Interview With Karl Matthews


March 1, 2013 by Ville Raivio

‘I am 36 and I am a Savile Row bespoke tailor. I recently announced the birth of my first child on my blog. My uncle ran a local mens formal wear shop where I worked at the weekends. At 14 he taught me how to take up a pair of trousers and dress the mannequin in the window. I guess these early influences may have ignited my interest in classic clothing. From here I enrolled in the local college to study fashion where I discovered Alexander McQueen, who inspired me to apply for an apprenticeship at Anderson & Sheppard. Both I and my fiancée are enjoying family life.


As the focus is on tailoring I will briefly sum up my background:

  • Joined Anderson & Sheppard in 1998 as an apprentice
  • Trained under the late Alan Pitt, Mauro Vito Calo (Now at Richard Anderson), Paul Griffiths (English Cut), John Hitchcock (Anderson & Sheppard MD)
  • One of the only people in Savile Row to do every element of the business. Cutting, Tailoring and Front of house.
  • With Anderson & Sheppard for 12 years

I had a great time learning the traditions and skills of becoming a bespoke tailor, the pursuit of perfection will always be and continue to be a tough road but I guess it’s just what drives you. I travelled the world with Anderson & Sheppard promoting bespoke tailoring abroad through various exhibitions, I was heavily involved in styling the companies clients and creating a range of accessories. All these experiences have made me the tailor I am today. When I joined there was no plan, I soon became engrossed in the world of bespoke tailoring, knowing I was working with one the most prestigious tailoring house in the world, I loved the atmosphere and buzz of the street. Every house has its own secret with Anderson & Sheppard’s being its softness and drape. One day it dawned on me that I would love to have something unique, I wanted to have something I could call my own.

Taking influence from my roots I wanted to create a softly structured garment, so I have re- configured the drape chest, delicately suppressed waist and combined this with a natural shoulder to express masculinity. My own personal style is the same as my approach to tailoring, relaxed and elegant. I like to push boundaries with well thought out combinations; it’s not about throwing colour together just to stand out, it about confidence and self-expression, I will always go with what feels right.

The customer should choose my firm because:

  • We have a heavy focus on personal style, we believe the bespoke process should be fun, exciting and an adventure into self-expression
  • Age
  • Accessibility (we work around you)
  • Innovative, we are traditionalist with a modern edge
  • Bespoke Only
  • Down to earth
  • Competitively Priced
  • Have acquired the skills from some of the most highly ranked Savile Row tailors in the world

Raised waistband with cloth-covered buttons

12 years working for Anderson & Sheppard has provided me with the substance and the tools to create beautifully crafted garments, so with that installed in me, I am able to focus more intensely on styling garments without having to stick to a ridged house styles, we can cater for the more style conscious client. Our house style is fluid and carries influences from all that I have learnt from the row and is confident enough to push boundaries.

Interview_with_Karl_Matthews_at_Keikari_dot_com15Soft and clean lines

I love the art of perfumery and I have a keen interest in blending my own fragrance, one of my most admired perfumers is Fredric Malle who I was lucky enough to meet during my time at Anderson&Sheppard.

It’s important to start with the classics like Navy and Grey as they are extremely versatile and can be worn at almost any occasion. From here I always suggest moving into sports jackets and separate trousers because at this stage you start to develop and eye for combinations, textures and patterns, again don’t go to elaborate at first take small steps unless you are feeling really confident. By this time you’ll have a tremendous awareness of what works for you, leaving you free to begin experimenting.’


Pictures: © Karl Matthews


  1. […] My thanks go out to Ville Raivio for this interview, this can also be viewed on his site: […]

  2. dr. john d. bolden says:

    mr. matthews, i have enjoyed your images on line and i
    count you as an historic bespokeman, yet with a very
    personable attention detail. your skills are on par with
    anyone on the row. andrew ramroop is one that comes to mind
    as being a cut above. you mr. matthews certainly are in that
    class. classic genius, very clean and relaxed, yet
    unmistakably elegant. best to you and family.congratulations
    to your newborn. dr. john d. bolden

  3. […] My thanks go out to Ville Raivio for this interview, this can also be viewed on his site: […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only a beautiful life is worth living.

"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell