Oliver Cross is a cutter here at Meyer & Mortimer and has been with the business for 3 years. Hailing from the Midlands, Oliver is a lover of wine and song and brings a passion to bespoke tailoring that was born out of a visit to London when he was 17. He is our latest Q&A instalment and answers our questions here.
How did you get into tailoring?
At 17, I came down to London from the West Midlands with my friend on a Beatles tour. We wanted to see where they played the infamous rooftop gig in 1969 which took us down Savile Row to number 3. I just remember at the time being in awe of the shop fronts and displays. It was a while longer before I got here but that’s where the seed was sewn for sure.
So how did you finally get to where you are now?
Well since that visit I bought a lot of books on Savile Row; its history, the characters, the reinventions embracing pop music in the 60s to the modern day. I devoured books and books on the subject.
Can you remember any particularly good books on the subject?
Yes, The London Cut by James Sherwood which goes through The Row’s 200 plus year history; a brilliant book.
Oliver Cross aka Oliver Reed
So how did all this reading get you down to London?
I was working in finance, which I didn’t like at all, but was studying tailoring at a college in Inkberrow, Worcestershire. I came down to London to knock on the doors and was told at the time to do more training. I quit my finance job and got into the London College of Fashion and commuted down from the Midlands to do it. After more door knocking around Savile Row and a stint selling hats part-time around the corner, I finally got taken on at Meyer & Mortimer as an apprentice cutter. I have been here 3 years now and now hold the title of Cutter.
Where did you get your first suit from?
It was an Oswald Boateng: two piece, light grey mohair. I shortened the sleeves and took in the bottoms. I loved that suit at the time.
And your first bespoke suit?
A two-piece suit made from pick-and-pick cloth*, which is a kind of weave. Meyer and Mortimer had the cloth in the shop since the 70’s and I immediately fell for it when I came across it.
So who is your favourite band; The Beatles still?
Yep, absolutely with The White Album being my favourite album.
Editor’s Note: Between customers a lot of cutters at M&M do fancy themselves as good singers with Oliver firmly being in that number. We hear regular acapella renditions of The Fab Four’s classics along with excerpts from The Stones’ Exile On Main Street and the songs of Al Green, should he be in the mood.
Oliver Cross still gives The Beatles the thumbs-up
What book are you reading at the moment?
Slaughterhouse-Five by the American author, Kurt Vonnegut.
Who would play you in the movie Oliver Cross; The Savile Row Story?
Oliver Reed! [laughs]
Thai beef salad at the moment: flat iron steak with ginger, garlic, fish sauce, honey, spring onion, lime juice, fresh chilli, soy sauce, lettuce, pomegranate and alfalfa shoots. Tasty!
Tea or coffee?
Coffee every day.
The future of Savile Row?
It will always exist albeit in a more concentrated form.
*Pick-and-pick is a twill weave made with picks in alternating colours.