Richard Anderson, author of Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smooth, tells the tale of his career on Savile Row, from his years at an apprentice at Huntsman through his time as a cutter and eventually on to the founding of the house that bears his name.
Known for its clean, military influenced one button cut, for most of the post-War period Huntsman was the most expensive tailor on the Row. It justified its position by being the only firm to keep all production in house instead of using outworkers. Rather than the common practice where a coat was made by a single tailor from start until it was ready for trimming, Huntsman had experts dedicated to each individual stage of the make. The result, as anyone who has been the recipient of two jackets with significantly different looking internal construction can appreciate, was a more consistent product.
The book can be divided into three sections in chronological order. The tale of Anderson's years learning the trade is rich with observations about customers (the names have been changed due to Britain's strict libel laws) and the trade itself. The story of Anderson's own firm is of course the reason the book exists. In between we learn the story of how new owners put Huntsman on the road to its eventual bankruptcy. The book might easily have been titled The Fall of the House Of Huntsman.
Richard Anderson, the firm rather than the author, is one of the more interesting houses on or near the Row, and the tale of how it came to be is worthwhile for any man who bespeaks his clothing or hopes to one day.