Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford explain the fresh concept and shift in strategy behind their luxury tailoring brand’s new London store.
Father-and-son duo Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford have opened their first store on Marylebone’s exclusive Chiltern Street in central London – a bricks-and-mortar home for their tailoring-focused, 10-year-old eponymous luxury brand.
“In a digital age, where you can buy anything from anywhere, we’ve found over the last few years that so many of our customers have sought out that human touch and interaction,” says Joe. “It made sense for us to create a store that was focused primarily around that idea, while our [website] caters to a different area of the brand.”
The result is a fresh approach to retail – one that reflects the shifting nature of the business and its unique take on the traditional world of tailoring.
“We’ve always felt out of sync with the intimidation of many luxury brand stores,” says Charlie. “We wanted to create somewhere very personal that felt like you were stepping into our home. My wife, Sophie, who heads up interior design firm Studio Ashby, designed the space.”
The 900 sq ft, two-storey shop at 3 Chiltern Street opened on 19 October. It has an intimate, apartment-like feel, and features an eclectic mix of elements that reflect the colourful personality of the brand. Artworks, mid-century furniture and antiques – all of which are for sale – contrast with the store’s unique finishes. The till point, for example, is made from recycled plastic bottles, while the central staircase is threaded with an array of fabrics from the brand’s past collections.
The ground floor houses the brand’s men’s and growing women’s ready-to-wear collections and new footwear and accessories offer. The lower floor is dedicated to appointment-only personal tailoring – a growing area for the business. Ready-to-wear trousers and jackets, depending on fabric, range from £195 to £625, while made-to-measure suits start from £1,495.
“Eighty percent of the pieces from our ready-to-wear collection are available through our made-to-measure service,” explains Charlie. “Made-to-measure has traditionally been associated with suiting, [but] the store will allow us to open it up to other casual areas of the brand.”
“Downstairs we will be offering classic tailoring – from tails through to eveningwear and lounge suits – but, alongside this, our clients will be able to have everything from a made-to-measure bomber jacket through to a custom pair of drawstring trousers,” adds Joe.
“Our biggest growth area is essentially anything custom-made. We’ve also seen a lot of interest in the last 12 months in our bespoke fabric service,” he continues. “Having a bespoke fabric made for a custom Casely-Hayford garment is a completely unique experience, and one that has been very popular for us. Hopefully it will now grow even more at our new home.” Bespoke fabric starts from £1000 on top of made-to-measure prices.
The pair used to present on the catwalks of London Fashion Week Men’s twice a year, but the store underlines a change in strategy, which includes no longer wholesaling.
“The idea of breaking collections into traditional seasons seems slightly obsolete now – none of our customers shop like that any more,” says Charlie.
As a result, the Casely-Hayford brand will now release four seasonless collection every three months in limited numbers, in store and on its own website. Then, after 12 months, it will shift to every two months, replicating the “drop” format popularised by streetwear brands such as Supreme.
“Once they are gone, they are gone,” adds Charlie. “For our customer it means that each time they come to the store, they know they are getting something special. We think of it as slow fashion.”