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By Appointment

Posted 05.04.19  - Style

The first of its kind, Turnbull & Asser’s international ‘By Appointment’ programme has been carrying the service and provision enjoyed by the company’s store visitors to the backyards of its more distant clientele for forty years.

Conceived to facilitate swift bespoke pattern refinement, ‘By Appointment’ soon exploded into a sales tour - with the likes of Art Garfunkel and America’s first supermodel, Cheryl Tiegs, ordering shirts and pyjamas whilst sprawled over the quite average upholstery of suite 3303 in Midtown Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. By the word and esteem of our patrons and hotel and department store hosts, word spread, demand increased, longer and longer wait times made the acquisition of a Turnbull & Asser shirt even more special, and the annual ‘By Appointment’ tour became biannual. By the mid 1980s, it was taking Turnbull & Asser’s UK Gloucester workrooms nearly six months to fulfil shirt orders, so great was the demand. In an interview by esteemed menswear writer James Sherwood for his brilliantly researched and anecdote-laden 2015 publication: Turnbull & Asser: Made in England 130 Years, retired Turnbull & Asser managing director Kenneth Williams recalls the ‘By Appointment’ tours of former company bespoke pattern cutter and Royal Warrant holder, Paul Cuss: Mr. Cuss would come back from New York with orders for two thousand bespoke shirts. I had to find a way to limit orders rather than take more. When a customer came in asking for an order of a dozen shirts I’d suggest he ordered six and then in a month or two we’d make another six.”

Kenneth Williams and Paul Cuss, former Director and Royal Warrant holder.

Every Turnbull & Asser shop-floor stalwart fondly remembers their time on the road. Kenneth Williams - eating chicken in a basket with Frank Sinatra after a performance on the Las Vegas Strip, Royal Warrant holder Steven Quin - his evenings in two of Manhattan’s most celebrated ever dining experiences: Maxwell’s Plum and Jim McMullen’s, both not merely owned by Turnbull & Asser patrons, but full of them. Head of bespoke tailoring at Turnbull & Asser’s London St. James’s store, Andrew Courtney, fondly remembers his ‘By Appointment’ social visits by Kill Bill composer Tomoyasu Hotei, and James Cook, manager of our London Mayfair store, marvels still at the willingness of his BLBG (British Luxury Brand Group) Tokyo lecture audience to take notes after 11pm. He also mirthfully recalls arriving at the wrong Helsinki hotel, and before all parties realised the mistake, being resourcefully equipped with a “broom cupboard” for a sales suite. “It’s magical,” remarks James, “a very special thing to be the company’s ambassador - to stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Andrew Courtney, Bespoke Expert.

Turnbull & Asser’s current ‘By Appointment’ experts are James Webb, whose focus is on Europe and Asia, and Daniel Stroupe, whose reach extends the length and breadth of Canada and North America. Now based at Turnbull & Asser’s London Mayfair store - within easy striking distance of the Connaught Hotel - James has worked in every standalone store the company has ever had, contributing significantly to a Turnbull & Asser career that epitomises the cross-cultural immersion so vital to the working day of every Turnbull & Asser salesperson. Daniel Stroupe, who began his Turnbull & Asser career working in the brand’s concession in Bloomingdales’ 59th St. New York store, is now working closely with resident bespoke pattern cutter Eddie Powers at The Turnbull Townhouse - the company’s New York store at 50 East 57th St. A recent export from London, Eddie is the perfect man for his new role, naturally gifted, and as American as he is British - by parentage, residence and cultural sensibility.

Eddie Powers, Pattern Cutter.

Our ‘By Appointment’ hosts, James and Daniel, work hard to make their appointments the best possible representation of the full Turnbull & Asser store experience - by their level of service, and representation of the company’s products and manufacturing ability. Though the emphasis of ‘By Appointment’ is currently on shirts, James and Daniel are wholly responsive to the full spectrum of enquiry they meet during their appointments. Recently, James has been meeting much enthusiasm for nightwear: pyjamas, dressing gowns - and for the slumbering minimalist - boxer shorts, whilst leading the development of biannual ranges of seasonal classic ties for our Asian markets. Daniel too is catering to an increasing interest in our nightwear and ties, as well as in our made to measure Scottish cashmere.

James Webb, Bespoke Expert.

So, of what does a typical ‘By Appointment’ consist? In the first instance, contact - by invitation or enquiry. If already known to Turnbull & Asser, James and Daniel will have a good look at the client’s file, and mindful of his or her past order history, engage with their current requirements. Should this be the client’s first ‘By Appointment’ experience, our hosts will have a good chat with them, get an outline of their requirements and arrange an appointment at a time and location that suits them. During the client’s appointment they will, typically, be measured in 18-24 different places, discuss posture and movement, proportional suitability, and general, particular and personal aesthetic appropriacy.

Knowledgeable and skilled, James and Daniel are wholly ready to meet our ‘By Appointment’ clients where they are - both literally and figuratively - and to journey with them to their own very unique destination.

For details of James’ and Daniel’s upcoming ‘By Appointment’ locations and dates, to discuss your requirements with them or to book an appointment, please click here.

Alain Rowe - Turnbull & Asser Store Team

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