Bespoke Men’s Suits and Shirts
Introduction to the Cad & the Dandy Brand
Cad & the Dandy was founded by former banking professionals, James Sleater and Ian Meiers in 2008, after they were both made redundant from their jobs in the city of London. They both chipped in £20,000 of their redundancy payments to form the brand which offers high-end, bespoke machine-and hand-stitched tailoring at a competitive price with a unique Cad & the Dandy twist.
In 2010, Cad & the Dandy began an association with former world middleweight and super middleweight boxing champion Chris Eubank. Once a regular customer, Eubank now designs a range of clothes exclusively for Cad and the Dandy, which increased the client base with customers from the world of sports, music and fashion.
Also in 2010, just two years after the brands inception, to recognise the brands innovative approach to bespoke tailoring, Cad & the Dandy received the Bento Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the prestigious Macworld Awards. The award is designed to recognise entrepreneurs from around the UK whose actions have had a dramatic effect on their own lives and in turn may have impacted the industry they work in.
Since 2008, the Cad & the Dandy has grown quickly, building up a network of seven self-employed tailors in the UK and employing 32 more in China, and conducting fittings all over the world. As of 2011, Cad & the Dandy operated from three London locations, including a shop at the home of bespoke tailoring, Saville Row (in association with Chittleborough and Morgan), a store within the city of London that opened in 2009, and a showroom at Canary Wharf.
Bespoke Cad & The Dandy Suits With Original Artwork Linings as Part of the ‘Rebel of Uniformity’ Innitiative.
Cad & the Dandy: The Rebel of Uniformity
The Saville Row based brand has found a unique way to combine fine art and bespoke tailoring with their ‘Rebel of Uniformity’ initiative. In 2010, Cad & the Dandy teamed up with BusinessPunks, a Munich fashion label, to offer modern and unique twists to their suits with original linings that are works of art from artists including Paul Karslake, Kim Okura and Saskia Porkay.
In 2011, inspired by the successful collaboration with BusinessPunks, the brand entered into a new collaboration with DNA Art UK, to produce truly unique and personal suit linings. Customers are sent a DNA swab kit in the post,. Customers then return the DNA sample to Cad & the Dandy, who then us it to generate an image of their genetic make-up that is printed on the silk used to line the suit, in a variety of colour options. Bespoke suits just got even more personalised!
Also in 2011, (again inspired by the collaboration with BusinessPunks), Cad & the Dandy created a novel gift solution, ideal for the businessman who spends a lot of time away from his family. The label now offers a service to scan children’s artwork and print it on the silk suit lining.
“This is much, much better than the cartoon character tie Christmas present that many fathers feel obliged to wear. This way they can feel that a small part of their child is always with them,” – James Sleater.
As the ‘Rebel of Uniformity’ innitiative shows that Cad & the Dandy are not you’re typical Savile Row tailor and they have continued with that reputation by creating a bespoke boilersuit for Top Gear presenter, James May. The brand were approached by James May in June of 2011 to help him create a new fashion idea for the modern gentleman to wear to any occasion. Cad & the Dandy came up with the bespoke boilersuit of which they made two, a black and a blue that could be turned into work wear, formal and smart casual all with the aid of a few attachments features and embellishments.
“If you are a man, I feel that practicality should always trump fashion. Boilersuits are used by everybody from pilots in the army to racing drivers to people who clean your drains. The one piece overall is what all males secretly desire”
James May Strutting his Stuff on the Catwalk in his Cad & the Dandy Bespoke Boiler Suit.
The Future of the Cad & the Dandy Brand
The company is growing fast with turnover of £1.3m in 2010, a figure most labels would dream of achieving after only two years. In 2011, the brand is expected to grow their turnover to £1.5m, which will surely help in their ambition to become the UK’s largest bespoke tailor. However, the brand in hindered by a lack of skilled tailors within the country. To help with this issue and enable further expansion, the brand has initiated an apprenticeship scheme.
During 2011 the brand plans to expand globally starting with New York and areas such as Switzerland and China, countries where the brand already has a strong client base and where English brands are seen as extremely desirable. Additionally, in July of 2011 the brand announced that Ben Westwood (Vivienne Westwood’s elder son) would be teaming up with Cad & the Dandy to produce a ready-to-wear collection. Cad & the Dandy insists the collection will remain true to its luxury aesthetic, whilst possessing Westwood’s signature “edge”. Watch this space!
Cad & the Dandy has found its niche in the marketplace as a brand with a modern approach to traditional English tailoring. It will be interesting to see the growth of the label, in a market where many see the differentiator of suit makers as minimal. DNA inspired-lining is sure to help!
Read more about Cad & the Dandy on the official website here