Paul Munday, one of the directors of Meyer & Mortimer has taken time out of his busy schedule to indulge us with everything, from himself, Meyer and Mortimer, through to his inspirations. Meyer & Mortimer may have been bombed during the war, but they’ve risen from those ashes with a fantastic store on Sackville Street, just down the road from Savile Row.
Keep reading for our interview with Paul:
A little bit about yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Paul Munday, and I am one of the directors here at Meyer & Mortimer. I have worked around Savile Row for nearly 30 years. I am the head cutter, so it is my job to meet the customer, measure them, decide on cloth, draft their pattern (unique to them), oversee the making process and carry out fittings. I do this while also running the wider business, and visiting customers in Europe and North America.
Tell us a bit about the fantastic, Meyer & Mortimer:
Meyer & Mortimer has one of the oldest pedigrees among the Savile Row fraternity. The modern company traces its heritage back to the 1790s when Jonathan Meyer, a tailor from Austria, established a tailoring and military outfitting business at 36 Conduit Street, at the north end of Savile Row. Around the same time in Edinburgh, the Mortimer family was specialising in military outfitting, supplying officers with swords, ceremonial dirks and firearms.
During the last Great War our old premises was bombed, so we moved to our current home, 6 Sackville Street, Mayfair, just around the corner from Savile Row. Nowadays, we do less military, but it’s still reflected in our house style.
What brought you into the area of Menswear? Following that, how did this lead you to Meyer and Mortimer?
Do you remember YTS, the youth training schemes? I got on one of those local to where I live in Kingston in the 80s. I worked for a local tailor before moving to Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row. After a couple of more moves, an opportunity then came up at Meyer & Mortimer in the 90s and worked my way up to director.
What separates Meyer & Mortimer from the rest?
We are a small tailor house, and still in a small group of tailors in the area who are independent. It means when I sell a customer a suit; I take the measures, I draft it, cut it and carry out the fittings. The customer is seeing me at every point which builds relationships, which have last years. We also have our tailors downstairs so I am able to oversee the making process.
How long does it take to craft a Meyer and Mortimer suit?
From start to finish for a new customer, about two months, as we need to draft their pattern. Existing customers, about 4 – 6 weeks notwithstanding any major weight gains or loss. If so, we have to amend their pattern accordingly. We also do a made-to-measure range which takes about six weeks.
Personally, do you have a favourite suit? If so, which would it be and why?
My grey finmeresco two-piece suit. It’s easy to wear and being plain grey you can wear it with pretty much anything.
Where was your first suit from?
That was a hand-me-down Moss Bros double-breasted suit with notch lapels. One was blue, the other grey stripe. They were very old-fashioned.
While many companies are seeking less expensive labour in other countries, what keeps Meyer and Mortimer at the heart of London’s tailoring district?
Being in the Savile Row catchment area (we are members of the Savile Row Bespoke Association too) means the skills and talent are here. The area is renowned for its tailoring excellence, and people come from around the UK and world. We have been here for centuries; there is no way we’re moving again – unless we get bombed again!
What does being a ‘Gentleman’ mean to you?
We are in a traditional business, and we still adhere to traditional values and principles of politeness, respect and holding doors open.
Who, or what is your inspiration?
Two tailors, Edward Sexton and Malcolm Plews. I worked under Sexton for a while who was responsible, with Tommy Nutter, revitalising Savile Row in the 70s. Malcolm Plews is considered to be the godfather of tailoring. He’s a Royal warrant holder, like ourselves, and Malcolm is the guy everyone goes to when there is a tailoring issue of some kind. Thankfully, he has a board (workspace) here at M&M, so we are honoured to have him under our roof. Together, their knowledge and experience are incredible, and I love the way they cut.
As a cutter/tailor, what was the most peculiar request you received?
We made a jacket to conceal the bulkiness of two guns in their gun holster belts. I think I need to explain this was for – one-time Reservoir Dog – Michael Madsen for a part he was playing in a film.
What do you reckon in terms of the future of Savile Row and London’s best tailors?
Although the industry has shrunk, they’ll always be a need for true bespoke Savile Row tailoring. A lot of our customers are time poor so appreciate when we say we’re going to get it done, it gets done – whether that’s here in London or overseas in New York, Paris or the Far-East. Our customer expectations and we meet them daily but our aim – always – is to exceed them.
You can follow Meyer & Mortimers journey below on their various social media channels and website:
So there it is, a real insight into a tailor, in the industry for 30 years! Whether it’s here in England, North America or Europe, Paul is definitely a go-to gent for all things suiting. Next time you find yourself in the area, make sure you give Meyer and Mortimer a visit!
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