Kathryn Sargent broke the British tailoring mold as the first female to set up shop in London’s Savile Row. From royals and politicians to bold-face names such as David Beckham, Sargent has dressed a range of figures in her career. No stranger to Savile Row, the 41-year-old master tailor was the first woman to become a head cutter in 2009, working at Gieves & Hawkes for 15 years before launching her own bespoke label in 2012. Here, she talks about her Savile Row career, lifting weights and her interest in carpentry.
This story first appeared in the May 4, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
How does it feel to be the first female to set up a shop on Savile Row?
I’m the first female trained and qualified tailor to have her name above the door, so to set up a shop here feels pretty special. This has always been an ambition and a dream. Coming through the ranks and training here on the street, it is a real sense of accomplishment to come back and open a shop here.
Who are some of the famous people you’ve dressed?
It’s a bit like going to the doctor; you can’t really talk about individual people as such. Part of the reason they are coming to you is for the discretion so we don’t talk about our clients unless they are deceased.
Have you ever had an uncomfortable experience during a fitting, like a marriage proposal?
No, never had a marriage proposal — wish I had! It depends on the individual — some people are very interested in you and what you are doing and your career, and with others, it is really about the suit and the job at hand.
When you’re not working what do you do for fun?
I like going to the gym and I like lifting weights. You get a feeling of empowerment and strength that I like. It’s about a year-and-a half since I started lifting, deadlifting and doing squats. You get a little bit fixated about trying to lift heavier weights every time.
I am quite a foodie. I love discovering new restaurants. I dine out once or twice a week. I like the Polo Bar at the Westbury hotel and the restaurant at the Beaumont hotel. My friends run a restaurant in Ealing, near where I live, called the Walpole. It is such a great neighborhood restaurant and I am there quite a lot. There is this Japanese restaurant called Roka in Charlotte Street in Mayfair. I love Japanese food as well.
If you weren’t a master tailor what would you do?
I would be a carpenter because I love marquetry. If you go to some palaces or beautiful homes, you can see the design works all cut out like parquet flooring. I am obsessed by parquet flooring because it is about precision.