Six years ago, I was a headhunter in the technology sector. Fast forward to last Thursday evening and I’m playing the piano at 9.30pm outside my own bespoke tailoring shop in the Victoria Quarter, drinking Champagne and enjoying the adrenalin buzz that came with throwing a truly wonderful opening party.
My family were in attendance and serious respect must go to my friends who made it all the way from London (Flynny), Amsterdam (Pete), Bournemouth (The Parrott) and Huddersfield (Alan). Yes, I know Huddersfield isn’t that far but you have to understand that ‘The Bainer’ doesn’t like to leave the village.
I was also really chuffed by the support shown from Yorkshire Textiles plc. All the top brass from Dugdales, John Fosters, Taylor & Lodge, Bateman Ogden, Dormeuil, Scabal, Hainsworths, Premier Worsteds and W.T Johnson (who finish the cloth) attended. Some even came bearing gifts, putting paid to the rumour that Yorkshiremen have short arms and deep pockets..
Members of the press and fellow VQ tenants popped in and of course there were my wonderful customers who had made the effort to put on their Michelsberg finest and make the trip into Leeds on a school night. It was an eclectic mix of senior public figures, barristers, bankers, movers and shakers, a mathematics professor, VAT inspector and a couple of guy’s who should probably be locked up!
The butterfly’s were fluttering at 5.30pm – ‘will anybody come? – and then it kicked off. Take a hundred and twenty people, add fifty bottles of Champagne, two great bartenders (Sophie at Harvey Nichols and Greg from the Malmaison) a pianist (Stewart Garden) and I think it’s fair to say that fun was had by all.
I made a speech – any excuse to take centre stage! – and was quite sincere when I raised a glass to my customers and suppliers who ultimately make it possible for me to do something that I truly love for a living.
I suppose you only get one opening night and mine went like a dream. I only hope it goes as well for one of my actor customers, Matthew Lewis, when he struts down the red carpet at the next Harry Potter film premiere. He’s just taken delivery of a rather sharp black three piece suit in silky smooth Dormeuil cloth. Nice to think my threads will be alongside those wanabees Tom Ford, Armani and Prada!
So there you have it, we are now officially open for business in the VQ. Our recently introduced bespoke shirts are flying out the door and the cash register is ringing. Good news for me. Good news for my family. Good news for my landlord. See you all again at the the Christmas Party