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Timothy Everest interview

(June 01, 2011)

Interview with Timothy Everest

Timothy Everest, the bespoke tailor and designer, has been running his tailoring business in Spittalfields, East London, for over 20 years. In 1982 he became apprenticed to legendary Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter (who had famously dressed The Beatles on the cover of their Abbey Road album), leaving Haverfordwest for the city life in London. Everest was part of the "Cool Britannia" generation of the 1990s, launching the New Bespoke Movement with fellow trendy tailors Ozwald Boateng and Richard James. For the past 12 years he has been Creative Consultant with Marks & Spencer, and designs the suits for theirSartorial and Autograph menswear collections.

From rock stars to Hollywood royalty, film stars to Prime Ministers and all points in between, Everest has dressed some of the world's most famous people, including: Burt Bacarach; Mick Jagger; Jay-Z; Tom Cruise; Colin Farrell; Robin Williams; David Beckham; Amir Khan; Gordon Brown; and David Cameron.

Proudly Welsh, Everest shares some thoughts with Cymru Culture on the past, the present and the future.

Timothy Everest portraitTimothy Everest


CC … What first interested you in fashion and design?   

TE … The trouser maker at the local market.


CC … Did you ever feel the call of the restaurant business, to follow in your parents' footsteps? 

TE … Yes, until they said I had to cut off my long hair if I wanted to consider a career in the kitchen, but having worked in the kitchen with my mother for many years and long hours, I have great admiration for the trade, but it was definitely a reality check.


CC … Your surname is quite uncommon. Do you know of any family connection to another famous Welshman named Everest, George (after whom the mountain was named)? 

TE … I would like to think so, though I am currently not aware of any connection although I am currently tracing my family tree. My full name is Timothy Charles Peto, and I have just found out, that I was supposedly named after Samuel Morton Peto, a Victorian entrepreneur who built the infamous Reform Club and then became one of the major contractors to build the rapidly expanding railways, to mention a few.   


CC … Moving from Haverfordwest to London in the late 1970s must have been quite a culture shock. Did you find yourself missing home, family and friends after the initial excitement wore off?  

TE … To be perfectly honest, although I missed family and friends, it was a very exciting time and I had little time to reminisce about home. It took a few years until I truly appreciate the idyllic life I had in Wales.

Timothy Everest, atelier
Everest at his Spittalfields atelier


CC … London Welsh people I know tend to either seek out fellow Welsh people, travel home at every opportunity or make the most of all London had to offer (or more usually a mixture of all three). Do you recognise the type?  

TE … I have lots of Welsh acquaintances and lots of Welsh connections. We seem to seek each other.


CC … What are the main changes to the industry from when you began your apprenticeship in Savile Row?  

TE … There is a greater recognition of Savile Row and British tailoring.


CC … How would you define your sense of style?  

TE … Individualistic!


CC … Is it important to you for fashion to have a sense of individuality?

TE ... Yes!


CC … Your ranges cover a wide spectrum of clientèle in terms of price, and you worked with the high street on a number of ranges. Would you say your ethos is that beautifully cut clothing should be accessible to everyone?  

TE … Yes, even a handmade bespoke suit, which has a high retail price, doesn't have to be elitist. The price might make it exclusive, but it shouldn't be elitist.


Timothy Everest, workroom
Everest at his atelier


CC … In one of your recent blogs (3 April 2011) you describe yourself a "proud Welshman". How does this normally manifest itself? 

TE … I find myself always talking about Wales.


CC … Some of your recent ranges focus on functionality as a key element. Is it important to you that clothing should be more than just beautifully cut?  

TE … In my opinion, there is nothing worse than putting a beautifully cut suit in the wardrobe and only wear it on special days and holidays. You should respect your clothes and wear them accordingly.


CC … What are your plans for the Timothy Everest brand over the next five years?  

TE … Hopefully to build a bigger 'small' business internationally. And of course, to define the modern wardrobe and to set the benchmark for British tailoring (and Welsh of course).


CC … Other than those for whom you have already designed, is there a particular celebrity (past or present) for whom you'd love to design? And whose sense of style have you particularly admired (again, past or present)?  

TE … I'd love to dress Prince Harry. I am greatly inspired by Tommy Nutter. I have recently curated an exhibition on him in The Fashion and Textile Museum in London and it is great to see his work gaining a new generation of followers.


CC … You regularly travel to the proverbial four corners of the world for your business. How often are you able to return to Wales? How do you feel when you see the Severn Bridge(s)?  

TE … I return about four to six times a year.  It makes me very feel relaxed, excited and nostalgic.  


CC … What advice could you offer readers who would love to pursue a career in the fashion industry? In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?

TE ... Follow your instinct. In hindsight, there are always small aspects that could have made your life easier, but generally, I have no regrets.


CC … Timothy Everest, thank you.


© 2011 Caregos Cyf. | Hawlfraint - All rights reserved 

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