The future of Savile Row, with Anda Rowland: Video

Monday, December 11th 2023
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This talk a couple of weeks ago with Anda Rowland was flagged as a discussion of the future of Savile Row. And while we did talk about that – including how to get more new tailors into the area – the most interesting area was probably how the Row has changed since Anda became involved.

She grew up seeing her father’s love of clothes (his valet lived in the flat downstairs) and his financing of a buyout of his tailor, Anderson & Sheppard. Anda became personally involved in 2004, when A&S had to move from its historic space on the corner of Savile Row and was trying to re-establish itself on Old Burlington Street.

It was then that her background in brand development started to change A&S, and created a format that many other tailors have copied since. We rarely talk about the recent history of Savile Row, so it was fascinating to learn about the ups and downs it has gone through.

I hope you enjoy the talk. It’s long, but it would be criminal to cut any of the different sections. Put it on in the background while you’re doing the washing up, or play it through your headphones on the way to work. It’s all interesting.


Thank you to Anda for taking part, to Mortimer House for hosting us, and as ever to the 40-odd readers who came along to take part.

For those that are interested, I’m wearing my double-breasted end-on-end suit from A&S, cut by John Hitchcock in 2011. It’s needed two alterations in that time, and body changes mean the shoulders are only 99% correct, but I love it.

Worn with a pale-blue shirt from D’Avino, printed silk tie from Drake’s, and dark-brown oxfords from Yohei Fukuda.

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Sounds good, excited to watch. Unrelatedly Simon, an idea for an article:
“If I had to”, in which you propose the outfits you would wear if obliged to partake in certain prevailing menswear codes, in recognition of the fact that whilst they are not to your taste, a portion of modern men may feel either obliged or just interested to try them. For example:
Worsted suit with no tie
Tailoring with trainers
Wider silhouettes


What about tailoring with trainers? Is that something you would ever do? I guess jacket and trousers are better than a suit? Have you written anything about this in the past?

Dr Peter

I haven’t listened to the interview yet, Simon, but as a book collector and bibliomane, I am curious about the open book in the last photograph. Can you kindly tell me what the title is? I do have a small library of books on clothes, and I think there is a book on A&S in the collection — can’t quite recollect the title offhand. Thanks.


So impressed w Ms Rowlands vision, execution and empathy. Both operations are great, although the haberdashery is a true delight. The bespoke side could do with a bit more hospitality and organisation.


What a wonderful interview but maybe not for the usual reasons. What a shining example of an inspiring CEO. So much emphasis on collaboration and how to train staff , and how important it is to know and use names. Also so open to change management and also how work can be life fulfilling and enjoyable. Would make a great training video with a bit of editing……..

Lindsay McKee

In this video, you have helped to promote Savile Row in a marvellous way, encouraging people who may be nervous visiting a tailor to just making a point of visiting the row.
What spooks me is that A&S are no longer listed in The Savile Row Bespoke Association Website along with Meyer & Mortimer, Kent Haste and others.
Maybe a video with Brian Lishak, Joe Morgan, John Kent, Terry Haste or others would further garner more attention for the Row.
Great video.


Ohh…perhaps something is wrong with me…but I got these warm fuzzy feelings when I listening to Anda talking about her father’s wardrobe and the clothes in their flat.


Super-impressed with Anda (just to reiterate previous commenters). A very clear and intelligent vision coupled with a genuine interest in and openness to people generally and what is going on in the menswear world in particular. Really interesting interview. Thank you.

david rl fan

is this the one in first photo? sure looks like it, so much better in your photo than the product page, completely changed my opinion. Also did I blink and miss your book coming out?


Hi Simon,

Really enjoyed your conversation with Anda. She is so thoughtful and interesting to listen to. They are clearly trying to adapt to changing times while maintaining their heritage and standards. The chat about Daniel Craig’s pink velvet jacket made me reread the article you wrote on your beautiful Cifonelli black velvet jacket. I loved the idea of its dual use for black tie events and other occasions. As someone who doesn’t own any double breasted clothes. Do you think the dual purpose would still work if it was single breasted? Also I typically wear three roll two jackets would that also work or does it have to be one button only? Would your jacket work with a black cashmere turtleneck or is that too Milk Tray man – for your older followers:) Last question would a shawl collar work on either double or single breasted jacket?

Please let me know if I have asked too many questions!

Many thanks and an early Merry Christmas from the other side of the pond.


Many thanks Simon. Much appreciated.

Il Gormleto

I very much enjoyed the interview. Anda came across as intelligent and perceptive. Two quick comments: As an 83 year old I try not to buy anything which will last longer than I will so I don’t know what the atmosphere is in A and S now but when I first commissioned suits and jackets in the early eighties it was pretty daunting. In deed the first time I entered the old premises the floor managers just about told me to get lost.
I was in banking and did business with Anda’s father around that time. He was one of the most elegant men I ever met but to this day I bear the scars of dealing with him.
I was interested to hear of his valet but was not surprised that he had one.


Interesting to hear of your initial experience and treatment by the floor staff.

I am quite sensitive to poor/shoddy service or being treated with contempt – it’s rare enough, but it does happen occasionally and I am very quick to ‘put that person in their place’ when I am on the receiving end and then take my money elsewhere.

My first experience of Saville Row was actually buying shoes. I was looking to buy my first pair of Northampton shoes. Beginning with Church’s on Regent’s St , I made my way around all the main shoemakers along Jermyn St, a couple of stores in the City over a few visits in all.

I only received the poor treatment you described at Tricker’s. My last stop and from where I received the best service, and from whom I eventually bought a pair a shoes, was Justin FitzPatrick. He had just started a concession at Gieves and Hawks at No 1 Saville Row. Church’s was also notable on my two visits there.

P.S. I am aware Justin FitzPatrick’s shoes are not made in Northampton


Was that still the era when an introduction was required to become a customer?


Really like your outfit in this interview Simon, really classic british style.
Is the suit you are wearing from A&S?

Also somewhat unrelated question, would you recommend Rubato’s Jeans?


Hi Simon,

Thanks, regarding Rubato, I am currently looking to expand my wardrobe of casual trousers, worn in the context of casual chic as you often describe.

I am deciding between their officers chino (standard chino khaki), navy dress chino, and dark blue jeans as a first choice to try them as a brand.

Which of these do you think will be most versatile?
I normally prefer a mid/high rise, sitting right on the hip bone with a classic straight leg, so these trousers seem to be a good fit.


Sure, I do have jeans however they are the sort of standard semi low rise Levi’s anybody has, which don’t really make them very chic.

Would you have any recommendations for alternatives aside from Rubato for casual/chic RTW trousers?
I have seen the article on RTW trousers but it seems like most of those makers focus on flannels etc.


hi Henry, I bought a pair of Rubato Officer’s chinos about 6 months ago and they are one of the most surprising things I have added to my wardrobe lately, thought not necessarily only in a positive way.
They have largely replaced jeans as the trousers that I treat badly and not care about what happens, like playing with my kids at the playground, walking in the woods, etc. They replaced jeans because, for me, they are more comfortable, in particular in warm weather.
That said, I have not found them very versatile. I find them difficult to wear for any purpose other than what I described above. I think this is because of the fabric and the make, which is a little rough (on purpose, I believe). In my opinion, they don’t work even with the most casual tweed jacket, and I find that I don’t really like them even with knitwear and a coat. In my opinion, jeans work better in both circumstances.
If versatility is important for you, I would suggest jeans without hesitation.
Best, Andrew

Alexander Borsig

So you’re saying the chinos are more casual than jeans?


hi Alexander, I am not sure I would say they are more casual. For me, they are less versatile because they don’t really work with the way that I normally dress. Simon wrote some time ago about paradigms of casual clothing, and I suppose those chinos would fall into either the workwear or Ivy category. I don’t really dress in either of those ways, which is why I don’t think they work well for me. Overall, I am happy with the chinos because I bought them to wear when I’m at home playing with my kids or going to the playground (ie, trousers to wear hard), but given the way I like the dress they don’t really work more broadly than that. I hope this is helpful.


Hi Andrew,

Thank you for the information, I will keep that in mind.

Now, I have already placed an order for a pair of officer’s chinos.
If I am not happy with them, I might exchange for a pair of Jeans, and if I am, ill just order the jeans anyway!


I’ve just watched the first half of the interview and am really looking forward to watching the second half when I have the chance.
I have to echo what others have said – it’s a great interview and Anda is quite clearly very intelligent, insightful and in tune with the business and their customers along with all the other aspects of the business including the staff.
From managing the move to new premises, the evolution and development to what the business is today, I’m sure her father would be very proud of her work. A shining example of an inspiring CEO indeed.

Charlie P

What an entertaining listen. The Haberdashery is just about the finest retail experience I’ve ever had, so I’m unsurprised that the woman behind it is so lucid and thoughtful about her work. What a shame that Anderson and Sheppard’s most visible work should be the terribly fitting tailoring Daniel Craig insists on wearing. I’ve seen the Wales Bonner collaboration Anda references and that work is fabulous and a much better reflection of A and S’s actual style. The Craig tailoring is an actively unhelpful advert, I’d have thought.


Such a clear-thinking and articulate lady. She could have succeeded in any industry.

alan jones

Great interview Simon. I haven’t met Anda Rowland but it’s obvious she really gets it. Steering that ship in this world takes serious nous and self-possession, and it’s hard to imagine a better person at the helm. As an A&S customer I’ve often worried about the survival of the A&S and Savile Row ethic, but like you, the interview made me more optimistic.
Nice facilitation on your part, too. Bravo.


What would be a good outfit for a recorded interview on video? Would a blue jacket and white shirt be the safest, or would you try to add bolder colors or patterns? Would that change with a tie or without a tie?


If wearing a single breasted jacket, do you keep it buttoned when sitting while on camera?

Peter Z.

Dear all,

One of the things Savile Row can do to be more inviting is to treat young people interested in acquiring a bespoke suit one day with patience and respect, showing someone around and perhaps even trying on something that’s on display. I remember I was a university student in London and entered A&S and was greeted as if I had entered the wrong door and ended up there by mistake. After all A&S is an inspirational product, I educated myself alone in everything bespoke and was perhaps 11 years old when I first read about Anderson and Sheppard in a book by Bernard Roetzel and aspired to own an A&S suit one day perhaps for my wedding day. Young interested people in the sphere may become clients someday even if not right then and there, yet I feel it’s worth it to invest in these relationships.
Years later while still in my late twenties I have been lucky enough to be able to have a full and quite extensive bespoke wardrobe mainly from Savile Row and a bit less from Naples. The attitude with which Ciro Zizolfi treated me and treats me means that he has a customer for life even if I am covered for my essential bespoke pieces. I started off only with a sport coat and having 1 piece a year made as this was my maximum starting my bespoke journey and today I have 5-6 pieces made by him a year. He was patient in the beginning and it’s paying off later in our relationship. Steven Hitchcock also was patient with me and worked with me, explained how if we change something it affects another. Because of that first treatment many years ago, I don’t really go into A&S, it looked a bit like an exclusive elitist club full of snobbery. I had a similar experience in Huntsman and Henry Poole. I work with Davide Taub and he is the most humble and respectful human being and it’s a pleasure to work with him. Yet, I always feel it’s quite unpleasant to enter Gieves and Hawkes as I feel really judged and evaluated whether I am there for RTW or MTM and every time I say I have an appointment with Davide, I get a few raised eyebrows.
The parallel I can draw is with a car salesman who doesn’t want to show you around and let you test drive a car. Perhaps it’s a question of general snobbery in the “luxury” world and having a preset idea of who can afford what when entering a retail space.
For me it would be interesting to discuss whether bespoke is luxury and how is luxury defined. I would argue that the majority of my wardrobe is not luxurious, it’s 18 oz flannels, 14-15 oz worsteds and tweeds ranging from 18-25 oz. It’s very utilitarian. A few luxury pieces are an Angora jacket and a cashmere blazer.
I do keep in mind that this is a rather unusual and privileged problem to have as usually bespoke clients are quite a bit older. I do want to mention that I come from a family who did not even knew what bespoke was.


Wonderful interview as usual. Definitely enjoy hearing about menswear-adjacent business’ing from someone in the game and with Anda’s vision.

Have you written about this suit elsewhere? The drape looks exceptional… is there something inherent about that particular jacket? Maybe I’m just noticing it “with new eyes” as it were.

Also if you could point me to an article discussing shawl lapel jackets it would be most appreciated!


Thank you once more Simon for including me. It is an honour and a pleasure to work for Anderson & Sheppard and with the team at Old Burlington Street and at Clifford Street.

Matthew V

Great interview, had time to watch it properly now.

Lots of interesting history and also positivity, A&S is in safe hands.