The Disruptors

Kathryn Sargent on shaking up Savile Row

In our new series of monthly interviews, Mark Harvey – Walpole Board Member and Chief Marketing Officer of Chapel Down Group – will speak with some of the fastest rising stars of British luxury who are challenging the established players in their sectors. First up, the indomitable Kathryn Sargent...
30th Jun 2022
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The Disruptors Kathryn Sargent on shaking up Savile Row

During her fifteen-year career at Gieves & Hawkes, Kathryn Sargent rose to the position of Head Cutter – the first woman to do so not just at the storied tailoring house, but in the entire history of Savile Row. Today, she travels the world creating expertly-crafted garments for both men and women, providing comprehensive bespoke, couture and made-to-measure services all under her eponymous brand.

Mark Harvey: You’re competing with some giant brands along Savile Row and with great success. How are you doing this?

Kathryn Sargent: I think I offer something a little different to those other companies. Yes, like many of them I am founder-led and I drive the personality of the business, but Savile Row tends to be pretty traditional and masculine. Here at Kathryn Sargent, we are very open and progressive in mindset, tailoring for men and women. I want my studio to be welcoming to all sorts of people from all different walks of life. We have a very open and inclusive approach.

What have you learned from the largest companies in your space and what do you do differently?

I learnt my craft at Gieves & Hawkes at No 1 Savile Row for 10 years and benefitted hugely from the experience and wisdom of a number of mentors within the company including Robert Gieve, the fifth generation of the Gieve family working in the business. I cherish the times spent with Robert who instilled in me the importance of customer service. The way he interacted with clients was super impressive and I take a lot of that with me today. You can’t overstate the importance of customer service in our trade – you must listen and problem solve. Actually, I have probably taken that even further in my own business. My offering to clients is an entirely bespoke experience and product. Many of the established names along Saville Row are about their signature pieces, for me the client and their needs are 100 per cent my focus.

 

How does your company benefit the wider community?

Sustainability is at the heart of our business. At this end of the market we make garments of the highest quality that will last the customer’s lifetime and beyond – the very opposite of fast fashion I guess. The majority of our ingredients are locally sourced British cloths and then hand-made on the premises. We want to protect our craft and a certain way of doing things and we are developing talent and skills in the workshop that are then passed down to the next generation. And we’re not alone. With the Savile Row Bespoke Association, we work together with a number of other tailors who share our values and ambition to build a sustainable industry.

Luxury brands tend to think in generations not years. What is your long-term vision and what will be your legacy?

Thinking beyond my lifetime is unfathomable at the moment, but I definitely want the business to carry on beyond me. We are right at the start of our journey and I want to establish the right ethos and value from the outset. We have a unique offering with me as first female founder along Saville Row. I am excited to train and grow my team, to offer more things to more people without losing my core values along the way. I am excited about the future.

Kathryn Sargent, 6 Brook Street, 1st Floor, Mayfair, London W1S 1BB. kathrynsargent.com

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