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Dege & Skinner is the only Savile Row tailor to provide its own one stop bespoke shirt making facility. Cutter Tom Bradbury tells Daniel Evans about learning this rare craft


GET SHIRTY I


f it weren’t for his grandfather, Tom Bradbury would probably not be talking to me now, front-of-house at Dege & Skinner, explaining the intricacies of bespoke shirt making and the enjoyment he gets from being involved in such a specialist


craft. Like a lot of young people, when he was 16 Tom began his


A levels but decided it was not for him – “I don’t know why I tried. I hated doing tests,” – so he ended up spending a fair amount of time with his grandfather, David. “He was a joiner so every Thursday I’d go and work with him, to learn his trade and skills,” Tom tells me. “We’d just do stuff together as I’d always enjoyed doing practical things with my hands. I told him I was interested in fashion and had been looking for work around Carnaby Street and he said: ‘If you want to be in the clothing industry then get yourself down to Savile Row and work with the best’.” “I’d never heard of Savile Row and didn’t have a clue what


he was talking about. It was never mentioned in school. You have all these career advisers but they never discussed the clothing trade and that the height of luxury was to get a suit made in Savile Row. You just don’t get taught that sort of thing at school.”


So, armed with his grandfather’s advice and his own CV, Tom came up from his home in Orpington to London and went in and out of the shops on Savile Row. Tom takes up the story. “I came into Dege & Skinner and talked to the person by the front door. ‘Can I speak to the MD?’ I asked. ‘That would be me,’ said the man.”


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