Tailoring firm AW Bauer & Co. has refused to give up. As Scandinavia’s only preserved tailor sewn here some of the world’s top costumes, completely after all the rules. In a two-part series of articles visiting our site Stockholm tailor to find out the craftsmanship behind and the future of tailored clothing.
Anyone who has ever bragged about his tailored suits from Thailand The holiday learns after a visit to the AW Bauer & Co. throw himself much more restrictive with the concept tailored. The small tailoring company at Brunnsgatan in Stockholm is not only one of its kind in the Nordic region, but are also considered to belong to one of the world’s top tailors (Financial Times). Here are sewn costumes for the old school uncompromising craftsmanship. The customer list names like August Strindberg, Anders de Wahl and Gösta Ekman.
AW Bauer & Co. was founded in 1863 by John W. Bauer, who had Danish jew background. It was at a time when what we associate with the modern suit began to take shape, not least through arch dandy George Beau Brummell who got the British aristocracy to throw their ornate silk gowns in favor of a more subtle style of dress suit jacket and long pants. John died in 1872 and his brother Adolf W. Bauer took over the business, hence the name AW Bauer. Adolf ran the tailor for 20 years before his son Louis was responsible. 1923 was hired Curt Moberg springchas. Then there were three cutters and 30 tailors. Louis died in 1948 and Curt Moberg took together with the cutters Hilmer Berglöf and Einar Taurus Branch of the business then located amidst the commerce of Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm. During a period in the 70s Bauer was owned by the department MEA, but when they went bankrupt bought Curt with her son Börje Moberg up the majority of the company.
Today is owned and operated tailoring firm of Danish-born Frederik Andersen and Martin Ekolin, who both trained at the Savile Row tailors Henry Poole & Co. in London. Frederik and Martin got to know each other at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, where they worked as a theater tailor. Frederik was tired of sewing costumes and sought to Bauer to get an apprenticeship. Bauer was driven then by Börje Moberg and the industry’s legendary tailor Göran Johansson. Both had gone vocational school in Sweden and then trained further in Benson, Perry & Whitney in London. After persistent persuasion, Fredrik finally a place.
– I received no direct with open arms. Scene Tailors has long been considered to be the lowest in the hierarchy among the tailors. Goran was hesitant if he even had the energy to drive the tailor on, let alone school up an apprenticeship. But eventually I got a place at the table opposite Goran. The first thing he told me was, ‘Forget everything you learned previously and we will see if it can make a real tailors of you. ” Although he always sat with his back turned towards me had full control of what I did. As soon as I picked up a pair of scissors he asked what I would do with it. But he was also an incredible tailor. He had refined his technique so he could sew two jackets on a 50-hour week. It is not unusual that tailors need twice the time, says Frederik.
When Goran ended Frederik decided to buy his share of the company. Half a year later, Goran away. The orders were at high and Frederik then called up his old colleague Martin to cope with the pace. Martin had the day of Frederick rang signed a year contract to stage a tailor at the Municipal Theatre, which he tore up.
– I still have the right chilly relationship with the City Theatre, says Martin with a smile.
Although it happened since AW Bauer opened almost 150 years ago is the working methods of tailoring remains relatively unchanged. All garments are cut and sewn by hand with at least three tests on the customer. Kostymens building pikeras with horsehair and vattulin to create the right balance in the suit, which is considered the primary significator for a tailor-made suit. But determining the exact definition of what tailored actually means today is not easy. In England erupted there three years ago a debate about the word Bespoke long been vouchsafed only first-class tailoring, but now the British equivalent of the Market given the green light to use a much wider context. Something with Savile Row’s tailors go through the roof. Frederik smiles when asked about how the word tailor come to be used.
– We have no interest to the debate. The very definition is not the most important. Our customers know that much of what is today called the tailor can not compare with the work we put into every garment. But I think it is a bit comical when, for example, shoes are called for tailor. It is not as if tailors engaged in shoemaking.
Many of Savile Row’s tailors have in recent years shifted more towards clothing and made-to-measure. Is that a possible development for Bauer?
– I think it is to shoot itself in the foot. Tailoring is just a cover and the brand itself watered down. So we do not want to work. A major problem is that it is no longer tailor who owns the business without investors with completely different demands on returns.
Is there really a future for tailored clothing?
– We are confident about it. But the profession has changed. It used to tailor any other craft job anywhere. Those who were tailors often chose it for the simple reason that they could not afford to educate themselves. Today it is a much more conscious choice to become a tailor. From this aspect, the profession’s status restored. Unfortunately, awareness among consumers today about what really tailor is still very low. Tailors have tremendous pride in their profession, which I unfortunately believe have hampered development. Setup has previously often been that “those who do not understand are not welcome.” Many have been poor at communicating what it is that makes custom-made unique. There can be few people know what a tailor can accomplish. At the same time, I feel that more people are waking up to the tailored garments and craft behind.
The biggest threat to skrädderiets craft looks Frederik nevertheless be no competition from the clothing industry or inadequate demand but lack of future tailors. The profession is hard and not particularly well paid. Vocational training is almost completely closed. Fredrik has just brought in three female apprentices from the Crafts Academy in Stockholm to train them in the profession.
– In the past, the hierarchy is very clear. There were sartorial pubs in England where uniform tailors, which was considered the most noble, sat on a small pedestal and by rank followed the rock, kavaj-, trouser and last of västskräddarna. It was unimaginable that women would sew jackets. Today, the lack of skilled tailors it difficult to work that way. And I certainly welcome a more open environment.
How do you see the future of AW Bauer?
– Our ambition is, and I am aware that this may sound a little cocky for a tailor shop in a back street in Stockholm, will be the world’s premier tailoring. But the challenges are many. Our success depends entirely on how well we manage to refine the craft and pass the knowledge on to new young tailor.