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Our Story

Jacob Elordi in statement pink for GQ’s Men of the Year awards; Stormzy in stand-out Shantung silk for the Brits; George Clooney in the classic charcoal wool twill suit that he took from the rail himself; Elton John on stage and off…

The common thread (excuse the pun) is Richard James, which, as the only winner of the British Fashion Council’s of-the-moment Menswear Designer of the Year award to practise the time-honoured craft of bespoke Savile Row tailoring, occupies a unique place in the world of men’s fashion.

 It all started in the ‘80s at the then-groundbreaking Browns boutique in London when Richard James, the menswear buyer and an aspirant menswear designer, met Sean Dixon, the Saturday boy who was busily studying for a degree in fashion during the week. They decided to do their own thing, and set their sights on Savile Row, which is now a thriving centre of quality tailoring and style, but was then a little bit démodé and down on its luck. The idea was simple: to produce classic, impeccably crafted clothing and push the boundaries with colour, cut and design.

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The first, very small, store opened in 1992 at 37a Savile Row and came as something of a shock to the established tailors on the street. Firstly, there was no frosted glass, so you could actually see in through the windows, which was not considered good form on Savile Row at the time. And then there was what you could see through the windows… “We liked the idea of a cut with a nod towards a British-made suit, vented at the back and waisted, with slanted pockets. Nothing too unusual, but we introduced interesting fabrics and colours: a lime-green sweater under a tweed suit with a hint of yellow running through it, that sort of thing,” recounts Dixon. 

"We wanted to make Savile Row sexy and exciting. We’ve always respected its history and craftsmanship, but we have just done so in our own way. "


Certain of the established tailors on the street were unimpressed (“They won’t last five minutes,” was one of the milder pronouncements), but the word about Richard James was out, and two of the very first visitors to the store were Elton John and Gianni Versace, who created something of a stir when they exited bearing a large part of its contents…

The style press soon took note, and hand in hand with that came a sea of celebrities, a good number of them from the world of the arts. Tom Cruise was dressed for the Oscars, Hugh Grant for Bridget Jones’ Diary, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro for George magazine (in camouflage suits; a much-copied Richard James innovation), Oasis’s Gallagher brothers for their weddings, a regularly returning Elton John for all sorts…

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When the store moved to No. 29 Savile Row – the largest space on the street - in 2000 and installed wraparound plate-glass windows, the pavement outside fast became a prized paparazzi stalking ground. Further expansion followed in 2007 with the opening of a dedicated bespoke tailoring store on Clifford Street - directly across the road from the Savile Row flagship - and in 2018 Richard James crossed the Atlantic and launched a not insubstantial store on Park Avenue in New York.

Today, you will still find Richard James behind the wraparound windows at 29 Savile Row and at 461 Park Avenue. But the Clifford Street store has now been reimagined and relaunched as Richard James House, a club as much as a space, that, over three floors and 2,500 square feet, showcases exactly what Richard James is all about. And there are also stockists throughout the world and an all-reaching ecommerce operation. Richard (who, incidentally, was awarded an OBE for services to men’s fashion in 2018) retired a few years ago, but remains in spirit as well as name, and Sean is very much still en situ as Managing Director.

So, things have changed a little bit since Richard James first opened its doors. But one thing that hasn’t (and won’t, ever…) is the original idea: to produce classic, impeccably crafted clothing and push the boundaries with colour, cut and design.

"There is an odd atmosphere these days in Savile Row. Nothing tangible, you understand. But from time to time, people stop to peer with uncertainty, with incomprehension, even with vague horror through the plate glass window of No. 37a. There’s a new boy on the Row, and he’s causing quite a stir."

Nick Sullivan, Esquire UK, September 1992

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The largest space on Savile Row and home to our seasonal ready-to-wear and year-round classic ready-to-wear collections. 2,000 square feet dissected down the middle by a dichroic screen that varies in colour, luminosity and reflectiveness. No day is the same at the Savile Row store… 


A space that at once sums up what Richard James is all about. The former bespoke store at 19 Clifford Street now showcases – over 2,500 square feet and three floors – a full range of our ready-to-wear collections and our bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring services, plus a first-floor lounge and cocktail bar, an events space, a cloth library, changing and fitting rooms, and a fully equipped workshop and cutting area. It’s a cliché, but it’s an experience.

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2,260 square feet in a landmark building on the corner of Park Avenue and 57th street. Seasonal ready-to-wear and year-round classic collections, plus regular visits from the bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring team in London. Savile Row goes to New York.



The lighter and less structured a suit is, the trickier it is to ensure that it holds its shape and drapes exactly as you want it to. This, as demonstrated by the Chapman, is where a precise, well-practised cut comes into play. The completely natural, unpadded shoulder ensures effortless ease of movement. And the gentle compression at the waist and very slightly higher armholes add length and enhance the slim silhouette. The trousers are classically cut and straight-legged and work as well on their own as they do with the jacket. Derived from our original, modern-classic Hyde block, this is the suit that we have always been celebrated for.  



A coat so-called not just because of its big, cuddlesome bearing, but because the soft, deep-pile alpaca used to make it is supplied by Steiff, the famous German teddy bear manufacturer. Richard first approached Steiff, which owns one of the last alpaca mills in Europe, with the idea of making a real teddy bear coat (don’t be fooled by non-ursine imitations) shortly before the first Savile Row store opened in 1992. And the wonderfully warming and faintly whimsical end result has remained a winter fixture at Richard James ever since. If you do down to the woods today… 


Easily, unfussily elegant, this is the shoe that was designed to complement the Modern Classic cut of Richard James’ trademark trim and waisted tailoring. The very slightly slim and elongated last (the mold around which the shoe is constructed) was made to the house’s own specifications in Northampton, England - the home of the best British shoemaking since the 17th Century. Fully welted and bench-made in calf leather for everyday wear, black patent leather for nights under the lights and unlined suede for summer, the Walton loafer is the quintessential Richard James shoe.