Reviving Savile Row Suit Maker Norton & Sons
On Savile Row, where a master tailor trains for 20 years to earn his title, credible newcomers are rare. Yet Patrick Grant has become just that by reenergizing Norton & Sons, a centuries-old bespoke suit maker that once cut pieces for King Edward VII and Winston Churchill. Despite a challenging business model—it takes tailors three months to create one handmade suit—Grant saw an opportunity to modernize the withering icon by engaging a younger consumer. He purchased the house in 2005, months after completing his MBA at the University of Oxford. At first, the precocious "guv'nor" worked with only one part-time cutter and one tailor; he now oversees a staff of more than a dozen. "Savile Row is a quite special place," he says. "Every important and well-dressed man in history has strolled along this street."