Style / May 2017

English Cut: Redefining Made-To-Measure, Part I

Founded by Thomas Mahon, English Cut is a sartorial institution that, in addition to bespoke, offers a made-to-measure service that resides on a titular plain. The Rake picks away at its profound seams…

Thankfully, the space between the sartorial and digital world has become increasingly narrower. Although once inexistent, it’s become the norm for stalwarts of Savile Row and European institutions to educate and inform their admirers and customers through intelligent and intriguing content via their websites and social media channels, thereby demonstrating their concise know-how and highly skilled craft. However, it was Tom Mahon who profoundly grasped the potential of it in 2005 when he became the first tailor to honestly share amongst the inter-webs the the ins and outs of what it was like to run a bespoke tailoring business. He believes his blog, English Cut, has “kicked off a bit of a revolution.” Today, Tom is leading the way with an entirely new path with his tailoring house of the same name. Whilst offering extremely high-quality bespoke tailoring, its premium tier of made-to-measure resides on a titular, practically bespoke plain compared to many of its contemporaries.

Raised in the north west of England with a thick Cumbrian accent, at age 18 Tom’s career started accidentally with an apprenticeship at S. Redmayne, a tailor based in Wigton. “It was a summer job to make money before college,” he tells The Rake. In 1990, he moved to London to work at Anderson & Sheppard — after gaining offers from many esteemed houses on the Row — under the late-Dennis Hollberry, his mentor and friend. He eventually progressed to become Anderson’s youngest ever head cutter though he modestly turns down the boss title: “Would I say I was the better than my colleagues? No. I would never say that. But I did have the top job.”

In 1995, Tom laid down his shears at Anderson to work under his own name until 2001, when he turned his blog into the tailoring house English Cut. He tells me that back in the day, tailors and cutters did not mix in social circles, however Tom did, partly due to being a friendly northerner. “It was actively discouraged,” he points out, yet he managed to persuade Paul ‘Griff’ Griffiths, whom he worked with at A&S, to come and join him as co-director amongst the heather-clad, rolling hills of the Lake District. The two have since built a tailoring house quite unlike any other. Further underlining Tom’s knack for doing things differently — in a similar fashion to blogging — the move to Cumbria and away from the epicentre of bespoke tailoring became English Cut’s USP, and the fact that it consistently has customers travelling north for fittings only speaks volumes of English Cut’s quality. 

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Benedict Browne

Benedict is The Rake's Associate Style Editor.