With the optimistic glamour and eccentric style of the 60s in full-swing Nutter’s of Savile Row threw open its doors on Valentine’s day 1969, and Edward’s work had never been in more demand; he had become the master craftsmen for which the great and the good would queue around the corner to commission a suit; with Mick and Bianca Jagger, Twiggy, Justin de Villeneuve, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney being but some of his loyal customers. The flamboyant, exaggerated and yet perfectly poised shapes Edward cut became the stuff of legend; clashing oversized checks, rich velvets, huge kicked-flare trousers, eccentric sweeping lapels and extended concave roped shoulders were all in-demand. Edward’s work introduced Savile Row to a new generation of creative and commercial high-flyers (Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdock were also customers) who until then had not understood the appeal of the stuffy bespoke tailoring offered elsewhere on The Row. Furthermore, Edward has retained this identity as a ‘celebrity tailor’ throughout his working life.
With this reputation firmly established, from the early 70s onwards Edward embarked upon a series of consultancy roles with luxury ready-to-wear fashion brands. Having made clothes for Sir Hardy Amies, Edward collaborated with the brand, producing a luxury ready-to-wear menswear collection. He then collaborated with the American store Wilks Bashford in 1987, and with Sax Fifth Avenue in 1988. In 1995, whilst studying at Central St. Martins, Stella McCartney served an apprenticeship at Edward Sexton. Edward himself helped McCartney to develop her graduate show, with clothes modeled by Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon. In 1997, when Stella became the Creative Director at Parisian couturier Chloe, she “relied on” Sexton to curate her first collection. Edward continued to tutor McCartney in the art of cutting, tailoring and fabric selection for the next two years, playing an instrumental role in her early success.
In 1990, Edward left Savile Row in order to differentiate his work from that of the British bespoke establishment. At this point, the house of Edward Sexton as it stands today was born. Taking residence in a Knightsbridge studio, Edward began to develop his own workshop; overseeing tailors that met his rigorous standards and teaching his personal philosophy on tailoring to this select few. Today, these very same tailors (many having been with Edward Sexton since the founding of the business) ensure that every Sexton suit bears the hallmarks of Edward’s flair for design and effortless technical understanding. The house’s current Creative Director Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, joined the company in 2007 and has helped to pilot Edward Sexton onwards into the unique bespoke house that exists today; developing an accessories collection, ecommerce website, superior made-to-measure service and ensuring that Edward’s tailoring mastery can be passed on to a new generation of customers.
This mastery has ensured that celebrities and artists alike have trusted Edward Sexton above all other tailors to deliver clothes that suit their often very particular requirements. Mark Ronson has a long relationship with the house, and he came to Edward Sexton for his wedding suit. Mick Jagger was also wore a Sexton suit to his wedding and Bianca Jagger’s iconic white silk suit is likewise a Sexton creation. The house has produced suits for Marie Helvin, Naomi Campbell and Annie Lennox, a number of which customers will doubtless recognise thanks to their appearance in various music videos.
When compared with Edward, no tailor has achieved so much, nor captured such an extraordinary sense of the avant-garde in his work: of sex appeal, glamour, style or verve. Little has changed in this recipe for tailored perfection in some twenty-five years. Today, the house of Edward Sexton stands apart as a uniquely talented and alluring British bespoke tailor.