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TAILOR MADE: E. Tautz designer Patrick Grant just spent a week in Hong Kong to promote the British menswear label he relaunched in 2009.
Grant attended this week's London Show Rooms Hong Kong, a British Fashion Council initiative to showcase U.K. labels to Chinese media. Among the 12 labels present this year, 8 of them, including names like Matthew Miller and Lee Roach, cater for men.
"While some of the Chinese press do come to our shows, they don't usually get to see the clothing up close and personal," said Grant. "Here we get the time to tell the story of what we do."
Asia has become the single most important region for the brand, which was founded as a tailoring house in the 19th century. "Japan is easily our biggest market now," said Grant, who re-launched E. Tautz after a request from Beams, the Japanese retailer, to start a menswear line under Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, which he also runs.
"Europe and North America are having a hard time but a combination of a stronger economy and an established presence means good business in Japan," he said. Wholesale sales in Korea also eclipse those in the U.K., and from January onwards, his collection will be stocked at Stars, a soon-to-be-launched boutique in Beijing.
Grant however, insists that the rare inclusion of t-shirts in E. Tautz's latest collection isn't a sop to warmer Asian climes. "The mistake that many on Savile Row make is that every collection seems tied to the past," he said. "To me, the essence of Savile Row is beautiful cutting and amazing execution, whether it's for a t-shirt or a heavy woolen double-breasted jacket."