Q&A: Trainee Cutter & Social Media Jason Smith

In is 40s, Jason Smith is new to tailoring and joined us from the bespoke tailoring course over at Newham College. He has been with us for a few months now learning the ropes while helping us out with our social media.

How did you get into tailoring?

Well, I’m not quite there yet. I am working here at Meyer and Mortimer in a work-experience capacity after completing my Level One in Bespoke Tailoring at Newham College. A mutual friend put me in touch with shirt maker Sean O’Flynn and over a period of a few months I’d ostensibly ‘popped by’ to say hello to keep on their radar. After a few months of this, and after completing my course at Newham, Paul Munday here, the director, agreed to take me on a work-experience capacity while helping them with their social media and blogging.

Lover of bespoke tailoring, Iris Murdoch & heavy rock

So what have you learnt so far?

Lordy! A lot. Newham was great on building on an existing understanding of sewing introducing me to new hand stitches, pockets and making a waistcoat but it is here at Meyer and Mortimer that I’ve received the best education. At first, it was running around London picking up supplies, making coffee and fetching the milk, etc. Then after a while, I was introduced to trimming which is basically collecting all the materials that go into a coat (aka jacket) and trousers like linen, canvases, zips, buttons, etc. I was then moved onto striking and cutting. Striking is the process of chalking around a customer’s pattern on their chosen cloth– using the thinnest lines possible, including all darts, details and pockets and then actually cutting it out.

How is the actual cutting experience?

Nerve racking, not helped with one of the cutter’s here (who will remain nameless) shouting “Not like that!!!” when I brought shear to cloth. He was joking of course but I have cut cloth costing £400 per metre which really requires all your attention to cut the right line and not into an inlay.

And you’ve been helping with the social media?

Yes and it’s been great starting Twitter from scratch and filling it with exciting and valuable content. I’ve also written a number of blogs for the website around Meyer and Mortimer’s history of visiting customers overseas and interviewing the people here.

What was your first suit?

I’d enrolled at a sales and marketing college in Nottingham in the 80’s and was taken to Burtons and was bought a charcoal heavy weight wool suit.  It was a good sturdy winter suit but very hot come summer.

Always in the saddle: Steve Tyler

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’d like to say an Iris Murdoch novel, who is my favourite writer of all time, but it is, in fact, Steven Tyler’s biography (the lead singer of Aerosmith), Does The Noise in My Head Bother You?

So does this give us an idea of your musical tastes?

Yes and no. I do love my hard rock/metal; listening to a lot to Van Halen (pre-Hagar); AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Faith No More, Aerosmith, etc. I also love Elliot Smith, Pavement, Roxy Music, Haim and a great dance orientated band from the U.S called !!! (aka Chk Chk Chk) who I’m going to see in October.

Who would play you in the movie Savile Row, the Motion Picture?

Well, I would’ve said Jason Statham as we look alike and share the same physique <laughs>. However, Sean O’Flynn has already chosen him and Brian Lewis has already chosen Mark Strong. I don’t know, a taller, younger Bruce Willis or Paul Munday here suggested Josh Brolin; I’ll take that!

Tea or coffee?

Both. Love them both for slightly different, yet very important, reasons. It’s all to do with the time of day.

Future for you and Savile Row?

I know over the years the industry has shrunk but it’ll always be here as it represents the very best in tailoring quality and they’ll always be a global demand for that. As for me, I’m very happy here at Meyer and Mortimer but I am keeping my eye out for a more permanent opportunity. I hadn’t considered how much I’d fall in love with this industry and its challenge of learning an Everest amount of information which is daunting yet fascinating at the same time.

Note: Since this piece was published, Jason now dedicates his time to social media and blogging for M&M, and designing and building this new website (Oct 2016).