Spend a few minutes chatting with Antonia Ede, bespoke cutter, tailor and founder of Montague Ede - London's latest bespoke house - and you'll immediately get the impression that you're in good hands, not only because Antonia is a thoroughly confident figurehead for her new studio on Soho's Brewer Street, but because her training speaks for itself.
For context, Montague Ede is brand new, and the first time in Antonia's nine-year career in British tailoring that she's had her name above the door. Prior to establishing the house only a few months ago, she worked as a Cutter for three years at Hardy Amies, before moving to Huntsman for a further two and a half years, and was mentored first by the remarkable Stuart Lamprell and then by bespoke-legend Pat Murphy, during his tenure as Huntsman's Head Cutter. These two near-mythic figures combine almost a century of bespoke experience between them, this being something that Antonia evidently appreciates only too well. Strike up a conversation about tailoring and her time spent at Hardy's and Huntsman will surface without doubt - clearly, she has no qualms about deferring to her mentors. "I learned so much from both of them," she expands, "the way that they relate to their clients is so impressive. They're both good-old London boys and they've worked on Savile Row for decades. At Hardy's I learned everything from trimming to front of house sales. Huntsman was a different ball-game because its such a big house, but to work with Pat, a third generation tailor whose father even worked at Huntsman before him, was extraordinary."
Even so, after nine years on the Row, the time came for Antonia to cut her own jib and to try something new. Indeed, freshness of approach seems key to Montague Ede, as is immediately apparent from Antonia's new choice of address. Together with talented bespoke shirtmaker Deema Abi-Chahine, she chose to break free of tailoring's golden mile and strike out in Soho. "We chose the Soho studio for two reasons," says Antonia, "firstly, the set up here gives us flexibility. At the end of the day, we're two chicks starting a company, its fairly unusual. Being in Soho gives us some freedom, we can be creative and not too traditional in what we're doing. And then of course, logistically, finding the right property in Mayfair is impossible - Mayfair is very 'closed doors' and we didn't want anything too polished. We wanted the workshop to be a part of the room."