As more women are drawn to bespoke tailoring, Suzanne Baum speaks to Katie Williams who – having made a name for herself in the male fashion industry-is now disrupting tailoring with the launch of her womenswear collection.
A bespoke suit can be a serious investment and times have changed since it was just men getting suited and booted. In the same way we have seen the demand for bespoke men’s suits increasing, so too is women's tailoring. With it now being the norm for women in the workplace to hold senior positions and rise up within the ranks, suits play a big part in their wardrobe. For many women though the suit is no longer worn to make a statement; it happens to be a practical outfit for office wear that is stylish, smart and durable. One woman who has recognised this trend more than ever is 28- year- old Katie Williams who, after founding the successful men’s tailoring company, Threadgold London, has turned her skilled hands to women’s tailoring.
“Women want the option of having clothes designed and made just for them,” explained Katie. “I moved into womenswear because I started designing my own suits and loved how they made me feel. I would get so many complements and women asking me where I got them from, it made me realise how few options there were for women when it came to tailoring.
“The majority of women don’t even think of it as an option. The feeling of putting something on that’s made for you, that fits you perfectly is so fantastic and invokes such a confidence I wanted other women to have that option available to them.”
FEEL FOR FABRIC
After graduating with a first in menswear design from Leeds University, Katie fell in love with the fabric mills of Yorkshire and moved to London to work alongside Savile Row and play a part in the British tailoring industry. After working in it for five years and building a global client base, she decided to take the bold step of setting up Threadgold London, which has an office in the City and a West End showroom.
“I wanted to combine my design skills with the classic tailoring of Savile Row to create unique pieces for clients, based on their needs. Not surprisingly, most of my clients are men,” added Katie. “I think a well-dressed man is a thing of beauty and I know my male clients highly value my expertise and opinion when it comes to choosing their clothes.
“Menswear is more intelligent and that appealed to me. You have to be more subtle with your designs, because generally men don’t want to peacock or stand out in a ‘fashion statement’ way that women do. For me, menswear is much more about the fit and style than fashion which are two of my passions. I also love the fabrics used in menswear. Beautiful, high quality wools and cashmeres from Huddersfield are fantastic to work with and you know you’re working with quality which for me is everything.”
After taking the plunge to go it alone, Katie has never looked back and when it comes to her womenswear designs, Katie is passionate about giving them a feminine edge.
“I think a big part of the problem with women’s tailoring is that it’s very masculine. Suits I’ve tried on in shops make me look boxy and lumpy. They’re simply not flattering. We all want to wear clothes that make us look good and by default make us feel good. Tailoring on women, done well, can make you look incredibly sexy and incredibly powerful at the same time. That’s what I have in my mind when I work with women.”
And it’s worked - Katie has built up a loyal following of clients who turn to her not only for a good quality outfit but fashion advice too.
“Tailoring is very personal. Someone is measuring your body and all the insecurities that come with it, then advising you on what to wear and charging you a lot of money for it before you even see it. Trust is a huge part of it, without that you have no hope. I think my relationships with my clients makes me stand out.”
For more details, visit https://www.threadgoldlondon.com/