ROW ON THE ROW: The disquiet over Abercrombie & Fitch’s plans to open a branch of its Kids store on London’s Savile Row just won’t go away. As reported last month, Abercrombie is looking to consolidate its presence on the Row with plans to open a Kids shop at No. 3, next to Gieves & Hawkes. It already has a flagship on the corner of the Row and Burlington Gardens. The statements from Savile Row Bespoke, the industry body that represents the tailors and fabric suppliers, are becoming increasingly impassioned. The latest one says: “Savile Row is known the world over as the home of bespoke men’s wear and is one of London’s most famous streets. As a result we can appreciate A&F’s desire to be a part of this — the irony is that their presence serves as a gradual erosion of the very character of Savile Row that they wish to benefit from. The questions for Westminster Council and the people of London are: Do we want Savile Row to become just another high street? Bespoke tailors have worked here for over 200 years — that’s what makes this place special. Lose it, and it’s gone forever.”

The organization added that it’s not opposed to new entrants on the Row, noting that it welcomes the planned Alexander McQueen men’s store, which is set to open later this year, onto the street. Earlier this week, the London-based men’s magazine The Chap gathered around 40 protesters — dressed in 1940s suits — to demonstrate against Abercrombie’s plans to open at No. 3. “Our protest isn’t simply about resisting the global spread of chain stores selling casual wear, which market forces have made inevitable,” said Gustav Temple, editor of The Chap. “It’s about preserving a little corner of Englishness in London. It’s only one street, for goodness’ sake, and why shouldn’t it remain exclusively dedicated to bespoke tailoring?”

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