Benson & Clegg
Benson & Clegg has been tailoring bespoke garments for over 75 years and have earnt a reputation for creating the very best suits that can be found in the Savile Row district. We have an expert and experienced team of cutters, pressers, coat and trouser makers all working to create the finest hand made English clothes.
What business aspects have led to the success of Benson & Clegg?
One of the things that makes me so proud in leading a company like Benson & Clegg is its history and heritage. We were founded in 1937, so this year we celebrate our 80th anniversary, quite a milestone for a company in these turbulent times. We had the most esteemed honour of being tailors to His Majesty King George VI and received his Royal Warrant in 1944. Then in 1992 we were further honoured by receiving a second Royal Warrant to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as providers of his buttons, badges and military neckwear.
I think that where our company has been so successful is that we have broadened our offering to more than just tailoring. Over the years we have developed to now offer a fantastic collection of ready to wear suits and shirts, as well as our renowned range of accessories such as cufflinks, buttons and ties. It’s our mission to create an impeccable English wardrobe for our customers.
We are known internationally for what we do, and every day I am being contacted by tailors and menswear companies from across the globe who are looking to stock our range of products and be affiliated with our brand. These are exciting times for the business and I am confident that Benson & Clegg will continue to grow in the coming years.
What do you think is the future of tailoring? Do you see technology replacing the essential art of tailoring for instance, cutting, measuring or producing bespoke suits?
Of course when one talks of tailoring and its future I think it’s important to differentiate between bespoke tailoring and made to measure. In terms of bespoke tailoring, that is to say the traditional hand made process, I think it will become increasingly distilled to a select few companies that are prepared to invest in taking on apprentices to hone their skills. To be able to craft a bespoke garment is an art that takes years of practice and dedication, not something that can be taken on as a whim. It is, and will always remain, an artisanal product unaffected by technological advances. In almost all senses our bespoke suits are crafted in the exact same manner that they were 80 years ago.
Where technology has already played its part in tailoring is of course the made to measure category, with the proliferation of custom made suits appealing to the consumer’s desire for ever more personalised products. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We are proud of our made to measure service which is a fantastic stepping stone to bespoke, and a terrific product in its own right, offering significant benefits from ready to wear. I can see a time in the future with technology being increasingly used on this aspect of tailoring with the use of scanners and cameras, but if I am honest I do feel it somewhat takes the soul out of the process.
Technology will only take a good fit so far. To achieve the perfect fit requires a tailor to be able to manipulate the garment in a way that only a human being can. Personally I would rather see young people being trained in the skills to keep the trade working in the traditional manner.
What is Benson & Clegg’s unique value proposition and how do you acquire your customers?
For those who are familiar with Benson & Clegg, our name and history tends to speak for itself. We rarely find ourselves having to give a sales pitch! Our customers know that when engaging with our team they are talking to people who are experts in their field, passionate and dedicated to their art. At Benson & Clegg we are less interested in making a sale, but more interested in developing a relationship. Our customers and friends tend to be with us for years and as such we know exactly what they need, and how to best to give them everything they want.
Perhaps one of our biggest draws as a company is the fact that we have held two Royal Warrants, and as such we have a long proven history of being able to provide the highest standards of quality, excellence and service.
Coming into Benson & Clegg for a suit we are able to show customers all of the work that is done on site here at 9 Piccadilly Arcade, where they can see the garments being cut and meet the tailors perfecting their garments.
And of course when we cut the customers clothes our team still use the same cutting board that was used to cut King George VI’s clothes on, so one knows when commissioning a Benson & Clegg suit that one is indeed getting a garment fit for a King…