LONDON — Gresham Blake is taking a city break from his Brighton residence.
This month the British tailor, known for his quirky style and roster of celebrity clients, has added a London studio to his business, with long-term plans for an online ready-to-wear retail facility, women’s rtw and a stand-alone London store.
“Most of my clients are here,” said Blake. “It made sense to set up a base.” Currently Gresham Blake has a 1,563-square-foot store in costal town Brighton, offering ready-to-wear, semi-bespoke and full bespoke suits for men and women, alongside ties and accessories.
The company was founded in 2000, and counts Christian Slater, Steve Coogan and Fat Boy Slim DJ Norman Cook among its fans. “Repeat commissions make up 70 percent of my business,” said Blake. “I know I’m doing something right.” Gresham Blake ties are stocked at Bloomingdale’s and the London boutique The Cross.
The new Gresham Blake studio, a 672-square-foot space, is based on South Molton Street, among such trendy boutiques and accessories shops as Browns and Browns Focus. It’s also near Savile Row and Bond Street. “I’m not trying to compete with Savile Row,” he said. “I think this fits with the Gresham Blake image. I’m doing my own thing.”
Blake said the studio space, housed on the third floor with rich, gray shag-pile carpets, red suede sofas, and fabric curtains made from pinstripe suiting fabric, was intended to be a lounge for clients. “I wanted it to look classy, but funky. I wanted people to feel at home.”
There are also plans to use the property’s 450-square-foot roof garden for al fresco fittings in summer. Blake said that currently women’s rtw was scheduled for launch in March 2008, but could not give further details on the time frame for his stand-alone London store, or online services.
Prices at Gresham Blake currently run $978 for a rtw suit and $2,526 for a full bespoke suit. Ties retail for $115, and shirts at $115 to $252.
Blake’s current annual sales volume is $2.94 million, but with the introduction of the new London space he hopes to up that figure to $3.59 million. “Everything so far has grown naturally. I want to keep doing what I am doing,” said Blake. “If you have a business, you are always just trying to move it forward.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast