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December 3, 2010

Suits you, sir

By Spear's

Why is the tailor Lutwyche sitting in the shoemaker Lodger?

‘It was a natural thing to do,’ says Tony Lutwyche, sitting in the basement of the Lodger store on Clifford Street. Something about this scene may strike you as unusual yet oddly congruent: why is the tailor Lutwyche sitting in the shoemaker Lodger?

Lucky for Lutwyche and Lodger, it fits quite well (as you’d expect from bespokers). At the start of October, Tony Lutwyche bought Lodger, created by Nathan Brown, in the sort of happy sartorial merger not seen since tweed jackets met leather patches. Their values – particularly the made-in-England and artisanal principles – were key. Now the shop on Clifford Street has both shoes and suits (ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and bespoke), and gives Lutwyches its first retail outlet. (Or should that be shopping experience?)

Lutwyche is under no illusions that both are niche businesses, but he sees this as their strength, and the recent trend towards true luxury – craft, elegance, originality, limited production – supports this. He rejects ‘season-to-season’ fashion, but does see secular trends in his clients: ‘If bankers were buying big, bold charcoal stripes with red linings’ – which they’re not – ‘the City was on its way up.’ They say hemlines reveal the economic climate, but that’s too gynocentric and lascivious – judge the situation by the suit.

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