Whether or not you choose to undertake this online course (six parts and over 30 hours of video) in Savile Row tailoring does not diminish from its interest. There’s a lot of potential thrill in gleaning some of the Illuminati-like wisdom of the barons of bespokery. But something broader is at play, too.
Your instructor, Trinidad-born Andrew Ramroop, certainly appears to have the bona fides. Founder of the Savile Row Academy and managing director of Maurice Sedwell tailors, in 1998 he became the first person of colour to own a shop on the hallowed strip.
What’s interesting is how paths into traditional men’s tailoring are guarded jealously by gatekeepers with chalk on their peak lapels and tape measures around their shoulders. A protective instinct which – as in so many things – just ends up leaving the protectorate seeming fusty and elitist – an overtended garden.
And though a two-thousand-dollar online course may not precisely be the acme of the open-source ethos, it does speak a to the need for traditional trades to become more generous with their secrets. Odd that the internet – so anathema our traditional conception of artisans – is often the conduit for that connection.