Savile Row, the historic hub of British tailoring, mourns the loss of Edward Sexton, an iconic figure who played a pivotal role in revolutionizing Savile Row tailoring during the vibrant 1960s and 70s. Edward Sexton, age 80, leaves behind a lasting legacy of sartorial excellence that continues to shape the global fashion landscape.
A Tailoring Icon and Trendsetter
Edward Sexton, a true luminary of 20th-century fashion, dressed music legends like the Beatles, rock superstar Elton John, iconic frontman Mick Jagger, and the timeless beauty Twiggy. His extraordinary tailoring skills set him apart, making him synonymous with high-profile style.
Collaborating with fellow tailor Tommy Nutter, both hailing from working-class East London backgrounds, they formed a dynamic partnership that shattered the traditional boundaries of Savile Row. Their collaboration with celebrities during the Swinging London era ignited a revolution in men’s fashion that resonated across continents.
A Legacy of Craftsmanship and Innovation
Sexton’s journey began with crafting military and equestrian attire, which laid the foundation for the distinctive style he introduced in the 1960s. Characterized by broad shoulders, wide lapels, and a cinched waist, his designs came to define men’s fashion throughout the 1970s.
In 1969, Sexton and Nutter established Nutters on Savile Row, marking the first bespoke tailor to grace the street in a century. Their store design departed radically from traditional tailors, boasting windows that boldly showcased their offerings. Challenging norms, Nutters catered to both men and women. Esteemed clients included Twiggy, Cilla Black, and Bianca Jagger, who chose their creations for her 1971 wedding.
Taking the reins as Managing Director in the mid-70s after acquiring Nutter’s stake, Sexton steered the business through economic headwinds. In 1982, he ventured under his eponymous label, inaugurating his shop. In 1990, he relocated from Savile Row to the prestigious Knightsbridge.
A Lasting Influence
Sexton’s impact transcended generations. Following his legendary stint dressing the Beatles in the 1960s, his legacy lived on as Stella McCartney, daughter of Paul McCartney, apprenticed at his establishment decades later.
Honoring Edward Sexton’s Heritage
In recent years, the Edward Sexton brand has undergone a transformation, embracing ready-to-wear and expanding its online presence under the guidance of Creative Director Dominic Sebag-Montefiore. Nevertheless, the brand remains deeply committed to the art of bespoke craftsmanship. Remarkably, Sexton made a triumphant return to Savile Row after decades, reaffirming his enduring connection to this prestigious street.
Edward Sexton’s passing leaves an indelible void. His pioneering spirit, impeccable style, genial persona, and unwavering dedication to the craft of tailoring have forged the identity of this house. The team remains steadfast in their commitment to crafting exceptional British tailoring that pays homage to Edward’s legacy, accomplishments, and enduring craftsmanship.