Five generations of fine tailoring
The year is 1885. Karl Benz produces, what is widely regarded as the first motorcar; Dr Pepper is served for the first time & professional football is legalised in Britain. The middle of the year sees Victor Hugo depart and D.H. Lawrence arrive. And, somewhere in the industrial heartland of the Midlands, my family: the Robinsons open their first Tailors shop.
Dad has been going since he was 15 years old - hand padding canvases for his Dad to earn pocket money after school. Sue has worked for the family for 48 years, the backbone of our operation, there’s nothing she hasn’t seen in a world where needle and thimble is king. My Daughter, Jess, was handed the same apprenticeship by my Mother which gave way to her teenage years being spent at the Savile Row academy.
It really does seem like it’s in the blood as the child who was sat at the sewing machine -but couldn’t reach the pedals - now divides her time between a top Savile Row tailor and her family business. There are five of us full time now with over 100 years of experience in one work room - still keeping the flame of traditional tailoring burning bright.
"with over 100 years of experience in one work room"
Flash forward a century and a quarter and cloth is still being cut and stitched in the same way: taught to me by my father, as his father before him, and back, and back, falling away four generations. I’m the fourth and, as her Savile row experience continues, my daughter, Jess, will be the fifth.
My mother met my father through the family business. Although she was sitting me up at the sewing machine before I could sit up, when it came to choosing a career, it never struck me to join Dad in the tailoring world. I married in my early twenties and it was my wife, Jane, who asked why I hadn’t joined the business. I was then working in a travel agency but gradually, on my days off, I joined Dad and the spark originally lit from my mother’s encouragement years before was reignited.
Flash forward a century and a quarter and cloth is still being cut and stitched in the same way
But we’re not your average Tailors.
Our entire handmade product is made in-house. Believe it or not, not many people can say that. We measure, draft, cut, sew, fit, sew (some more), fit (some more), sew (even more), finish, and press all under one roof. This means we have full control of the process which results in the highest quality of garment: the buck stops with me and the job won’t leave the workroom until I’m happy and, ultimately, you’re happy. We like to do things traditionally; properly. And that takes time.
We operate from our workroom In Alcester. A town of Roman origin 8 miles to the west of Stratford Upon Avon; close to the Warwickshire/Worcestershire border. When I started, 20 years ago now, we were in a small room with little natural light. We’re now in a much larger room flooded with natural light with an adjoining showroom. Feel free to drop in and have a chat about your next handmade garment - I’ll even make you a cup of tea!