articles on his tailoring. Thank you for bringing his character and style to the page so eloquently over the years.


Hi Simon,

I’m considering an Edward Sexton RTW suit for my wedding. I know you’re a fan of bespoke, but I wondered if you had a view on the quality of their RTW suits?

Many thanks,


Manish Puri

Hi Mark


I’ve not looked in detail at their RTW suits but their outerwear certainly looks very good quality.

Simon is out of the office this week so I’ll ask him to chime in with his experience as well given you’re thinking about it for your wedding.

Cheers 🙂


Thanks so much, Manish. I look forward to reading Simon’s views.



Thanks Simon, that’s very helpful. It looks like Sexton’s RTW have a full floating canvass, so that’s a good start.
All the best