Savile Row is not happy to be sharing a neighborhood with Abercrombie & Fitch. In what is one of the most quintessential examples of British journalism that I have ever read–a perfect mix of snooty and hilarious–the Guardian is reporting that the tailors are irate about sharing a block with the all-American label.
An Abercrombie & Fitch store is currently located just on the edge of Savile Row where “the proud old tailor shops could just about pretend it didn’t exist along with its loudly branded sweatshirts, its Eurotrash and its queues.” Well, it might not be so easy to ignore now. A&F is reportedly planning to open a children’s shop at 3 Savile Row, which is where, coincidentally, the Beatles did their famous rooftop performance. It’s also smack in the middle of the block of bespoke tailors, who took to their local council to complain.
One called the chain “completely out of character” for the block, while another said A&F “dramatically changed not just the tone, but the safety, of the street.” Another said anonymously (and completely unfiltered), “I don’t think anyone objects to moving forward, but a chain store selling crappy clothes to ghastly people isn’t really the direction in which we should be travelling.”
The author of the piece notes, in not very flattering terms, that tourist buses stop there and discharge throngs of eager A&F shoppers onto the sidewalk, forcing people to walk in the streets, which is very dangerous, obviously. The article ends:
Until Westminster Council can pass a bye-law stopping sulky ox-people gangling together and sprawling on to the road with no perception of the existence of other humans, this application should surely be put back on the rack.
Can Savile Row stop the invasion of tacky American brands into their neighborhood?