In 1865, the renowned Savile Row tailor, Henry Poole, made a bespoke revolutionary creation for the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to wear in the afternoons at home. Made from blue velvet, it had the same features as his beloved ‘smoking jacket’, plus it had a better fit and included a simple clasp.
A few years later, the prince, invited to a ball in the US, hosted by millionaire James Brown Potter, who lived in Tuxedo Park, on the outskirts of New York, appeared in his favourite “informal” outfit. Since then, for Americans, the tuxedo has been called a tuxedo.
“Henry Poole & Co” having curated, throughout its existence, the formal attire of presidents, prime ministers, generals and celebrities such as Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill, and having survived wars and financial crises, has managed to be considered to this day, the “must” destination on Savile Row for “made-to-measure” suits.
The British publishing house Thames & Hudson in collaboration with bespoke “expert” James Sherwood, as a tribute to Savile Row’s oldest costume shop, have created a book called “Henry Poole & Co.: The First Tailor of Savile Row”.
It is definitely an essential addition to the library of “sartorial” lovers and “gentlemen” everywhere. It took ten years of editing to create it. The book includes both rare and contemporary photographs of the company’s history and highlights not only the relationship between the company and its customers, but also the entire process of hand-crafting the garments.