Hillary Clinton may have made history this week by becoming the first women candidate elected to a major party, but across the pond, another woman is also making history as the first female tailor to open up her own shop on Saville Row. Kathryn Sargent opened up her shop on the famous street in April, and since then has been dressing everyone from male opera singers who need space in their suit to breathe deeply, to women who want a suit made as well as men do. A classic jacket costs $4,300 at her store, while a two-piece suit costs $6,200.
Predictably, it wasn’t easy for Sargent to get to this point: she was turned down for an apprenticeship at the famous Henry Poole because she was a woman, but was able to work at Gieves & Hawkes for a long time before setting up her own shop in 2012 on a nearby street.
Unlike at many of the other shops on the Row, Sargent prefers to make her suits custom to whatever the client wants — she does not impose her own style on them.
“You’re not creating a Kathryn Sargent-style suit and making it for everybody,” she told Bloomberg. “I always make it about the clothes. It’s not about me.” And her method seems to be working; she has been profitable since her first year open.
Most likely, Sargent won’t remain the only woman to have a shop on the famous row: according to Bloomberg, two thirds of the graduates of the Saville Row tailoring diploma program have been women since the program started ten years ago.