The first Cad & The Dandy store opened in the City of London in October 2009 and in July 2010, the then-fledgling organisation, which also holds trunk shows every eight weeks in New York City, won the Bento Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Macworld Awards.
Sleater and Meiers have also received praise from those in the know — and from national newspapers — for the service they provide (which includes both bespoke and made-to-measure). I spoke to Chrissey Sullivan, a member of the team.
Please tell me about Cad & The Dandy. Where did the name come from?
“Cad & The Dandy was loosely named around the idea of the duplicity of character in Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest, where a different style of dress is worn in the city and the countryside.
“We wanted to break down the stuffy barriers of naming the business after ourselves, like every other tailor. Moon Pig showed us the importance of a memorable name and Cad & The Dandy tends to stick! We wanted a name that would both stand out and be memorable.”
What does Cad & The Dandy offer that no other tailoring service offers? What is unique about the brand?
“We combine classic sewing with a more modern silhouette, a stronger waist and a softer shoulder with a nod to fashion. We use the age-old traditions and methods of bespoke tailoring combined with a modern approach to the use of technology, streamlining the customer experience.
“Savile Row in general has been slow to embrace technology, with one well-known tailoring company actually making the news a few years ago for introducing the use of emails!”
Please tell me about James Sleater and Ian Meiers. I gather their professional backgrounds were not in tailoring, but that they had relatives involved in the industry?
“Ian’s mother was a bespoke couturier who worked on many high profile garments, including clothes for the Queen. James’s family made cloth. Thus both were given an introduction to fine clothing from an early age.”
You now have an office and shop on the world famous Savile Row. What is it that makes that particular street so special and how has it changed over the last 20 years?
“Savile Row is the home of the bespoke suit, with an unrivalled history and global reputation for tailoring excellence. Many tailoring companies have opened on the Row in the past 20 years, helping to eradicate the stuffy image that was once associated with the long-standing tailors on the street.
“However, with the arrival of big American casual wear brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, along with consumers often being led to believe that cheaper made-to-measure suits are bespoke when they’re not, the survival of Savile Row as the benchmark for tailoring is still on a knife edge.”
The company has achieved acclaim and won awards — and also works with dandyish former boxer Chris Eubank. What is the secret to your success?
“We have an open approach to the tailoring process, helping to educate our customers and give them a better understanding of the craftsmanship and processes involved in the making of their suits.”
What is your role within the company? How long have you been working for Cad & The Dandy?
“I am the Digital Communications Manager, working closely with James in his role as Marketing Director. I have been working for the company for three years.”
I keep hearing how men these days are returning to tailors in droves. It must be a pretty good time to be involved in the profession at the moment?
“We have seen a big rise in awareness of mass garment production recently, which has given customers more incentive to shop with integrity. The bespoke suit represents the pinnacle of this approach as the customer is able to see every stage of production, from selecting cloths and linings through to the finishing touches of hand-sewn buttonholes.”
Who are your clients? Do you get people from all different walks of life? Have you made suits for anyone famous?
“Our clients range from royalty to icons of the entertainment industry and everything in between. However, our main client base are men aged 30 to 45 who care about their appearance and are not willing to settle for the quick easy fix of the high street.”
Please describe your own personal sense of style. What advice would you give to men who want to instantly improve the way they dress?
“James prefers to wear separates rather than sticking to classic suiting as when done correctly this can be more elegant and reflective of the individual. However, this approach does requires more consideration and when you’re short on time, nothing is quite as good as a classic sharp blue suit.”
What are your proudest achievements and plans for the future, professionally speaking?
“Being voted one of the Top 30 People in London under 30 was a definite proud moment. Plans for the future are to grow and increase the brand and to continue being considered one of the world’s top tailors.”
For more information on Cad & The Dandy, visit their official website.