Five minutes with: Max Harvey, Gieves & Hawkes
Posted on April 27, 2016
Here at the Mailbox, we’re all about bringing you the finer things in life. Bringing a taste of Savile Row to Birmingham, Gieves & Hawkes sets the bench-mark for bespoke tailoring and luxury menswear crafted to the highest standard.
As we head into wedding season, we caught-up with Max, general manager of Gieves & Hawkes, to talk tailoring, trends and off-duty style…
1. Hi Max! Let’s start this off by getting to know you – tell us about yourself…
I have worked in retail for fourteen years, most of which have been spent in the luxury sector. During that time I have been fortunate enough to meet lots of inspirational people. It was always my ambition to work for Gieves & Hawkes; the opportunity to work with one of the world’s leading menswear brands which holds three royal warrants is incredibly exciting.
2. Being general manager of Gieves & Hawkes here at the Mailbox must keep you busy, but what aspect of your job do you enjoy most?
Working for a brand like Gieves & Hawkes means that you can spend time with the client and really build a relationship with them. I find myself able to advise and style the customer, whilst educating them on both contemporary men’s fashion and traditional English tailoring. When the customer leaves the store, it’s a great pleasure for me knowing that they both look and feel good in their garments and this is the kind of service I love to deliver.
3. What does a typical day entail for you?
Apart from day-to-day tasks, not one day is the same. You never know what kind of client is going to walk through the door. It can range from a young man purchasing a suit for his first ball all the way to the more experienced gentleman looking for the perfect suit for his wedding. No client is the same and I love the unpredictability of this.
4. Now that we’re in wedding season, are there any key trends for this season you can share with any grooms-to-be?
Our classic, single-breasted suits in navy or grey lend themselves very well to weddings – lighter weight fabrics for summer and heavier for winter. Your wedding day probably isn’t the best moment in your sartorial life to experiment! Stick to a style you are familiar with and make your look the best version it can be. It’s important to remember that your wedding photos last a lifetime, so going for something you are completely happy wearing is very important. Many grooms opt for our Private Tailoring service, which means that they can customise their outfit down to the last detail – it’s incredibly confidence-boosting to have something made just for you that fits you perfectly. If you are planning a formal day time wedding, Morning Dress (where the coat has tails) is correct. For very formal evening weddings, you could go for the ultimate mens formal dress – White Tie, which we can send up from our HQ at No.1 Savile Row.
5. Who would your dream celebrity client be, and why?
Eddie Redmayne would be my ideal client. He is not afraid to take risks in what he wears yet still manages to emit simple, elegant, English style.
6. Describe Gieves & Hawkes in three words.
Elevated, British, Timeless.
7. If you were to get married tomorrow, what would you wear?
It would have to be a made to measure suit, cut from a beautiful cloth from a famous fabric mill. Our Private Tailoring service gives you the opportunity of personalisation; choices of lining, optional pockets, double –breasted, single breasted… the choices are endless.
8. Jim Chapman recently did a video featuring Gieves & Hawkes for GQ magazine. Do you notice a difference in the style of tailoring preferred by different generations?
We are fortunate to serve several generations of the same family and each has their own preferences. Things like lapel widths, jacket vents and trouser styles are favoured by some age groups over others. For example a slim twenty-five year old guy might favour a slim flat fronted trouser, whilst someone in their forties would prefer pleats. It’s entirely dependent on the client – G&H really stands for timeless style so people come to us for clothing they know will stand the test of time.
9. What are the common misconceptions about tailoring?
Sometimes men are not always prepared to take time choosing their clothing particularly in this fast-paced modern era. You need to take a step back, take time to look at the fabrics and the construction behind a suit. It is important to make sure that a suit fits you correctly. Don’t forget you can still have fun, be creative and buying tailoring should be a pleasurable experience.
10. We imagine you spend most of your time dressed in a stylish suit, but when you aren’t, what is your go-to laidback look?
As you get older you find that your style changes. I think simple elegance is key – a pair of fitted jeans with a tailored shirt and a jacket works for everyone. Even during your downtime, taking care over your clothing and making sure things fit properly makes such a difference.
For more information about Gieves & Hawkes, visit http://www.mailboxlife.com/brand/gieves-hawkes/