Aston Martin Magazine -Issue 51
Updated: Aug 10, 2022
From Savile Row to a new generation of fans, Craig Featherstone gives us the inside track on his exclusive bespoke tailoring brand
WORDS Charlotte McManus PHOTOGRAPHY Rick Pushinsky
"Suits do a lot more than just look good,"says master tailor and Savile Row savant Craig Featherstone. "They also make you feel confident." With almost three decades of sartorial tailoring experience under his belt, he's well positioned to comment. To put on a suit is to dress up. It holds you in and makes you stand straighter. Once you're wearing a suit, you're ready for business."
Growing up on the Cottonmill estate in St Albans, Featherstone enrolled on a fashion design course at the age of 16, after discovering a talent for sewing clothes labels on his mother's old sewing machine. He then made the acquaintance of David Chambers, a neighbour and highly respected Savile Row tailor. After imploring Chambers to take him on as an apprentice - even offering to work for free - Featherstone was inducted into the time-honoured art of making men's suits.
"Savile Row is all about individual trades, You have a jacket maker, a trouser maker, a waistcoat maker, and they usually don't know how to make each other's garments. I was lucky enough to be taught all the different crafts by one guy, the best tailor I've ever known," Featherstone says of Chambers. "He designed suits for people like David Bowie and Harvey Keitel, making some of the best clothes in the entire world out of a shed at the bottom of his garden."
After 14 years under Chambers, Savile Row beckoned for Featherstone, and there was still one aspect of tailoring that he had yet to perfect. "I wanted to be a master tailor, but still I needed to learn how to cut," he explains. "You can't start your own business without knowing that."
The young tailor set off for Mayfair and had a chance meeting with Ozwald Boateng OBE in the street. Boateng was impressed with Featherstone's coat which, naturally, he'd made himself, and this led to a three-month stint working with the top designer.
Featherstone was then headhunted by Henry Poole, a founding brand of Savile Row itself, where he rose to director level within three years. Crafting suits for presidents, members of the aristocracy and the royal family, he also caught the attention of Aston Martin VIPs.
In the late 2000s, Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman commissioned Featherstone to make a tailored Savile Row car cover to present the Aston Martin One-77 - the marque's inaugural hypercar for the 2008 ParisMotor Show. "I love challenges," Featherstone says, and agrees with Reichman's description of Aston Martins as "athletes in tailored suits": "Aston Martins are performance cars, but they're elegant and beautifully shaped."