Cut above: Pioneering female Savile Row tailor 'thrilled' by new venture
A female tailor has made history by becoming the first woman to open her own tailoring house in historic Savile Row.
Kathryn Sargent, who has dressed royalty, actors, politicians and leaders of industry, opened her premises in London's Mayfair on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old master tailor, who is originally from Leeds, spent 15 years at Gieves & Hawkes, rising through the ranks to head cutter, before opening her first store in Brook Street in 2012.
Having always been "enchanted" by Savile Row, she said: "It feels wonderful, and like a real sense of achievement - it is just great to have your shop and your garments on display for people to see."
With a career spanning 20 years in the west London district, she said she was "delighted" to be opening a shop in Savile Row, and also at the prospect of being an inspiration to other women.
"I am thrilled to be making history, although for me being a woman is incidental, I am a tailor first and foremost," she said.
"There's more and more women coming through now and doing the training - 65% of the newly-qualified tailors last year were women. It is more diverse.
"But Savile Row has always been diverse, people from all over the world work in Savile Row and clients are from all over the world as well - it is a global destination for tailoring and it is the best in the world."
Opening for spring and summer as a seasonal residency, tailoring for both women and men, Ms Sargent said she discovered her passion for the trade while studying at fashion college in Epsom, Surrey.
She said the new store will showcase the trade and her garments.
"We will be cutting suits out in the window and also we have done a display to explain the process of having a suit made.
"I really wanted to present all the elements of the craft so people can walk through the story - it is a real visual display and I want people to come away feeling energised by that and understanding a bit more about it."
Her house does not have a specific style, and from the initial consultation to the finished product, the garments are tailored to the wearer, their lifestyle and requirements.
Bespoke two-piece suits made by Ms Sargent have a starting price tag of £4,200, with made-to-measure suits costing £1,500.