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Quit your job, become a... tailor

Danielle Goldstein

Alistair Nimmo 28, assistant cutter at Kathryn Sargent, Savile Row

Savile Row, eh? Fancy! What attracted you to that gig?

‘I studied fashion at Edinburgh College of Art and during my final year my mum gave me a book on bespoke tailoring for Christmas. I found it really interesting to read how everything works on Savile Row and the day-to-day life for tailors, and everything just clicked.’

What's that day-to-day life like, then?

‘Every day is so varied because we work around the clients, but typically I get in just before 9am. I’ve always got cloth-cutting to do, I meet with customers, I deal with suppliers and chase our tailors for work.’

What's the most outlandish suit you've made?

‘We’ve had a few interesting commissions over the years, but we keep our clients anonymous. It’s a bit like going to your doctor: a lot of people come to us in confidence and we try to keep that for them.’

Borrrring! How about dishing gossip on Savile Row snobs?

‘It’s very grounded, to be honest. I don’t know another industry out there where you’re on the same street as your direct competitors, yet you’re all good friends and all support each other. It’s a really nice industry to be part of.’

Given the chance, how nerdy do you get over tailoring?

‘We’re all incredibly passionate about cloth samples and button choices. I’m very attached to my shears [tailoring scissors] because, when my grandma passed away, there was some money divided between the six grandchildren and it was the exact cost of a proper pair of bespoke shears. I thought that was a fitting tribute to her, to get a pair of shears that I’m going to have for life.’

What's the highlight of your job?

‘Taking something from an idea to a completed garment and seeing a client happy. That’s really rewarding.’

Hours: 40hrsp/w

Starting salary: £10,500-£13,500 p/a

Qualifications: bespoke tailoring pre-apprenticeship course

Or, why not become a street food seller?

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