February 27, 2013 by Ville Raivio
“I’ll be 48 this year and am married to Claire and have two young sons. My children are of course more interested in Disney’s “Cars” than anything Dad’s doing. I was educated in my home rural environment and then our local Grammar school. Before attending collage on a course which I had no interest in but seemed useful at the time I took a summer job with local tailors S.Redmayne Ltd. I was eighteen years old and my interests were, as you’d expect girls and alcohol (well I though this was normal). This work allowed me access to one, the money then ultimately two, the girls. That’s about how interested I was in fashion and style. By sheer coincidence and good fortune I found this work thoroughly enjoyable and challenging and with the help of the owner and long time friend Michael Wigglesworth who inspired me to stay for an apprenticeship and then to go to college to study pattern cutting.
Basically, without trying I inadvertently found my career. This I never expected but I knew I was home. My friends and family were basically shocked and couldn’t believe what I was doing as this was a total departure from the careers of my siblings. Never the less they were please for me as they could clearly see that although young I was very happy and exited for the future. I worked for this company for just over 6 years then I moved to Anderson & Sheppard were I stayed until I left and started my own business. In that time you never stop learning and I’m always open to every piece of new skill that may help with our challenge of making cloth do our will.
We started [English Cut] in January 2005 ! It was simply an idea of a friend of mine called Hugh Macleod who said what I did was far too interesting to just have an ordinary website. So, I started to write and thought no one would pay attention but it ended up in the London Times top 100 blogs. It was the original, first, tailoring craft blog. Everyone who said they didn’t like it at the time all now have bogs. Funny that;) My style and our house style is of course most clearly influenced by Anderson’s. My training before them gave me the technical ability but they were the icing on the style cake. Our clothes I hope reflect our company. Relaxed, honest and and more interested in the individual wearer’s comfort and confidence than our branding.
As you’ve pointed out there are hundreds of tailors in the world and why choose English Cut? Well, put simply I’ve nothing to say apart from the fact we want people to know us, to talk to us and see if we like each other. We’re not for everyone so we don’t have our arms outstretched wide for business. Don’t choose us on here say or a name to impress your friends. Research us and look at what we do. If you like what you see then let’s talk. Oh, and bear in mind we’re not quick..
With family life I don’t have a lot of time for myself outside of the business. However, when I’m home I teach navigation and sailing at a local Sea Cadet Unit. Also, we often hold teaching workshops at our office and when time allows I try to inspire in my own way the next generation of cutters. This will be my next event at the British Fashion Council in early April. Where I’ll be demonstrating cutting using our freehand method.”
Pictures: © English Cut