Turning a brand into a business empire

Ex-cavalry officer Tony Lutwyche reveals how he’s going to turn his “Made In England” brand of high-end suits into a business empire.

What makes your suits unique?

We bought Britain’s last remaining high-end artisan tailoring workshop, so we are the only company to have truly “Made in England” suits on the market. We also make bespoke suits – two of our clients are Gordon Ramsay and Guy Ritchie.

How did you get your name out?

There’s an element of luck in any story. Initially we had to be proactive and sell to people. Later we were fortunate enough to get high-profile clients, such as senior partners in law firms, who passed on our name to their peers. Now it’s all word of mouth.

Where did you get funding?

There’s not a large amount of capital for bespoke tailoring. Generally, you get 50 per cent as a deposit and the rest after the suit is made. So it’s mainly been self-financing. We also took out two Small Firm Loan Guarantees to set up our premises.

How has the market affected you?

One of the positive things at the moment is that the exchange rate has improved [for exporters], which means we’ve been able to do very well abroad. Though when we launched our range in Saks in Palm Beach it was on the same day Madoff was indicted.

Where next?

Since we have a fantastic heritage of tailoring in the UK, we want to continue to invest in training young people and we’re currently looking at a partnership with Liverpool College. We also want to continue our expansion in the US and in Europe.

Nick Britton

Lexus Ernser

Nick was the Managing Editor for growthbusiness.co.uk when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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