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Under Cutters, Part 2

Joe Holsgrove

Already a fully trained coat maker, Joe joined the company in 2019 to further his knowledge of cutting under Senior Cutter, Tristan Thorne.

Following a seven year apprenticeship, in 2015 he won 'The Golden Shears Award’, once described by eminent style writer and author Eric Musgrave as “the Oscars of the tailoring world``.

What appealed to you about working on Savile Row?

'To me, the Row is very special. Quite simply, it's home to the pinnacle of menswear. A small community of various tailoring houses co-exist and strive to uphold the traditions and values of true bespoke tailoring, each with their own unique interpretation of an age-old craft, passed from master to apprentice, down through the generations.'

But in fact, I never wanted to be a tailor!

‘To realise my then ambition of attending art school, I did work experience at tailor ‘Denman and Goddard’. This fulfilled the ‘fashion’ quota of my portfolio and accompanied my application. I soon realised that my keen eye for detail and creative energy could be channelled into creating fine bespoke garments, and went on to spend time working at ‘Edward Sexton’.’

‘After completing my A-Level exams I returned to ‘Denman and Goddard’ to do a full seven-year apprenticeship in coat making alongside a fine gentleman named ‘Dino Constantinou’. He is, in my opinion (and that of many others’), one of the most skilled craftsmen ever to grace our trade.

My time with him enabled me to have a thorough understanding of tailoring and the capability to create everything from jackets to tailcoats, as well as waistcoats and trousers – having never held a needle properly beforehand.’

Golden Shears Victory

After countless hours by his side, in 2015 I went on to win 'The Golden Shears Award’, six years before the success of this year’s ‘Rising Star’, our very own Jon Pickering.

Jon is completing his training under coat maker Emma Martin, herself a finalist in the Golden Shears Awards.

Dege & Skinner is a rarity, a family business. Are you following any family into the trade?

'Well, my grandfather ‘George Holsgrove’ worked for 'Kilgour, French and Stanbury' during its heyday between the 1950s and 1970s. His fond memories of his time in the trade and his lasting friendship with ‘Edward Sexton’ initially inspired me to spend time in tailoring, and still drives me to create beautiful garments today. Here's my grandfather photographed in the changing room at Kilgour, French and Stanbury in 1956 by Peter Nielsen.

What’s it like to be back at work at 10 Savile Row?

‘It’s great to be back in London’s ‘West End’, wearing ‘proper clothes’ again and feeling part of such a unique community. I’m fortunate that I have the capability to make clothing for myself so spent most of the various lockdowns making myself new suits, as well as turning my hand to making scrubs for the NHS.’

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