Davide Taub is quite possibly the most unassuming and humble man you could ever wish to meet - slight of build, softly spoken and pensive as he is. And yet, when he walks into the room, one finds himself irresistibly drawn to him; he exudes a natural poise and one can somehow sense his thoroughly intellectual approach to his craft from twenty feet away. Look a little closer and it doesn't take long to figure out why. Subtle angular shoulders, exquisite roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and slim, clean-cut trousers tend to do the talking. His look is architectural, experimental and ever-so-slightly neo-Edwardian - and his approach to bespoke tailoring is extraordinary. Long standing Head Cutter at Savile Row's ever-sophisticated bastion of contemporary menswear, Gieves & Hawkes, he is arguably one of the most influential figures in British bespoke tailoring today.
Not that he makes a big thing of this. One of the lovely things about Davide is his genuine modesty, and the fact that his uncanny ability to create some of the most conceptual bespoke clothing in Britain seems to be quite literally all in a day's work. Even so, he couples this unaffected humility with a genuine drive to produce something that he feels best represents the craft of contemporary bespoke tailoring at its finest, he sees his role at Gieves both as an extraordinary privilege and opportunity; 'Gieves is unique - to have this whole big workshop, where everything is made and finished in house, to be able to mould something right the way through the process is very special. The team in the work rooms enable us to go beyond people's vision of what Savile Row should be.' How exactly does Davide try to go beyond? 'We try not to be timid, and to really think about functionality as well as style, to be really self-critical about our work - whether it be finishing, tailoring or cutting. We try to excite the customer, and surprise him - to take his clothing further and exceed his expectations.' This of course, is precisely what Gieves has developed a reputation for.
'We try not to be timid, and to really think about functionality as well as style, to be really self-critical about our work.'
Furthermore, this elevated attitude towards his work is really what's made Davide's name. That and his willingness to find a balance between an individual's style and functionality for each and every client that's walked through his door - with spectacular results. Whether it be his signature greatcoat, a leather bomber jacket or a sharp flannel three-piece, one can find a deft blend of artistic integrity and functionality in his work.
Take for example the extraordinary suits that Davide designed and cut to display during the formidable Savile Row LC:M presentation at the Cabinet War Rooms in 2014. For the event, Davide pitted a rather sharp, strong shouldered grey flannel double-breasted creation against an earthy, unlined, soft shouldered Donegal tweed three-piece. The effect was dramatic to say the least, but it also testified to the versatility of the Gieves workshop, and to Davide's vision. 'When we did the war-rooms, we produced two garments which were theoretically at different ends of the spectrum - and I wasn't trying to prove a point, but to try and show how we approach what we do. Somehow, you could tell that these two garments were brothers. One was very sculptural, hard, angular and formal. The other was more soft and rugged - but it was what was underneath that allowed you to tell that they were related. That was a nice moment for me.'