Savile Row to be safeguarded by Council

Posted on

Savile Row to be safeguarded by Council



Iconic Savile Row was the host of controversy in 2012 when American brand Abercrombie and Fitch opened a childrenswear store on the street. The area has been home to tailoring since the late 18th century. As such the opening stirred debate over the possible threat to the authenticity and cultural history of the street.

In response to such concerns, Westminster City Council has introduced a ‘special policy areas’ policy in order to protect some of culturally and historically rich areas of the city. This new protective policy includes the institution of bespoke tailoring, Savile Row, as well as Harley Street and St James’ and Portland Place. In layman’s terms it guarantees that the council will reject planning proposals that threaten the character of these locations.

The opening of Abercrombie and Fitch signalled a wider problem of global brands threatening the iconic street. The new policy promises to make it more difficult for such companies to dilute the character of the area, providing protection for smaller independent businesses.

Westminster City Council deputy leader and cabinet member for the built environment, Cllr Robert Davis, addressed the problem, saying, “Our historic tailors and art traders and coming under intense pressure from other disparate users eager to rent in the area. We are using our powers to protect some of the capital’s most valuable assets and create environments where specialist traders can thrive. Special Policy Areas will ensure [that] we retain and nurture the world leading expertise that made these areas famous in the first place”.

As a result of the new policy all new stores on Savile Row must trade in “bespoke tailoring uses”, “sell bespoke, unique, limited-edition or one of a kind products”, and must be “complementary to the character and function” of the place.

Tailors of Savile Row have shown immense appreciation and support for the breakthrough policy. Chairman of Gieves and Hawkes, Mark Henderson, announced that he was “pleased that Westminster City Council have taken action to protect specialist trades on Savile Row. As one of the area’s oldest tailors, we’re proud of our road’s unique status, which attracts the best talent and brings us clients from across the world”.


Savile Row to be safeguarded by Council



Written by Emma Kate Hall

Emma is an English student at King’s College London. She loves reading, writing and travelling and hopes to pursue a career in fashion journalism full time after her degree.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert