Music, fashion, film, art and design. Our tailoring sits at the intersection of them all. At Edward Sexton, we’ve worked with creative, professional and artistic leaders since 1969. Our suits have taken centre stage everywhere from landmark album covers, to rock-aristocratic weddings, to remarkable films and live performances. Rooted in art deco elegance, energised by 1970s swagger, we create suits for individuals who value creativity above all else.
As a house, we’ve played a part in dressing the zeitgeist since the early ‘70s. When Edward co-founded Nutter’s of Savile Row with his business partner, Tommy Nutter, the shape of men’s tailoring changed for good. We made bespoke suits as fashion pieces, and we approached the craft of Savile Row through young, rebellious eyes. Our work spoke to artists, actors and models, and we’ve been dressing these characters ever since. In 1969, The Beatles strode across Abbey Road in bespoke Edward Sexton suits, creating the cover image of an album that would transform pop-culture. Twiggy and Justin de Villeneuve were early supporters of ours, too. In 1973, Mick Jagger married Bianca Jagger in St-Tropez in a cream gabardine suit, a look that Mark Ronson referenced with his Sexton wedding suit to marry Josephine de la Baume in 2011. Andy Warhol and David Hockney both wore Sexton, as did the premiere designer of his generation, Sir Hardy Amies. When, in 2011, Naomi Campbell modelled one of our creations for a photoshoot, she was so smitten she became one of our closest clients. Bill Nighy and Rhys Ifans wear Sexton in The Boat That Rocked, while Benedict Cumberbatch has worn our suiting to present Saturday Night Live. In 2017, Harry Styles’s design team came to us to create an entire bespoke wardrobe for him, filled with bold, block-colour gabardine suits, to launch his solo career.
We have a proud history of working with musicians. Quite apart from our close relationships with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, we’ve also styled Tinie Tempah, Jarvis Cocker, Adam Lambert, Annie Lennox and David Gray, to name just a few musical clients. Having made several suits for Mick, we dressed Bianca Jagger for many years, helping her to shape her powerful feminist image in punchy, traditionally ‘masculine’ bespoke tailoring. We also worked on Elton John’s surreal aesthetic, creating the remarkable panel-back and sequin-studded suits he wore to perform live in the ‘70s and ‘80s. John Lennon and Yoko Ono both travelled the world in our tailoring, and Duran Duran asked us to dress Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzegovia, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and Yasmin Le Bon in the music video for Girl Panic, in 2010.
Distinctive by Design
High-profile fashion designers have been drawn to our tailoring’s sweeping lines and architectural curves for decades. We’ve dressed Sir Hardy Amies, Bill Blass, Manolo Blahnik and Bruce Oldfield, not to mention the many collaborations with leading brands we’ve worked on over the years. In 1997, Edward worked closely alongside Stella McCartney to launch her first collection for Parisian couture house Chloe. McCartney had previously been apprenticed to Edward, while studying at Central St Martins. We’ve also consulted for Rick Owens, created a ready-to-wear line for Saks Fifth Avenue, and in 2014 collaborated with the high-fashion label SIBLING to create a series of slim, modish bespoke suits for a catwalk show at London Fashion Week. In 2008, we showed our own bespoke collection at London Fashion Week – one of the first ever catwalks to show both men’s and womenswear at LFW. Our work in disrupting the identity of Savile Row tailored laid the path for a new generation of contemporary, fashion-forward tailors to emerge in the ‘90s, including Richard James, Timothy Everest and Oswald Boateng.
When Nutter’s of Savile Row opened on Valentine’s Day 1969, it did so in the middle of a social revolution. The old world’s class system was crumbling, to be replaced with a new elite made up of working class actors, pop stars and the rock aristocracy, who took the world by storm and tapped into new, vibrant youth cultures. As a tailor from a working class family in Dagenham, Edward understood the landscape, and many prominent celebrities of the day connected with the Nutter’s look. Dramatic, rebellious and unashamedly sexy, our work was as much about rebellion and class disruption, as was about self-expression and independence. These are themes we still draw on in our tailoring today. We like to think that at Edward Sexton we make clothes for people who really understand the power of self-expression, and we enjoy creative conversations with our clients.
Tailored to Innovate
In recent years, our creative director, Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, has worked closely to move the dial in British tailoring. From designing and launching our ready-to-wear collection, to developing our cutting-edge Offshore Bespoke tailoring service, which blends traditional tailoring technique with modern manufacturing, Dominic has always been interested in the intersection between time-honoured craft and modern technology. He has worked closely with Edward for 15 years, and he understands the Sexton look inside out. Dominic also works closely with our clients, and has helped to translate our work to an incoming generation of bespoke and ready-to-wear customers, developing a contemporary, relevant look that remains true to our values and philosophy.
“A suit is about so much more than dressing a person. It’s about romance, and presenting an image”
– Edward Sexton
The Early Years
Before he opened Nutter’s of Savile Row, our founder, Edward, had worked in tailoring for more than 15 years. The fourth of six children, born to a working class family, Edward started running errands for his uncle’s tailor’s shop in 1954, aged just 12-years-old. It was here that he learned how to tailor down his school trousers into fashionable drainpipes, and the basics of how to press, cut and sew cloth.
At 14-years-old he got a similar job in a small West End tailor, and aged 16, he landed a role as a trimmer, finishing bespoke suits with buttons and hand-stitching at a prestigious bespoke tailor called Harry Hall, with premises on Regent Street. In 1961, aged 19, he moved to celebrity tailor Cyril Castle, who dressed Roger Moore in the Bond films. Following a stint there, he jumped across to Kilgour, French & Stanbury, his first job on a Savile Row, where he accelerated his learning under the tutelage of Fred Stanbury, who was acknowledged to be one of the master tailors of his generation. Under Fred’s eye, Edward learned to cut and began to experiment with the makings of what would become ‘The Sexton look’, making for private clients in his free time.
After four years at Kilgour, Edward moved to another high-profile tailor, Donaldson, Williams & Ward, who worked from a smart shop and showroom on Burlington Arcade. It was there that he met his future friend and collaborator, the late Tommy Nutter, who was working as a front-of-house salesman. Together, the two hatched a daring plan. Between Tommy’s gift for schmoozing and Edward’s daring approach to cutting, the two planned to open a tailoring house with a radical new look. Tommy found some backing from two clients, Cilla Black and Peter Brown, and Nutter’s of Savile Row was born.
When Nutter’s opened, it was the talk of the town – and it was meant to provoke a response. Tommy and Edward burned giant purple penis shaped candles in the shop windows, and created displays that saw bespoke suits overflowing from upended trashcans. When other tailors were making fusty grey business suits behind closed doors, Nutters’ huge glass windows were always open, with lime green gabardine suits or bright red and navy checked sports jackets on show, paired with cream flannel trousers. Edward’s suits, with their exaggerated lapels, Oxford bag trousers, dynamic built-up shoulder pads and long, flowing jackets, perfectly captured the new, rebellious energy of the late ‘60s. It was the look that came to define the 1970s, and the confident, sophisticated proportions of our bespoke tailoring remain true to this today.