The superior workmanship and high-quality materials Filipinos have come to associate with men’s clothes made on Savile Row are now in the Philippines—in the form of ready-to-wear office and weekend staples from The Savile Row Company.
The UK brand recently opened its first store in Manila at the ground level of SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall, and is exclusively represented locally by Stores Specialists, Inc.
The company began in 1938 in what is regarded the center of London’s centuries-old tailoring tradition, a street called Savile Row.
Through the decades, The Savile Row Company has remained a family business supplying men’s RTW such as shirts, suits, pants and accessories to many of UK’s leading department stores.
It has also maintained a small made-to-measure business and now runs seven stand-alone stores in the UK, including its flagship store on Savile Row.
Under the helm of managing director Jeffrey Doltis, son of founder Gerry Doltis, The Savile Row Company began expanding in recent years in Asia, including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
“We want to introduce our brand first to the Philippines by providing the market with our ready-to-wear collections,” said Doltis.
The Savile Row Company produces two RTW collections a year. All clothes are designed in London and manufactured in the European Union using the finest materials sourced from the UK and China.
In keeping with tradition, The Savile Row Company doesn’t do women’s wear.
“We also offer accessories like silk ties, cufflinks and pocket squares,” Doltis said. “We will soon be introducing our belts to the Philippines. Our shoes are too wide and heavy for the Asian market. We’re still developing something different to make our footwear more relevant here.”
It won’t be until early 2016 when the brand starts to offer its made-to-measure service to Filipinos. Once that happens, customers will have to wait for at least a month to wear their $3,000 custom-made suits, since everything is done at Savile Row itself.
But the office and weekend dandy can now experience The Savile Row Company’s brand of luxury through its double-yarn polo shirts and wrinkle-resistant dress shirts that come with single-needle tailoring.
Doltis vouches for their quality, which, he claimed, is equal to, if not better than, that of other luxury brands producing more expensive shirts.
“It’s quite common even among makers of more expensive formal shirts for their collars to curl inwards after two or three washings,” he said. “Ours don’t because our shirts are designed to last for several years.”
Shirt buttons are also attached with “lock-stitch” thread so they don’t easily fall off.
The shirts’ hefty quality and hanger appeal extend to the brand’s pants, ties and off-the-rack suits, which come with hand-sewn components and striped lining under the sleeves.
And since not all men are blessed with a model’s body, the brand’s pants come with a unique adjustable clasp.
“It allows the trousers to expand a bit around the waist,” said Doltis. “You would still look and feel good after dinner as you did before the meal.”
Thanks to the brand’s trademark “peach finish,” weekend chinos in neutral and a handful of bold colors are soft and velvety to the touch. Thick but soft polo shirts are made from two-fold cotton produced by using a double-yarn system.
For starters, The Savile Row Company is introducing two sets of suits in deep blue and charcoal gray. It plans to introduce more styles and shades in the coming months.
And best of all, since these items are off-the-rack, they cost only a fraction of what consumers would spend on made-to-measure suits and shirts from Savile Row.
“We can offer men’s luxury clothes at affordable prices because we don’t hire expensive celebrity endorsers,” said Doltis. “That’s not what we’re about.”
Doltis is optimistic about The Savile Row Company’s future in the Philippines. He considers the country one of the most exciting men’s wear markets in the world today.
“First, the Philippines is politically stable,” he said, “perhaps even more stable now than the UK. The economy is doing very well and there’s a burgeoning middle class that knows and appreciates quality.”