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Linear-winding automatic movement, 18K red gold case with sapphire crystal sides and back. Engraved gold version of the first CORUM automatic baguetteshaped movement.

We work mainly with international advertisers. If you are interested in our advertising rates, please contact : Custom Regie, Thierry Magerman or +32 (0)475 72 84 47 Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for the views and opinions expressed in this magazine by authors and contributors. Bespoken is neither responsible for nor endorses the content of advertisements printed on its pages. Bespoken cannot be held responsible for any error or inaccuracy in such advertising material. Editor JÉRÔME STÉFANSKI Publisher GREGOR THISSEN Project Coordinator KRISTEL GEETS Styling SYLVAIN GADEYNE Graphic Design BASEDESIGN Writers CÉCILE DE FORTON JAMES DREW STEPHANIE DUVAL FEDERICO GRANDESSO ERIC MUSGRAVE JANET PRESCOTT JÉRÔME STÉFANSKI Proofreading JAMES DREW & COLIN MOORS





ear reader, We are very proud to be able to present a new twist to the history of our company. The famous slogan ‘From Sheep to Shop’ has new meaning from now on – even though we have served customers in our Savile Row store for many years, it is only since last year that we began a more systematic approach to selling ‘retail’. Indeed, the opening of our first flagship ‘new style’ store in Brussels (September 2012) and Beijing (December 2012) mark the beginning of a new strategic orientation. With enlarged ranges, including a complete new selection of accessories and a carefully crafted shop design, we are striving to get closer to our customers in a contemporary yet traditionally British environment. Our aim is to gain a better understanding of the Scabal customer of today and tomorrow – knowledge that we will use for the development of our wholesale and retail activities. A truly inspirational project for our whole organization.

Obviously, ‘From Sheep to Shop’ cannot just be about retail, so in our latest edition, you will find many interesting articles about what really makes a great suit…namely, great fabrics. It is very important to us not that we do not forget our origins, and we never will. Creating fabrics remains at the very heart of our enterprise, and we are happy to share our knowledge with our readers. Even though new ventures are taking up much of our time and energy at present, we still believe that it is important to consider others less fortunate than ourselves. In this spirit, we have launched the Peace Fund, a corporate social responsibility project that aims to support the highly regarded NGO Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in bringing aid and assistance to the world’s most devastated regions. You will find out more in the magazine. Many thanks for your loyal interest and your continued support. We wish you happy reading.

Peter & Gregor Thissen

SCABAL Boulevard d’Anvers, 33 B–1000 Brussels Belgium Phone : + 32 (0)2 217 98 49

‘WE STILL BELIEVE THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER OTHERS LESS FORTUNATE THAN OURSELVES.’ Do you have any suggestions or feedback ? Let us know at Read Bespoken on your iPad :

Gregor Thissen, Scabal CEO

Bespoken is printed on environmentally friendly, fair-trade paper.

Scabal CEO Gregor Thissen and his father Group Chairman J. Peter Thissen  © Scabal

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38 24 S P R IN G-SUMME R 2013 ST Y L E A DV I C ES











75 The number of years that Scabal has been in business By Jérôme Stéfanski

From 1938 to 2013 — 75 years of passion for timeless elegance and classic clothing. In 2013, Scabal celebrates this special anniversary with birthday events and limited product editions, but the greatest project is the launch of the very first book to be completely dedicated to Scabal’s heritage. In English, with 192 pages of text and pictures, this fine tome has been written by fashion journalist Veerle Windels, who has covered the brand’s story from a small local fabrics merchant to an international company selling its products in more than 65 countries. This year will be very important for Scabal, which will soon move its Brussels headquarters to where its warehouse and fabrics stock were initially established. After more than two years of work, the brandnew building will be ready to host all of the various departments that make up Scabal HQ — Bespoken will keep you posted.


1938–2013 : 30 years devoted to clothing © Scabal



TOYS for BOYS Even the most serious gentlemen have something from their childhood that can slip into their mind and soul. Bespoken celebrates this ‘big-boy attitude’ and gives you the opportunity to express it in style.



By Jérôme Stéfanski


Boxx is the name given to this new emissionsfree all-electric vehicle. This ‘one metre machine’ has been designed as a primary transportation device or an accessory to your car. Versatile, portable and fully constructed from aluminium, this new bike can reach 60 km/h, with a range of 130 kilometres. Charge it with your standard wall outlet or pedal – you can even personalize the monocoque design, choosing from a large range of solvent-free colours. Price : 3,095€,


Now with Subwing, you can experience the sensation of flying underwater. This new water sport entirely reinvents exploring the ocean, with virtually full freedom of movement. Glide through the water like a dolphin, do thrilling spins and turns, or just relax on the surface. You French design furniture company Domeau et can easily control the movement of the tool Pérès has recently crafted this luxury football by tilting the wings in the direction you want table in association with artist Fabien Verschaere. to go – produced in carbon, the Subwing must Based on the B90 model developed by ‘baby foot’ be attached to a boat with a recommended rope leader Bonzini, this is handmade from alumin- length of around 15 metres and a speed of around ium and beech wood and covered with genuine 2 knots. The only other equipment needed is bull leather. Each football table is unique, signed a diving mask. You can even add a camera for and only available on demand. Before ordering, timeless memories of your underwater trip – the lucky owner is invited to answer to a ‘Proust’ guaranteed sensational ! questionnaire, in order to identify his deeper Price : 750€ personality. According to the result of the quiz, the artist will draw designs, monsters and other creatures directly on the leather cover using felt pens. His inspiration comes from the world of the circus, from fairy tales and from comic strips – the art of Verschaere comes from the mass culture that influences his artistic expression. Price : 26,000€


and diamonds as well as other gems, as well as the finest precious woods. Every Noblekey is provided with certificates of authenticity and material and has a unique identification number. To create your individual key, the company only needs one of your original car keys – the old plastic casing is removed with surgical precision and replaced by your new edition, without any changes in the function or structure – an ordinary technical device is thus transformed into an individual, functional gem. Last question – are you ready to give up your car key ? Prices from 5,000€

Lancelot Lancaster White is a London-based company specialized in the production of the finest luxury poker-chips boxes. Combining traditional skills with modern technology, the focus is on the uncompromising standards of craftsmanship drawn from centuries of knowledge passed down from father to son. Each component is designed and meticulously hand crafted in England to be aesthetically pleasing, functionally tactile and durable. Handmade and requiring numerous specialist skills, each box can take between two to six months to complete. Materials are drawn from many sources including rare and ancient components as well as exotic timbers, precious metals and precious stones. Price : 25,000€ Valgrine offers the best in putters, thanks to its mix of master craftsmanship and controlled conception of high technology. Made in France, in the cradle of metallurgical excellence, these putters are aerodynamic sculptures. The putters inaugurate new game sensations and provide real benefits at a very high level, mixing performance, precision, tolerance, playability and control. They are exceptional pieces, designed to exceed your expectations – an ideal centre of gravity, management of mass, anti-vibratory carbon, technological materials with memory, controlled inertia. Available in limited editions, customizable or completely custom-made. Only by appointment : availability four to eight months. Custom-made putter from 20,000€



Based on the (correct ?) principle that the symbolic value of a car key has been underestimated up to now, Noblekey offers the possibility of creating the finest car, yacht and private jet bespoke keys. Hand-made in Germany, each of the keys can be customized with different materials combinations as well as specialized processing techniques. Only the finest materials are used, such as sterling silver, gold, platinum


Luxury trunk specialist Pinel & Pinel has recently launched an XXL version of its Arcade Trunk. Practical and hyper-equipped, this is a true technology cocktail – full HD 3D LED at 55’’, a PlayStation 3 console with 14 games included, buzzers, microphones, movement detectors, 3D glasses, iPhone/iPod dock, and 1,800 watt sound speakers ! You can personalize your arcade console, selecting one of the 51 colours available, with rare cover materials such as genuine leather, crocodile, sharkskin, ostrich, nickel palladium, brass carbon, and gold or silver steel. Price : 67,000€


This is the new fancy hybrid vehicle assembled in New Zealand by Gibbs. Using a high-performance BMW engine, this ‘amphiquad’ reaches speeds of 75km/h on both land and water and can move between the two modes in seconds. At the press of a button, the Quadski’s wheels retract after entering the water and deploy when approaching land. Unmatched freedom on land and water – Quadski sets a new standard in flexibility, freedom and fun. James Bond would be jealous ! Price : 35,000€ 7


WHAT KIND OF Mister ARE you ? At Scabal, ‘made-tomeasure’ is always about achieving the correct combination of comfort and self-expression. Our new ‘Summer Gentlemen’ unveil their personality through the fabrics they choose to create their customized outfits. What about you ?

Photographer Ronald Stoops Art Direction Pierre Daras for BaseDesign Styling Sylvain Gadeyne, Olivier Vander Slock and Pierre Daras for BaseDesign Text Jasmine De Bruycker for BaseDesign Coordination Kristel Geets Clothes, fabrics and accessories Scabal



As far as style is concerned, Mr. Tactful is a natural. He has a fine-tuned fascination with classic films, and the clothes worn by those legends of style. His eye for elegance with an excellent price-quality ratio spotted Fabric Nº 703369 right away. This superfine Merino cloth from Scabal’s Image collection has a chic Mediterranean touch, a smooth handle and comes in a wide range of original designs. Its prunelle twill construction is very durable, but also gives the cloth a lustrous drape and a pleasantly cool feel. Rare is the combination of the twill weave and the cloth’s contemporary big check pattern, a true craftsman achievement. With his luxurious appearance and refined cinematic manners, Mr. Tactful’s company is definitely the one to join this summer.


FABRIC Nº 801792

Mr. Good Times savours life. He loves observing the hours, not the cars. A sun-drenched afternoon coffee in good company is everything he wishes for. And if possible, a jacket that feels as comfortable as his mood when catching up with an old college friend. Scabal’s leisure Riviera collection seems to be cut out for him. It offers an eclectic choice of qualities, from pure linen such as fabric Nº 801792, to summery cottons mixed with linen or silk. All Riviera qualities are available in a wide range of designs, from plains to honeycomb or twill weaves. As Mr. Good Times thinks haste makes waste, no less in life than in choosing the right outfit, this flexible summer collection will keep him happy for quite a while.






FABRIC Nº 801758

Dressing, above all, is the highest art for Mr. Versatile. Always impeccable in yet another newly found outfit, Mr. Versatile loves to combine the best materials to hand. But don’t take him for an overdressed Beau Brummell. Mr. Versatile believes that modesty is the citadel of beauty. Scabal’s refined Rhapsody collection is therefore music to his ears. This wide range of superfine Merino qualities is designed and coloured in a subtle way. Take fabric Nº 801758, a plain grey basket weave with a modern rustic flair, to wear elegantly at Sunday brunches ; or go for a more formal design to hold your summer business meetings. All Rhapsody designs are made from pure wool, in line with the back to nature trend. Their airiness, natural look and crease resistance ensure that Mr. Versatile will never show up unprepared, whatever the occasion.


FABRIC Nº 752502

Mr. Bona Fide is a natural-born leader. Full of wit, this global thinker is the boss you have always dreamed of. Constantly being one step ahead, Mr. Bona Fide has met his match in Fabric Nº 752502. This exciting new Super 140’s quality from Scabal’s Triumph collection blends superior wool and premium cashmere in an innovative way. The cloth’s featherweight and soft feel vouch for a true summer success. A tailor’s triumph is its balanced two-ply yarn construction, creating a wonderful handle rare for such a fine cloth. The additional lustrous press finish turns every Triumph suit into a luxury item, and Mr. Bona Fide into the boss of bosses.







FABRIC Nº 852205

Mr. Daredevil is a true entrepreneur. He is a warrior, not a worrier. Life has no ceiling, and the same goes for his outfits. Mr. Daredevil always looks effortlessly stylish and dangerously charismatic. His secret is the range of mixed cloth qualities from Scabal’s prestigious Lagoon collection, that includes a mix of premium wool, silk, or linen, each offering a unique blend of two different worlds. Fabric Nº852205 for example is a blend of natural linen and luxurious silk. Combining casual and chic, this quality is a smarter alternative to traditional linen. Its mixed appearance intrigues, ennobles, and has the power to turn any man into a true-blue Mr. Daredevil.


FABRIC Nº 703288

With a suitcase full of ambition, Mr. Transatlantic is always en route to a new success. Call it plain luck, a favourable genetic passport or a talent for good timing, but everything just seems to fall into his lap. To complement his fine leather Scabal shoes, handcrafted bag and raincoat, Mr. Transatlantic has set his mind on Scabal’s new summer fabric Nº 703288. Made from superfine Australian Merino wool, this Super 120’s quality of barely 240 grams is both durable and breathable. Its new, two-ply yarn construction makes the fabric more crease-resistant, just perfect for daily use and excellent for travelling. The fabric’s plain weave gives every suit a clean cut and light appearance, while preserving its shape. With its wide range of designs, refined look and practical assets, this fabric quality from the Silver Cloud collection is the right choice for modern, classy businessmen on the move.





HIS NAME WAS BOND We had the chance to meet actor Pierce Brosnan at the most recent edition of the Mostra di Venezia film festival. Brosnan, who has always been an aficionado of fine fabrics, is a modern gentleman who is considered as a timeless icon of male elegance. By Federico Grandesso



new Bond film, Goldfinger (1964), was showing in cinemas and a certain 11-year-old Irish boy couldn’t wait to see it. Pierce was accompanied by the new husband, William Carmichael, of his mother and this was the beginning of the story of an actor who was destined to be a movie and fashion icon.

IRISH ROOTS Born in Navan, County Meath, Ireland on 16 May 1953, he soon left his job to become an actor, and entered the Drama Centre in London where he studied acting for three years. After some years of stage work throughout the UK, he began to work in television and film in 1981, when he was asked to join the ABC-TV mini-series The Manions of America. This important turning point led him to landing the title role in the popular long-running detective series Remington Steele, which debuted in 1982. He moved with his family to Los Angeles to film the series – after four seasons and 92 episodes, Pierce’s name started to shine in the US. But the great occasion came when Pierce met with James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli on the sets of For Your Eyes Only because his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was in the cast. Pierce then had to wait a few years due to contractual problems but, finally, on 7 June 1994, he was announced as the fifth actor to play Bond. He signed for a three-film Bond deal with the option of a fourth. The first, 1995’s GoldenEye, grossed US $350 million worldwide, the fourthhighest worldwide gross of any film in 1995, making it the most successful Bond film since Moonraker (1979). In 2002, his fourth and final time as Bond in Die Another Day, was also a huge box-office success. WHERE A MYTH IS BORN For Pierce, Bond was a chance to create a myth of image not only in cinema but also in fashion, in a period in which made-to-measure haute couture was more successful and recognizable in cinema. The suits became a second skin for Bond and Pierce, as he discovered the creations of Brioni designer Lindy Hemming, made using Scabal fabrics. The work on the details was enormous and, in the end, Lindy slightly lowered the button stance from their usual height, creating a more relaxed and modern look for Brosnan. Pierce’s Brioni suits do not go to any extreme fashion lengths – his printed ties in GoldenEye are what now look most dated, as he mostly wore three-button suits, a classic style that saw a resurgence of popularity in the 1990s. By the time of The World is Not Enough (1999), only a trace of these fashion trends still existed, 21


cabal fabric has been used in many blockbusters including The Wolf of Wall Street, Casino Royale, The Tailor of Panama, The Aviator, Titanic, Casino, Men In Black, The Untouchables, Apollo 13, Batman Forever and Batman Returns, Dracula, Get Shorty, GoldenEye, The Addams Family and The Firm. Scabal also provided fabrics for Wall Street I and II, The Mob and all the Godfather films. In 2001, when director John Boorman was working on The Tailor of Panama, he asked Scabal not only to provide fabrics for Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush, but also for information about the daily life of a tailor : “The action in this spy film takes place in the tailor’s world. We supplied them with information about the daily routines in a tailor’s workshop as well as props such as a sewing machine, scissors, tape-measures and rules, many fabrics and some collections of sample books in order to confer a maximum of authenticity to the decoration,” Scabal’s US agent explains.

Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush selecting fabrics from Scabal’s bunch in The Tailor of Panama, 2001

and the film featured some of the most timeless suits of the series. For Die Another Day in 2002, the look was modernized with a closer fit and higher button stance on a two-button jacket, but not to the extreme that became popular a few years later. A high button stance lengthens one’s legs to increase the appearance of height, as long as the trousers worn with the jacket have a high rise to match. But Brosnan’s increasing waistline was not flattered by the higher button stance (and strained fit) – he would have looked better keeping the suits that he wore during the 1990s. Pierce’s first wife, Australian actress Cassandra Harris (who died in 1991), was a ‘Bond girl’ herself, portraying Countess Lisl in For Your Eyes Only (1981). She was previously married to Dermot Harris, brother of the actor Richard Harris. There is a whale-watching station dedicated to her in Malibu Bluffs Park (California). He has three children with Cassandra – Sean (born 1983) and stepchildren Charlotte (born 1971) and Christopher (born 1972) – and two sons, Dylan Thomas (born 1997) and Paris Beckett 22

(born 2001) with his second wife, former TV correspondent/soap actress Keely Shaye Smith, whom he married in August 2001. He has two grandchildren, Charlotte’s daughter Isabelle Sophie (born 1998) and son Lucas (born 2005). EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW There are two movies in which you interpret a character that was very different from James Bond : Mamma Mia and the recent All You Need is Love. Are they following the same line ? There are some similarities between Mamma Mia and All You Need Is Love, they are both about love, families and weddings but these movies have a bite that is much more real if we look at our own times. Then, as a father of four sons, I know something about bringing up young men and I loved this sense about the character that I played, the separation of their hearts and the tragedy that touched this man and his son. The movie for me is about hope and faith so to go on talking about myself, my character and the son…there is no reason for that, because the film tells it all and I think that you understand that the father has given of himself to the son and it’s all about trust. All You Need is Love shows a very intimate part of you in comparison with Bond. The story of the movie in this particular case was so much like my own life in many ways – having lost my first wife to cancer, I knew something about the grief of life and the protagonist of this film, Philip, has lost his wife tragically. So there was that element that I could understand, then Philip and I were both in the middle of our lives so there were many emblems within the story that appealed to me and with which I could identify. It’s a huge celebration of love and romance. Then, you try not to act too much, and I had Suzanne (Bier) who guided me through the process ; I never asked why I got the job, but I know in my heart how I got it and why. After that, I had this incredible company of actors who just welcomed me and made me feel at home. How do you see your acting at this stage in your career ? Any new projects ? There are difficulties, acting is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult but also when it seems easy you can make it difficult for yourself. So it has a certain complexity, but I love to act and I was taught in a way that I could play many roles and then you find yourself playing the same role sometimes over and over again, but in the final analysis I simply like to work. Then 007 really launched my career, even though I would underline that I worked since I was 18 and acting

is my passion – even without Bond, I was busy in many other projects. In any case, Bond will always follow me. I’m busy with my next movie, A Long Way Down, which is a novel by Nick Hornby, in which I interpret the role of a TV anchorman who starts dating a 16-year-old girl, so this is a new challenge for me. Then I have another project for a spy movie, which will be called November Man.




Bamboo as a natural resource

Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It is Verdi’s last opera, written in the composer’s ninth decade, and only the second of his 26 operas to be a comedy. It is also the third of Verdi’s operas to be based on a Shakespearean play, following his earlier Macbeth and Otello.

Father and sons

Recently, Scabal has provided bamboo fabrics to the UK premium entertainment TV channel Sky 1, for The People’s Rainforest programme. In two one-hour shows, the programme highlighted the secrets of the rainforest, its natural resources and how they are used in our daily lives. In partnership with WWF, the campaign aims to preserve around three million hectares from deforestation by making the rainforest worth more to the local community. Bamboo is a natural fibre that is used by Scabal to create breathable summer fabrics.

Scabal sponsored the recent edition of Rallye Pères-Fils, a French family old-time and modern GT rally. Father and sons had the chance to drive between Deauville and Etretat. Together they enjoyed the seaside roads of the wonderful Normandy region. Rendez-vous in September 2013 for the next edition of this classic and elegant race.

This is Africa

If you already knew Paul, now you would have to discover another M. Smith : Richard. Manchester-based tailor Richard Smith has founded his own label, and creates bespoke garments using cloth from the leading British mills. Young and dynamic, Smith is above all passionate about design, timeless elegance and craftsmanship. At the recent New York Fashion Week, he has presented his new Spring-Summer 2013 ready-to-wear collection. According to him : “It was the most amazing experience of my life.” He used Scabal fabrics for the majority of the collection.”

Young dandy Scabal has just found one of its youngest fans in Germany  ! Léopold is only eight years old and already a bespoke tailoring addict. On this picture he sent to Scabal headquarters Brussels, he proudly wears both a made-to-measure jacket and shirt with Scabal cufflinks. So cute.

Mr President

Falstaff The famous Teatro alla Scala in Milan, which is considered one of the world’s finest opera venues, has recently ordered several Scabal cloths for the new season of Falstaff. Among the fabrics selected were fine winter fabrics such as pure wool, worsted cashmere, cotton corduroy and even camel hair for overcoats. Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare’s plays The Merry

From Manchester to New York

The Maison de Couture Okasol offers traditional bespoke tailoring and ready-to-wear outfits in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the occasion of the Fourteenth edition of the Sommet de la Francophonie, Okasol has provided several made-to-measure suits to major African heads of states and has workshops dedicated to bespoke tailoring creation process. Light summer fabrics from Scabal’s collection has been presented. This international summit held in Kinshasa, has grouped political leaders from countries that share French as a common language.

Since August 2012, Danilo Medina is the new President of the Dominican Republic. He was born in the southwest of the Dominican Republic and the oldest of eight brothers. At early age he was involved in politics and in the 1990s he became a key figure in negotiations. Medina has been a long time customer of La Coruna, Scabal’s prestigious retailer in Santo Domingo and the owners (left and right in this picture) Roberto and Antonio Iglesias are proud to dress the president in Scabal. 23


KEEP IT WELL-MADE AND APPEALING In February 2013 the Chinese Year of the Snake begins. People born under the sign of the snake are said to be refined, intuitive and enigmatic, all terms that could be applied to elements of Scabal’s new ranges for Spring-Summer 2013. By Eric Musgrave


ith customers in more than 65 countries around the world, Scabal can be relied upon to provide luxurious options for most of the wardrobe requirements for the discerning dresser. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Spring-Summer 2013 will not witness any great shift in stylistic direction for menswear. What will continue to be important, and indeed will become more important than ever, will be an emphasis on high-quality, well-made, wellthought-out and versatile garments. The weaving technicians, fabric designers, clothing designers and accessory stylists at Scabal have combined their vast experience, skills and their knowledge of consumer requirements across the world to create cloth qualities, garments and accessories that both look very good and also perform to new levels appropriate to the lifestyles of modern men. Elegant refinement is one of the hallmarks of a Scabal cloth but there is no shortage of colour in the new season’s selection, particularly when jackets, blazers and trousers are being considered.

A PASSION FOR (SUMMER) CLOTH LAGOON Three noble fibres are combined in Scabal’s colourful jacketing bunch Lagoon. Fine Merino wool, silk and linen have been expertly blended together in a 40 :35 :25 mix for part of the Lagoon 24

Lagoon Collection  © Scabal

selection. A 55 :45 linen/silk quality is an alternative in this lively yet elegant, selection of cloths specially created for the concept of “luxury casual”. Unlined and softly tailored jackets will look superb in designs from Lagoon. Pink, light blue and beige are important highlight colours in a range that begins with semi-plains and herringbones and runs through to Glen checks, lots of windowpanes and even some madras-style checks. In total, Lagoon includes 21 variations. TRIUMPH The Triumph suitings collection from Scabal is brand new and its advanced technical properties result in outstanding and memorable cloths. Markets around the world will appreciate the innovative blend of high-grade wool and premium cashmere in a scintillating Super 140’s quality. The 90 :10 mix results in a featherweight 250gm cloth that has a very soft handle and a lustrous finish. The 25 designs concentrate on the always-popular semi-classics such as pickand-picks. The colour palette is refined, with mid greys, light greys, light beige and pale blue, while use of colour, notably shades of blue, is always restrained and subtle.

CONCERTO A new addition to Scabal’s range, Concerto is a lightweight 240gm Super 150’s twill which will be perfect for suits, trousers and blazers. The 26 articles are in plain designs only, but the colour choice is extensive, extending from very light beiges that are ideal for suits to vivid blues designed with bold summer blazers in mind. This range is likely to find favour in many of Scabal’s varied markets around the world.


As ever, the international catwalk shows for Spring-Summer 2013 were filled with all sorts of trendy ideas for menswear. Too many of them, sadly, give the impression that the designers are trying too hard to do something different when they should be making only subtle, tasteful changes to the tried-and-tested menswear staples. Scabal’s route is more sensible. It has grouped its themes for the new season around colour stories, for colour is one of the ways in which men can introduce a fresh approach to a familiar outfit. One of the most popular combinations for national flags is red, white and blue and the versatility of this tricolour approach is seen in Scabal’s ready-to-wear collections. One of the strong movements in menswear sees the blurring of conventions, so that colours once known for casualwear find their way into suits ZENITH The zenith is the highest point attained by a and tailored jackets and trousers. Conversely, celestial body and Scabal has reached new patterns that once were recognised as suitings heights with its collection of exceptional suitings. are being embraced in leisure time clothes. Building on the popularity of the Zenith bunch At its simplest and most graphic, the tricolour introduced two years ago, the 34 new designs for styling can be seen in a red polo shirt (trimmed Spring/Summer 2013 are Super 180’s that add with a thin white piping) worn with trousers of a vital 2% cashmere to 98% fine merino wool. The solid blue. This colour blocking approach works result is a range of highly refined and expensive well as it allows a man to be as bold as he likes to cloths that will appeal to international connois- be with his mixing and matching. The bright red seurs of suitings. In keeping with the refined shirt also looks fine with a more standard and nature of Zenith, patterns are elegant, including subdued khaki chino. A solid or nearly solid red fancy pick-and-picks with stripes, medium blue looks excellent for a sport jacket. Next season will shades and dark stripes. The central construction be about putting together clever items to build of the range is a highly versatile fine twill. a personal image. SILVER CLOUD The legendary Silver Cloud was the core model of the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars range from 1955 to 1966. The blend of elegant looks and high performance of those classic cars is mirrored in Scabal’s new Silver Cloud bunch. Its new two-ply construction means the Super 120’s quality of barely 240gms offers greater crease resistance, durable and breathable, making it ideal for international travellers. There are 53 qualities in this comprehensive suitings selection, running from light shades of on-trend browns, beiges and blues through subtle checks and false plains, and on to reverse-twist shadow stripes. Technically advanced and elegant in appearance, Silver Cloud will always perform well.

Red, white and blue is also seen in sophisticated checks for suits. The combination refreshes the now familiar Glenchecks and large Overchecks, which have been gaining in popularity for several seasons. Once again, stripes are not being seen very often ; false plains or very subtle patterns are the alternative to the bolder designs. To a certain extent, this story has echoes of a preppy, even Ivy League, look Running throughout Scabal’s tailoring for Spring-Summer 2013 is the emphasis on soft construction and bespoke-inspired details, such as patterned undercollars, bright linings and subtle contrast stitching. The soft make of the garments is all important – it reflects the high technical skill of Scabal’s tailoring unit in Germany and the sophistication of the cloths themselves. There is an overwhelming sense of class about the second story, Swedish Grey, which echoes many of the directions seen among the top international designer names, especially those from Italy. Grey suits for men can be boring, as we know but next season’s take on this perennial favourite has much more of a metallic feel, with shades ranging from pewter and lead to silver and to sheer white. Again picking up the idea of cross-referencing menswear, even in casual jackets, shirts, fine knitwear and casual trousers, grey shades look fresh and even sporty. The delicacy of the colours lends itself to micro-designs and there are lots of options of mini-checks, ginghams, tone-ontones and self-colour patterns (such as a pale grey windowpane on a darker grey ground). In its purest end of the spectrum, this colour story involves the confident use of bright, clean, white in items such as casual trousers and even a two-piece suit in cotton. Accessories in white also give a punchy counterpoint to the neutral greys. In direct contrast to the muted palette of Swedish Grey, Orange County sings out with bright citrus shades. Used alone, orange works best with dark or olive skin tones, but it is surprisingly adaptable and versatile when used in fine measure in, say, a busy multi-coloured check. It also has plenty of relevance in accessories, whether in suede moccasins, a boldly striped tie or an eye-catching pocket handkerchief. In this story, once again, checks are important, as are fancy herringbones, for the all-important softly tailored jackets. Solid orange looks surprisingly good in summer trousers and it works well with a strong contrast colour, such as navy blue, or a more tonal partner like light brown or beige. Summer 2012 saw a strong resurgence of double-breasted jackets and blazers in cottons and linens in particular. Like their single-breasted

Swedish Grey

Orange County

Red, White and Blue combination

Blue Desert

with some key designer names from both sides of the Atlantic, Scabal has some very stylish plain suits in shades such as beige and greyish brown. Ties, belts, even casual shoes in strong blues and mid-blues are wonderful foils for this palette, producing a very elegant, if slightly unconventional, outfit. The combination between browns and blues is attractively presented also in a number of checked jackets – as always with a slightly shorter length of about 75cms on a regular size 50 – and checked shirts. Ginghams, windowpanes, busy Glen checks, micro designs and false plains all have a role to play in this story and the confident dresser will be tempted to mix two, three or even four related patterns together in a single outfit. In a season of contrasts, two key trends are to have a very busy ensemble that mixes patterns and colours or to have a markedly single colour or tone-on-tone outfit. Even though it is the warmer season in most markets, the lightness of modern cloths means that even a three-piece suit can be worn. The waistcoat adds that note of having tried just a little harder in putting your outfit together and it demands the most luxurious accessories. A midbrown checked three-piece, for example, looks pin-sharp when complemented with accessories in different shades of blue. Blues of all shades work very well with that summer favourite, white. Whether it’s a pair of crisp, clean denim jeans worn with a white linen shirt, or a softly tailored blue windowpane checked two-button jacket with patch pockets teamed with some white slacks, this is an internationally popular combination. A final consideration for next spring is to mix textures and finishes. Seersucker-like jacket fabrics go well with smooth cotton trousers and piqué polo shirts. A mix of wool/linen/silk in a checked jacketing has surface interest that can be echoed in the texture of a belt or the suede of a loafer. As always in refined menswear, in Spring-Summer 2013 the difference will be in the details.

Scabal Spring-Summer 2013 four main colour themes © Scabal

or a piece of fine knitwear is all that’s need to be worn underneath. After grey, probably the most popular colour in most men’s wardrobe is blue. It offers a vast spectrum of interpretations, from a deep indigo to a pale watery sky blue. As Blue Desert, the fourth major colour story from Scabal, proves, blue complements many shades of brown very effectively as well as related options such as beige, khaki and olive green. At its most restrained, it is a very effective colour for accessories. Along 26

cousins, the modern double-breasted is close fitting, usually unlined or half-lined, and features sporty patch pockets or safari jacket-like flapped pockets, and boldly contrasting buttons. In common with the single-breasted styles, the double-breasted is cut slightly shorter to give a boxy look that complements well the slim and narrowing trouser silhouette. Spring-Summer 2013 is going to be a strong season for jackets again and sometimes they are so snugly tailored that wearing a shirt is inappropriate. A T-shirt


N US iPad BO d om /ipa .c n e B espok

‘Customization is not a joke, or a philosophy, or a psychology. If you put yourself in an environment that suits you [ personally ], then you’re going to have a better life — it’s as simple as that.’ Declaration made to the Financial Times by American-born Italian style guru Lapo Elkann – Fiat Automobile’s inheritor and grandson of Gianni Agnelli.


























As a natural introduction to this special ‘From Sheep to Shop’ feature, let’s take a look at wool, which is one of the most versatile, comfortable and attractive natural fibres known to man. By James Drew

It is difficult to imagine any other fibre that has woolly sheep may have begun around 6000 BC, given as much to mankind as wool has – for more with the earliest woven wool garments dated than 10,000 years, the shorn fleece of sheep has to 2-3,000 years later. Woolly-sheep were introprovided humans with comfort, life-saving duced into Europe from the Near East in the early warmth and chic fashion, but there is so much part of 4000 BC. Before shears were invented more to the fibre. – which was probably in the Iron Age – the wool was plucked by hand or with bronze combs. In Roman times, wool, linen, and leather clothed HISTORY the European population ; the cotton of India First, a brief history lesson – although sheep was a curiosity that only naturalists had heard were first domesticated around nine to eleven of, while silk, which was imported along the ‘Silk thousand years ago, archaeological evidence Road’ from China, was an extravagant luxury. found at sites in Iran suggests that selection for Pliny the Elder records in his Natural History

production of other commodities, in the case of sheep growers, to production of meat. Recently, in order to address wool-growers’ concerns, in December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres, to raise the profile of wool and other natural fibres. So, what are the qualities of the fibre that has ensured its prevalence throughout the history of man ? Well, today as yesterday, wool is the world’s leading natural fibre – its complex protein structure is responsible for its unique characteristics and properties, such as its exceptional resilience and elasticity, which simply cannot be matched by synthetic fibres.

Historic London interior of the House of Lords, showing the throne and Woolsack (namely a chair that is filled with wool)

that the reputation for producing the finest wool was enjoyed by Tarentum (Italy), where selective breeding had produced sheep with a superior fleece, but which required special care. By medieval times, the wool trade had developed into a serious business – in the 13th century, wool was the economic engine of the Low Countries and central Italy ; by the end of the following century, Italy predominated, though in the 16th century Italian production turned to silk. Both pre-industries were based on English raw wool exports – rivaled only by the sheepwalks of Castile (Spain), developed from the 15th century – which were a significant source of income to the English crown, which from 1275 imposed an export tax on wool called the Great Custom. The importance of wool to the English economy can be shown by the fact that since the 14th century, the presiding officer of the House of Lords has sat on the Woolsack, namely a chair that is filled with wool. Raw wool was baled and shipped from North Sea ports to the textile cities of Flanders – Belgium – notably Ypres and Ghent, where it was dyed and worked up as cloth. Around the time of the Black Death (1348-1350), English textile industries accounted for some 10% of English wool production ; the English textile trade grew during the 15th century, to the point where the export of wool was discouraged. After the Restoration, fine English woolens began to compete with silks in the international market, partly aided by the Navigation Acts – in 1699, the English crown forbade its American colonies to trade wool with anyone but England.

PROPERTIES AND USES As far as clothing is concerned, wool’s qualities ensure its remarkable ‘double act’ of being a fibre that both retains heat (ensuring warmth and comfort in the cold) and ‘breathes’ naturally, which means that warmth in winter and coolness in summer are guaranteed for young and old. In addition, wool’s natural elasticity (the fibre can safely be extended by up to 30% without damage), coupled with its resilience, moisture absorption and unique flame retardant attributes make it a healthy and safe fibre for sport and work. And that is far from all – did you know, for example, that buildings equipped with wool interiors have improved fire safety and air quality ? This is because wool is naturally flame resistant, does not melt or drip, and emits far less smoke and toxic gases than any other commonly used fibre. It has also been proven that wool’s complex cell structure provides cleaner air in offices and homes for up to 30 years – following the installation of wool in five buildings in Germany that had formaldehyde concentrations in excess of the World Health Organisation’s recommended maximum, researchers recorded that the level had dropped significantly below 0.05 parts per million in just 24 hours. Wool also provides a good night’s sleep – recent studies have shown that, when sleeping under a woolen quilt, the heart rate is lower during the entire sleep period, which ensures a far better quality of rest.

WOOL AS A GREAT NATURAL FIBRE Unfortunately, due to decreasing demand caused by an increased use of today synthetic fibres, wool production is much less than what it has been historically. The collapse in the price of wool began in late 1966 with a 40% drop ; with occasional interruptions, the price has tended down. The result has been sharply reduced production and movement of resources into Lamb wool traditional shearing process in Australia © Jo for



Wool fibres


fibre determines its final use and value. Some 37% of world production is classed as fine wools, And wool can even help save lives other than 22% as medium and 41% as coarse. Two thirds by just keeping bodies warm – researchers at of the wool harvest is used in the manufacture the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology of garments, and around one third in carpets, school of fashion and textiles have discovered upholstery and rugs. Industrial uses of wool that a blend of wool and Kevlar, the synthetic accounts for around 5% of the total. As well as fibre that is widely used in body armour, is lighter, Merino, Scabal also uses vicuña, alpaca and camel cheaper and worked better in damp conditions wools for creating fine winter fabrics. And, in keeping with the modern world’s than Kevlar alone, which loses around 20% of its effectiveness when wet and therefore required environmentally conscious attitude, wool is an expensive waterproofing process – wool one of the most natural and renewable products increased the friction in a vest with 28–30 lay- available with the wool industry itself ensuring ers of fabric, to provide the same level of bullet high standards of animal welfare for more than 1 billion sheep worldwide. Wool products also resistance as 36 layers of Kevlar alone. require but a fraction of the energy needed to But what of the fabrics produced from wool, you may ask ? Well, without wool, Scabal could not have achieved its worldwide reputation for producing the very best fabrics. ‘From Sheep to Shop’ has always been central to the company’s ethos, which culminated recently with the opening of the brand’s own shop on one of Brussels’s most sophisticated shopping thoroughfares. Over the years, Scabal has insisted on using only the finest wool available, be it from handreared sheep near its United Kingdom-based West Yorkshire mill in Huddersfield, or from Australian Merino sheep wool. Wool varies from super fine Merino fibre, which is very similar to cashmere and which is increasingly popular in Scabal’s summer fabrics, to very coarse hairy wools. The diameter of the

produce a comparable man-made fibre, it has a low transportation footprint, as it can be shipped easily in bulk in its high-density form, is 100% biodegradable and can last for many hundreds of years – just look at carpets in stately homes by way of example. Perhaps most of all, though, wool simply feels so fine to wear – from suits, jackets, pullovers, coats, sportswear, skiwear, scarves, gloves, socks, hats, underwear, the range of woolen clothing available is limited only by fashion designers’ imagination. So, wear and use your wool with pride – today, as with all our yesterdays, it is the fabric of the future. More information about wool at :





lax comes from a perennial plant, cultivated mainly for its fibres, from which linen is made, and for its seeds, which produce linseed oil. Linen is one of the rare European plant-based textile fibres, and it is characteristically long, compared with cotton or wool. P R O D UC TION Annually, worldwide production of linen amounts to approximately 2 million tonnes. The largest producers are Europe, China and Russia ­– western Europe produces linen of the highest quality. P R O P E RTIE S • • • • • •

Flax is a rather heavy fibre It is rough to the touch The fibre ‘breathes’ easily and absorbs moisture Linen thread is customarily irregular Fineness : Generally between 15-18µ Length of fibre : From 75-150mm P R ACT I C AL U S AGE

Linen is ideal for making trousers, shirt or sports jackets, and is the fabric most suitable for hot and wet climates.

SCA BA L’ S IR IS H L INE N The large majority of the linen used by Scabal is produced around Dublin in Ireland, according to strict traditional processes that have made Irish linen world renowned. Certain varieties used by Scabal are still woven on old looms, on which it is impossible to produce fabric more than 75cm in width, unlike modern machines that can deliver a standardized width of up to 150 cm. The linen woven on these antiquated machines is of a rare quality, characterized by its smoother texture.


FOR THE WOOL’S SAKE Let’s have a look at Scabal’s cloth mill Bower Roebuck, located in Huddersfield, West Yorhsire. There, the best wool is used to create the finest fabrics. By Eric Musgrave English countryside around Scabal’s fabrics mill, Huddersfield. Super 130’s jacket and cotton trousers by Scabal © Scabal



he prosperity of England was built on wool. From the Middle Ages onwards, the combination of sheep’s fleeces, soft water and a skilled workforce of weavers using hand-looms established an economy that laid the foundations for the British Empire. From the fourteenth century to 2006, the presiding officer in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British Parliament, was called the Lord Chancellor and his official seat was “the woolsack”, a large wool-filled cushion (see picture page 30). Originally the official’s perch was a wool bale, a symbol of the wealth created by the wool trade. Since 2006, the responsibilities of this high office have been taken by the Lord Speaker, who still conducts his official business from the woolsack. The heritage of this centuries-old tradition lingers on in the language of the modern textile industry. The term worsted – referring to smooth suitings woven from refined, long twisted yarns, rather than the coarser woollen alternatives – is derived from Worstead, a small village in the county of Norfolk. This rural backwater became exceptionally prosperous from the 1300s when weavers from Flanders, Belgium, arrived in the area at the request of King Edward III (1312 – 1377), after he had married the Flemish princess, Philippa of Hainault (1314 - 1369). The oldest Act of Parliament kept in the House of Lords Record Office refers to the Taking of Apprentices for Worsteads in the County of Norfolk Act of 1497. Despite the universal use of a variation of its name, weaving died out in Worstead in the late 1800s, but several other areas of the United Kingdom continue the proud tradition of Britishmade high-quality weaving. While Scotland is celebrated for its woollen, especially tweedy, cloths, the heart of the modern worsted industry is the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The soft water running off the millstone grit rocks of the Pennine hills in northern England is naturally suited for the washing of wool. It was the plentiful supply of this water and the large number of local sheep that made the area around the towns of Bradford and Huddersfield a centre for wool cloth production as far back as the Middle Ages. What was once a hand-loom industry based in workers’ cottages was industrialised in the 19th century, by which time the West Riding of Yorkshire was world-renowned for the excellence of its woollen and, more especially, worsted cloths. The Made in England label, usually seen in the selvedge, was a sign of quality in a cloth, but a Made in Huddersfield insignia was regarded as the gold standard for suitings. The famous Pennines water made an unwelcome appearance, however, on Wednesday 31 July 2002 when a massive flood swept through the production site run by Scabal’s cloth mill Bower Roebuck in the village of New Mill near Holmfirth, a few miles to the south of Huddersfield. Luckily the workforce was on summer holiday when the weight of water caused by heavy summer rainfall smashed through the roller shutter doors. The ground floor of the mill was left under 1 metre of penetrating flood water. “This was a complete disaster. We were lucky that we were closed for annual leave because this was a very dangerous flood of fast-running water,” recalls Ronald Hall, Bower Roebuck’s managing director. “Although the 100-year-old building has four floors, we were a well-organised, efficient modern textile mill and we had all production on the ground floor. In our yarn store everything on the second shelf was safe and dry but we could not even recognise the fibres that had been on the lowest shelf.” Recovery from the calamity, which caused damage costing several millions, was rapid. By December 2002, 10 new looms had been installed and by February 2003 a full complement of 20 German-made Dornier PTV6S rapier looms was operational, replacing the three generations of Dornier machines and other equipment and stock that had been lost to the torrent.

MR BOWER & Mr ROEBUCK The disaster of 10 years ago was the worst set back in a long history of textile production at the site. Glendale Mills was founded in Holmfirth by Mr Bower and Mr Roebuck in 1899, but cloth production had been carried on at the location for at least 500 years. Since the early 1970s, the business has been part of the Scabal group. As well as producing some of the finest and most refined cloths in the Scabal bunches, Bower Roebuck has a stellar line-up of premium clients from around the world. Tom Ford, Prada, Belvest, Burberry, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Hermès, Paul Smith and Louis Vuitton are among the brands regularly buying cloth from the mill. “The Scabal management was very far-sighted to acquire Glendale Mills about 40 years ago,” says Hall. “A large part of our annual production is for Scabal. Being part of the group means that we can work very closely with our colleagues to develop new qualities. We are in constant dialogue with the team in Brussels and, probably uniquely among modern British mills, we operate five data looms for sampling. It’s a continuous process of trying out new ideas.”

A PASSION FOR INNOVATION… Scabal and Bower Roebuck have been technical innovators for years. Scabal was the first cloth supplier to develop Super 120’s qualities, soon after the industry’s bench mark of Super 100’s was established, and the first to extend the fineness to Super 150’s levels. It was the first also to create “gemstone” cloths, such as Diamond Chip and Lapis Lazuli, which include traces of the precious minerals in the cloth. It also developed the Private Line technology, which allows stripes to be formed from tiny letters woven into the cloth. Another Scabal achievement, woven by Bower Roebuck, is Summit, the amazing quality woven from ultra-fine wool to take luxurious suiting to a new pinnacle of excellence. “The textile business is changing fast. The fine qualities that were viewed as extreme 10 years ago are now regarded as industry standards,” observes Ronald Hall, a Scottish textiles veteran with almost 40 years’ experience in the industry. “But Summit is in a class of its own. It is an exceptional achievement, combining fineness with superb lustre and a super-soft handle.” Summit is only one of the many manifestations of Bower Roebuck’s exceptional combination of aesthetics and performance, of art and science. The mill works with only the best noble fibres – Merino wool, cashmere, vicuna, mohair, silk, linen and cotton are all to be found in its extensive yarn store. “We keep a lot of yarn at the mill because our clients expect us to react quickly,” says Hall. “Not long ago it might have taken us three months to fulfil an order, but turning something round in eight weeks is not unusual today. Clients want more things, more often, as they want to present newness and innovation to their customers. Bower Roebuck is in the business of producing short runs of fancy cloths. That is our speciality.” A standard bolt of cloth, called a piece, is 65 metres long. The looms are 220cm wide, producing cloth that is between 170cms and 190cms wide before it is washed and shrunk to its final width of 150cms useable fabric inside the famous selvedge, which can carry the customer’s name, a description of the cloth and its component yarn quality. The sophisticated modern looms at Scabal’s mill can handle up to 28 different interlacings, which is far in excess of the industry standard of 22. This allows the company to design more intricate and fancy patterns. Although the Dornier machines can run very fast, the mill 36

View of Huddersfield Factories from Cowcliffe ca. 1916 Read Holliday Site in Far Left Background Amongst Smokestacks

Pennines water bring an exceptional pure water, perfect for washing the wool and giving it it’s natural softness


are lovingly designed, woven, checked and completed in the busy mill in the West Yorkshire countryside.

Combining the warp (the threads that run the length of the cloth) with the weft (the threads running from left to right) is only a first stage in the creation of a high-quality fabric. Once a cloth Ronald Hall has been woven, it has to be treated or “finished” and Scabal works closely with a specialist local prefers to operate them at below their maximum firm in West Yorkshire on this essential and speed to ensure high quality and consistent sophisticated process. “Like so much of what we construction. The variables in the elements of do, the finishing stage has become much more weaving are considerable. The fineness of the complicated over the past 20 years. We work yarn, its weight, whether a single yarn or a blend with high quality wools that have been spun on is used, how many threads by inch are featured the worsted process, so that the fibres lay flat and and much more has to be taken into account. parallel. Given the inherent lustre of wool, the Although the looms are computer-controlled cloth reflects light as a natural process, but some and have a memory so that the set-up for specific customers want us to reduce this lustre. Others, constructions can be “remembered”, there is still particularly in the Far East, like a suiting to be a huge amount of human skill that goes into the as reflective or shiny as possible, so we have to creation and manufacture of premium cloths. enhance the natural qualities through finishOf the 75 employees in Bower Roebuck, 45 are ing. Scouring, or milling, used to be a standard based on the production process and four are finishing technique for cloth, but now we find textile designers. ourselves working in areas like nanotechnology to impart qualities such as stain-resistance or crease-resistance. Even when the same yarns and constructions are used, cloths can be given different handles – soft and gentle or crisp and dry – through different finishing processes.” As befits a significant player in the luxurious “Quality is what we provide and so we are obses- cloth business, Bower Roebuck has its eyes sive about quality control at every stage,” says Hall. on the future of the industry and it continues “We even train our own menders, who check and, to invest in training of the next generation of if necessary, repair tiny faults. The materials we textiles professionals, both for itself and for use are natural and they can break – the yarns Savile Clifford, a new company formed in 2006, are not rods of steel – and the best way to check which offers a different but complementary collection of fabrics. Savile Clifford sales are now them is with the human eye.” The most complicated and most refined of a significant contribution to the throughput, Scabal’s galaxy of fine cloths are produced at efficiency and profitability of the Glendale Mills Glendale Mills. Textile creations that are admired production site. by menswear connoisseurs around the world


Scabal fabrics creation process


2 Natural


fibres selection

3 Spinning a Yarn

Fabrics Designer Michael Day and his English colleagues create fabrics models by blending materials, designs and colours. He designs two collections per year : AutumnWinter and Spring-Summer. Each collection presents around 350 new designs. Nine months are needed from the first design creations to the final fabrics production.

The best natural fibres of Merino wool, cashmere, linen, cotton, vicuña camel hair, silk are selected with care. Many factors influence the fibres When the fibres have been washed, dyed, combed selection such as origin, finesse, rareness and and aligned, they are then spun to create a strong versatility. thread ready for weaving.

4 Winding

5 Warping

Winding is the process of transferring yarns from bobbin into a suitable package. This process removes yarn faults such as hairiness, neps and slubs of foreign matters. The yarn is also passed into the Tensioning device to control yarn tension.

Warping is the processing of creating the base yarn that runs top to bottom on woven cloth. In a literal sense, warp and weft terms define two types of thread used to create a finished woven product. The warp is the tightly stretched lengthwise core of a Healding is the process by which individual ends fabric, while the weft is woven between the warp (warp yarns) are drawn through the healds prior threads to create various patterns. to the gear/warp being lifted into the loom.

7 Samples production





Weaving is an art and craft that involves placing two threads or yarn made of fibre onto a warp and weft Samples of fabrics are produced on a narrow of a loom and turning width loon. This first result will help the fabrics them into cloth. This cloth can be plain (in one designer to define the definitive fabric proper- colour or a simple pattern), or it can be woven in ties and designs. After the approbation of the original designs. samples, the first steps are once again repeated to create the definitive cloth.

10 Finishing Finishing refers to any process performed on fabric after weaving to improve the look, performance, or ‘hand’ (feel) of the finished clothing.

6 Healding

11 Perching Perching is the final step that ensures the perfect cloth quality. The fabric is set on a perch batcher for inspecting details through a full quality control.

Once irregularities are detected on fabric, skilled workers repair them by hand.

12 Shipping When cloth is fully controlled, Bower Roebuck delivers it to Scabal headquarters in Brussels, where it is stocked along with a further 5,000 fabric references. 37


MADE WITH PRIDE IN SAARBRÜCKEN, Germany Between the moment that the sheep is sheared to create the yarns that will be used to weave the fabric and when the client receives his Scabal made-to-measure suit, only three short weeks are needed to create the outfit. Bespoken offers you a guided tour of Scabal’s own workshop in Germany, near to the French border. By Eric Musgrave


ver since an inventor named Elias Howe patented the first industrial sewing machine in the US in 1846, the industrial production of clothing has taxed men’s minds. For more than a century and a half the desire has been to produce garments that look good and fit well, yet are made within a mechanized system rather than by artisans’ hands. Since machines began replacing handiwork, there has also been a need for speed in cutting and sewing and bringing together the many components that make up a suit or a jacket. The result is that true bespoke tailoring is now the province only of the super wealthy. Most consumers search for the retail brand or readyto-wear manufacturer that provides the products that suit their budget and personal preferences. Increasing numbers, however, are alive to the benefits of made-to-measure tailoring, a discipline in which Scabal sets a high market standard. Today’s consumers are fortunate that 160 years or more of industrialized manufacturing have produced a level that is exceptional. Many talented brains and many millions of dollars have been used to develop modern textile and clothing manufacturing systems. Clothes, even tailored clothes, are made consistently well with a high level of competence by many companies. Uniformity has become a virtue. Many of the most efficient factories in the world are proud that they can produce, speedily and efficiently, thousands upon thousands of identical garments.

Inside Scabal’s factory © Scabal

Close to 40,000 individual items – suits, jackets, coats – are produced by its computer-controlled system every year, not forgetting around 6,000 pairs of trousers and many waistcoats. But what the visitor to Saarbrücken notices is the variety of products that are going down the line ; there is very little repetition. This is where all of Scabal’s made-to-measure orders from around the world are manufactured by a highly skilled team of 160 operatives.

A refined business suit in Scabal’s Toison D’Or Super 150’s may be hanging next to a brightly checked jacket in a milled wool cloth from the Cortina collection, which in turn is followed by a different jacket destined for a warmer clime in a Featherweight cloth, which blends Super 150’s merino with 15% silk in an airy weave that weighs a mere 160 grammes. It is highly uncommon, if not unique, to see this variety of production in a large factory.

EFFICIENT, INDIVIDUAL AND RELIABLE PRODUCTION But here lies the obvious downside of mass production. The repetition of the identical removes almost completely any sense of individuality or personal style. It is rare indeed to find a highquality, efficient, reliable production unit that specializes in individuality, not conformity. The Scabal factory in Saarbrücken on the western edge of Germany, very close to the French border, is one such rare unit. 38

Scabal’s traditional production process, also called “Made by You”, between handmade tradition and digital modernity © Scabal

Thread bobbins at Scabal’s Saarbruckën workshop © Scabal


around 5,000 cloths, they think I am joking,” says Scabal’s Technical Director Mario Acuri. “They can’t believe we run so many cloths and that we have so many options for individualization. They say : ‘I don’t know how Scabal does it.’” As already indicated, many tailoring manufacturers have strived in the modern era to simplify their product ranges, to make mass production easier, slicker, faster and therefore more profit-

it, such as shortening the sleeves, taking in the side seams, or letting out the waistband. Most made-to-measure services therefore are no more than putting such alterations into a ready-towear suit while it is being made. Scabal’s methods operate at a much higher level. The experienced team of technicians and craftsmen at Tailor Hoff and Scabal have managed to reproduce by digital means and almost

The Tailor Hoff factory in Saarbrücken became able. Scabal’s difference, however, has been to part of the Scabal group in 1989. Since then, the champion personalization and mass customizahigh quality of its production methods have been tion. While a Scabal garment is made using the refined, evolved and advanced in line with best most modern methods with the most up-to-date practice in the clothing manufacturing industry. equipment, it is in fact frequently a unique piece, Typically for Scabal, there has been considerable created like no other. investment in new machinery and IT systems. The next move will see a bold reorganization, so that instead of sitting on a ‘production line’, employees will work in self-contained groups to create the garment. “This method has been used with great success in Japan,” says Mario Acuri, Scabal’s Technical There has been a marked increase in the Director. “We will bring together groups of six number of brands and retailers offering a madeto eight who will have more autonomy, more to-measure tailoring service, but in most cases flexibility and more responsibility for the work this involves making only slight adjustments to that they produce. There will obviously be greater a suit or jacket that is constructed on a standard job satisfaction for the staff, but also we expect ‘industrial’ process. Most men buying a off-theour already high quality to improve and for us to peg suit expect to have some alterations made to quote shorter delivery times.”

exact copy of the traditional hand-cutting craft. For each garment, the customers measurements will be closely analysed, and worked upon according to traditional principles of harmonious lines and balance. Only when they are completely satisfied will this data be transferred to a digital cutter that will execute the pattern in the most exacting fashion. This really is the best thing after the fully hand-cut bespoke suit.



While the improved standard is good news for Scabal’s clients, it is likely to cause even more consternation among other manufacturers. Not only is the refined quality of Scabal’s tailoring much admired by other brands, the unique complexity of the group’s made-to-measure programme is a cause for comment. “When I tell my colleagues from other firms that we offer around 200 options across our made-to-measure service and that we are able to make up any of our 40

Equally significant is the work that has been done to establish the best proportions around the waist and seat. The Scabal methods ensure that the seam lines are the most fluent they can be for clients of any shape. Visitors to the factory cannot help but notice the amount of handwork that goes into the jackets, trousers and waistcoats. The skilled workers produce the goods at a very impressive rate, but built into the schedule is enough time to do the job correctly. There are no shortcuts – wherever appropriate, the most up-to-date equipment is employed, but no one has yet come up with a substitute for the human touch, the feel of an expert, or the human eye. The importance of highly-trained staff is seen in the many quality control checks that take place throughout the process. The cutters and sewing operatives routinely check their own work, but in addition at every major stage in the production

instructions pertaining to the order is printed for every stage, including cutting the outer cloth, the body interior, the lining, the sleeve, the trousers, the pressing and the despatch. Saarbrücken is linked electronically to Scabal’s head office and cloth warehouse in Brussels. Every day a lorry delivers from Belgium to Germany a new consignment of cloth lengths for the latest orders. The cloth is checked and

Once the cloth and the linings have been cut, these pieces of an elegant three-dimensional jigsaw travel around the large and busy site on a hanging trolley system. The body of the jackets go down one line, while sleeves go down another, the trousers a third and the waistcoats another. At every stage the barcode on the docket is scanned so that the precise location of any part of any order can be identified immediately. The body

then shrunk through a heating process so that it will remain stable throughout the production. The patterns are plotted on computer and then cut out on sophisticated cutting tables from the American company Gerber, which is a world leader in CAD-CAM (computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacture). There are five cutting tables for suiting, jacketing and trousering and another three reserved just for

and sleeves come together towards the end of the line, after which the garments are pressed, with different presses being used for different jobs. For obvious reasons, the buttons are not sewn on any garment until it has been pressed.


All pictures : A small group of highly skilled craftsmen working on Scabal’s new upgraded line © Scabal

a full examination of the work is carried out by the most experienced supervisors. Right at the end, there is a final painstaking examination before the garments are approved and sent for consolidation, when the suit trousers finally meet with the right jacket. They are determined that each of Scabal’s customers will get exactly what he ordered. A modern tailoring facility offers all the challenges of a huge Rubik’s Cube; everything must be in the right position at the right time to solve the puzzle. Before the garments are assembled, their components have to be brought together, accurately cut, and allocated. The outer cloth, the jacket lining, the lining for the trousers, the chest canvas, the shoulder pads, the pocket linings, the sleeve linings, the various buttons, the numerous types of thread, the zips, the felt for the under collar and more – there is a huge number of variables in even the most conventional suit. There are more than 20 pieces of cloth in the exterior of a jacket and there are more than 100 component parts in an entire suit. The impressive computer-based system that controls this hugely complicated manufacturing process gives every single order its own unique barcode. Built around SAP software, Scabal’s custom-made program includes a series of filters, which highlight, for example, if a mistake has been made in the original order. A detailed job docket bearing all the relevant details and

the various linings. Yet the technology is there to assist, not to control, the operation. For plains and stripes, the cloth is folded over for cutting so that both sides of a jacket chest are cut at once. For checks, however, the cloth is laid flat and the cutter visually examines the straightness of the check and makes allowances for any slight irregularity. This reliance on the human eye, the human touch, the years of experience, is typical of the expert approach employed to achieve perfection.

DEVOTED WORKERS Saarbrücken employs close to 300 people and 60% of the manufacturing staff are French women who cross over into Germany each day. This practice arose in the 1970s when German pay rates were better than French ones. While that differential does not exist today, working at Scabal is still seen as a fine career choice for the sort of person who enjoys working on a highgrade product and thrives on dealing with variety. The production site is responsible for producing Scabal made-to-measure on standard delivery (three weeks) and express delivery (two weeks), plus its ready-to-wear reorders and the main production of the season ready-to-wear ranges. The busy atmosphere of the factory is thanks to Scabal’s long-sighted decision to maintain production in Western Europe and to continue to invest in the plant. The new production set-up and the improved standard of make will continue that proud tradition.


FRESH OPENING ! Inside Scabal’s brand-new flagship store, Brussels, Belgium © Scabal

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Scabal has recently inaugurated a brand-new flagship store in one of the most upscale shopping destinations in Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Europe. By the way, the brand has also unveiled its new shop decoration concept.


By Jérôme Stéfanski


ocated in the centre of Brussels, near the equally famous Avenue Louise, the thoroughfare Boulevard de Waterloo also includes some of the biggest names in international fashion and luxury. Scabal has developed 250 square metres, built on the template of a private house –the prestigious address was previously occupied by Jacques De Vlaminck, a tailor who has worked with Scabal for many years. Now ready to retire, but wanting to safeguard the future of his employees, De Vlaminck decided to sell his premises to Scabal. The brand, meanwhile, has pledged to maintain the employment of all his staff and honour the traditions of the master tailor family De Vlaminck, which has been established in Brussels since 1958. In short, this family business will now belong to another family company. The store’s interior has been completely renovated according to Scabal’s design standards. The makeover was entrusted to German architectural firm Blocher Blocher Partners, which is renowned for its simplicity and professionalism. Off-white, dark gray and brown cognac were the colours chosen by Scabal to recreate the peaceful atmosphere of a traditional English gentlemen’s club – the ground floor has been completely redesigned, and an 80 square metre VIP dressing room will soon be developed on the first floor.


Boulevard de Waterloo, Brussels © Scabal


SCABAL’S RETAIL IMAGE Sylvain Gadeyne has worked at Scabal for ten years. This stylish and easygoing gentleman lives in the Belgian fashion capital of Antwerp, and is in charge of the conception, creation and implementation of all Scabal’s retail material worldwide. Based in Brussels, Sylvain Gadeyne travels the world designing creative and commercial installations, for both Scabalowned shops and retailers’ stores. Passionate about design, art, fine food and timeless elegance, Sylvain Gadeyne was involved in the first shop concept launched in the London Savile Row flagship store five years ago. He has been personally involved in the brand-new decoration concept of the Belgian shop. From the architects’ first briefing to the final touch, including the choice of furniture and the selection of many other fine materials, he has led this project with passion and creativity. For Bespoken, Sylvain Gadeyne provides his personal view on this new store’s concept, and the challenges he has faced during the year to finalize this huge project. After several months’ work, what is your first impression when you visit the new Scabal flagship store ? Sylvain Gadeyne : After all those years it is still ‘strange’ to see the store for real. The concrete result is great and the sensations are cool, when you remember the many sketches, drawings and prototypes you produced to get this result. What was the main challenge that you faced ? The main challenge was to create a place to remember where you can feel our entire luxury fabric heritage in pleasant light, smell the leather and talk to someone who knows about our products. Online stores have much success, but they cannot create this warm and comfortable retail environment. What are the differences, improvements and novelties compared with the previous shop concept ? The current concept is much warmer than the previous one. The brown cognac leather and natural walnut wood give the store an English atmosphere – very cosy and original. Can you describe the new shop concept ? It is a place that responds to each customer and presents the world of Scabal. What is your next retail project ? We are still working on the construction of the new Scabal showroom and building in our Brussels headquarters, and we will also open new corners, shops-in-shops and stores in the next six months. We are also dealing with incredible retail and brand challenges in China, where we have decided to invest a great deal.


To attract customers, Scabal is also highlighting its English roots, which have always been part of the brand’s success story – Scabal has its own weaving workshop in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and its flagship store is located in the heart of London, on the legendary Savile Row. Made-to-measure and ready-to-wear garments, as well as high-end accessories, will all be available from the new boutique. As Scabal CEO Gregor Thissen explained : “The ideal proportion that we want to keep for each of our points of sales is 50% made-to-measure, 30% ready-to-wear and 20% accessories in order both to honour our heritage and be in tune with our customers’ expectations.”



ince 1938, Scabal has been internationally recognized as the leading manufacturer of high-class fabrics and high-end men’s clothing. Many prestigious tailors and fashion houses rely on Scabal for both the quality of fabrics (original materials, ‘Made in England’ weaving and technical skill) and Scabal’s truly impressive range (more than 5,000 fabrics references are always available in Brussels and sold by the metre). Since the 1980s, Scabal has developed into one of the leading experts in traditional made-in-Europe garments. Today, Scabal dresses the gentleman from head to toe, be it in made-to-measure or ready-to-wear clothing or accessories. In recent years, many new accessories have been added to Scabal’s range. With a ‘made in Italy’ guarantee of quality and creativity, these are available as shirts, bags, belts, ties, scarves, coats, luggage, shoes and many others.

“The Scabal range has grown so extensively, it seemed appropriate to provide it through our own retail stores,” added Thissen. “This will expand our retail sales network, primarily to serve two purposes. On the one hand, it is better to present our product range in the most elegant of environments. On the other, we want to be even closer to our customers to meet their needs by offering a personalized service. From a broader perspective, our retail strategy is now aligned with our business strategy, which is based on the internationalization of the brand, which has always been one of our key objectives. Our products are entirely manufactured in western Europe (Germany, England and Italy) and are sold in more than 65 countries. We have no doubt that the opening of this new shop will expand our reach even further.”

The brand approach is based on quality, rather than quantity. Thus, it is not about how many owned shops there are, but rather to provide a very limited number of highly prestigious locations, in certain strategically selected cities. Thissen concluded : “This very selective strategy is beneficial to the ‘multibrands’ network, as it will significantly increase Scabal’s visibility and reputation. Scabal’s retail penetration is not intended to compete with our wholesale sales network, but rather to support it with a view to mutual complementarity.” Scabal Brussels – Flagship Store Boulevard de Waterloo 32 1000 Brussels T. +32(0)2 512 42 03

SCABAL IN CHINA… AND IN ANK ARA In Beijing, it is in the renowned China World Mall that Scabal recently opened its very first Chinese shop. The first store will be followed by the opening of a further dozen shops across China over the next three years. China World is considered as one of the most important prestigious commercial centres in Beijing, and brings together a range of prestige luxury brands. Scabal has opened a 120m2 shop that is also fitted out according to the brand’s new standard. Recently, Scabal has also inaugurated a new partner store in Ankara, Turkey, in association with its long-standing customer, Onel Kumas, with whom the brand has worked for almost 20 years. The shop is located in the prestigious, recently renovated shopping mall, Armada. The full range of Scabal products and services, including ready-to-wear, made-to-measure, accessories and fabrics are on offer at the store. More information at


Ghost Keeping details © István Csákány, Documenta (13)


ENGAGED SEWING ROOM It’s no secret that Scabal has a soft spot for the arts, but once in a while we come across the work of an artist who has a kindred spirit – a deep understanding of and respect for craftsmanship. István Csákány visualises this sensibility in a way that is unique and captivating. By Stephanie Duval

At the Documenta (13) exhibition in Kassel, Germany, István Csákány presented his installation Ghost Keeping – a slightly largerthan-life sewing room rendered completely in wood, accompanied by a most unusual presentation of bodiless figures wearing suits on a catwalk – a fascinating study of the relationship between art and craft that struck a chord with Scabal. As Scabal is a family business that has always made a point of promoting European craftsmanship and strives to offer the best possible working conditions for all of its employees, Csákány’s work moved and intrigued the brand. Here, Bespoken talked to the artist about his origins, their influence on his work and the significance of Ghost Keeping. Bespoken : Could you tell us a little more about yourself ? István Csákány : I was born in Sepsiszentgyörgy in Romania. I spent the first 14 years of my life there. It had an undeniable influence on me : the Causescu area and its sudden end, the universal poverty and the relatively closed Hungarian community in which I grew up. When I came to Hungary with my family we lived here like immigrants. I think this also influenced my thinking and my lifestyle. My parents tried to create a new home for us, and I have been an active part of that since my teenage years. While I was studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hungary, we were building our family house. I became acquainted with a lot of materials and techniques throughout the building process, and they also found their way into my art. I think that how I deal with space and the extended dimensions are as well partly because of these experiences.

When did you become interested in the arts, and how did that develop for you personally ? I have a funny anecdote about this. When I was still living in Romania, there was a drawing competition at school with a prize to travel to a foreign country. I was very motivated to get the prize and to do something very good, so I made my father draw a picture. Unfortunately I didn’t win. The significance of the story is that art was to me – besides the fact that I liked painting – a way to escape the narrow boundaries of my country and of my family’s and relatives’ lifestyle. What generally drives your art ? Are there recurrent themes or subjects ? I feel very much like an Eastern European and many of my works build on this EasternEuropean contentiousness. A central motive for me is ideologies and the effect they have on the individual and peoples’ methods of coping with them. I am interested in morality, buildings and places, and working methods that were created as consequences of an ideology. My interest in labour and the worker’s self-consciousness, monuments or the technique of the woodcutting originates from this. Although I haven’t lived under the ideology of socialism for a long time, I feel the models of thinking and behaving are still quite present in our lives. What has led you to the idea of Ghost Keeping ? The idea for Ghost Keeping is based on an idea that I had quite a long time ago : the realization of a worker ‘suit’. A suit that is cut like an original worker cloth but made of a very fine elegant suit material. Later, I combined this idea with the one of the sewing room. The slightly increased reproduction of a sewing room, with different machines for different tasks. With the equipment of this sewing room, it is (theoretically) possible to produce a suit. What is the philosophy behind this work ? What was your inspiration for this work ? The idea behind it is on one hand the ideology of establishing a working class. The suit is in a way an attempt to do so, for the moment of the exhibition. But at the same time it is also a critique, because the realization of this ideal

can only be temporary. The headless figures with the suits – frozen into poses taken from socialist paintings – evoke memories and refer to the socialist ideals. The sewing machines with their very precise and detailed execution make a theme of the question of labour and beauty. The sewing room as a working place – mainly connected with women’s work – draws attention to the working process, the never-ending mass production. The title connects both parts of the installation and reveals the attempt of trying to keep something, an ideal or ideology (like socialism or capitalism) alive that is already – or is going to be – dead. Do you consult with the people associated with the crafts that you depict ? From the first prototype of a sewing machine until the exhibition I worked almost two years on the realization. Sculptors and carpenters were working for more than half a year with me, in a very tight schedule to finish the 13 machines. The preparation of a project of this scale took a long time. Of course I was consulting with a lot of people about several ways of the realization. I had already had some experiences in doing this kind of wood work, from my previous work Bernsteinzimmer. It took me some time to figure out the ideal equipment to do this filigree wood work. All of the pieces are grinded from wood not carved with lot a specialized carpenter and sculptor tools. For the suits I collaborated with a Hungarian fashion design company – in this field I had no previous experiences. Why did you choose wood as the primary material for this installation ? I already used this wood material for several works. It is used to mount under the tiles of a roof. I like this material because it is a cheap, not precious looking and constantly evolving with time. To preserve it you have to take care of it, otherwise after fifty years it will fall apart. It also resonates with what I call this ‘Eastern European Identity’ – you try to make something nice from a very low quality material. More information on István Csákány :



One capital : Paris. On one side, Laurent Mancini, manager at Savile House by Scabal. On the other, Bruno Hoang, chief financial officer for a renowned real-estate company. Together, they share a common passion for timeless elegance, luxurious fabrics and made-to-measure clothing. By Cécile de Forton

Laurent Mancini (wearing a Scabal 3 pieces suit from The Royal Classics collection, Réf. 702664) and Bruno Hoand (wearing a Scabal 2 pieces suit from the Heroic collection, Réf. 702888) – together walking in Paris.  © Scabal


hirty-one-year-old Laurent Mancini is a real three-piece suit lover. Currently Manager at Savile House, he also handles the Public Relations for this exclusive personal clothing service provided by Scabal in Paris. Dynamic and professional, he enjoys working every day. He particularly likes to be in contact with clients, is always ready to listen and to give advice on finding the best suit for them. Originally from the south of France, he moved to Paris in 2001. After graduating in economics and tailoring, he started his career at Polo Ralph Lauren. He then worked for a recruiting company and also founded his own company in the textiles business. Armed with an impressive skill set, Laurent began collaborating with Scabal as a sales representative four years ago. 50

Born in Paris, Bruno Hoang, 43, met Laurent for the first time two years ago. Having spent his whole life in the capital, he is Parisian to the core. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP), he now works as a finance director. He is very fond of Scabal and not only appreciates the quality and choice of fabrics but also the professionalism and the flexibility of the team. Passionate about shoes, he is also the founder and administrator of En Grande Pompe, an online forum dedicated to male elegance and tailor-made clothes. If you have any questions about how to wear a suit, brogues or accessories, he is your man. If you ask him why he trusts Scabal to create his outfits, this modern gentleman will give you four reasons : “First, because it is the only brand in which the measurements are taken by a real expert. Second,

because it is very rare for a brand to offer two ranges of clothing (one dedicated to tailor-made and the other made-to-measure). Third, the choice of fabrics is seemingly endless with many qualities, designs and shades. Finally, the service and the professionalism are perfect.” It seemed inevitable that these two personalities should have to meet one day. Indeed, every two months, Bruno crosses the legendary Boulevard Haussmann in the direction of Place Vendôme and meets Laurent at Savile House by Scabal, a private showroom designed as a real gentleman’s club, where the full range of Scabal fabrics and made-to-measure outfits are shown. Together, they talk of the weather, and of news and business but once they start talking about classic tailoring, handmade craftsmanship and fine accessories, there’s no stopping them.

How do you define your own style ? Laurent Mancini  I have the Scabal style. Classic, elegant and timeless with a British touch. Bruno Hoang  I am between London and Milan. Classic but twisted.

Two hangouts in Paris ? LM  The Canal Saint-Martin district for its quietness and Mama Shelter, a perfect place to sip a cocktail. This original hotel-bar-restaurant has been designed by Philippe Starck and is located in a district far from tourist attractions and is The essential fashion accessory ? considered one of the most promising. LM  A pocket handkerchief, for adding a per- BH Candelaria, a speakeasy bar, hard to find if sonal touch to a jacket. you have never heard about it and L’Hédoniste – BH  Cuff links. I have a large collection. the chef is an absolute master. Loafers or Oxford shoes ? LM  Oxford shoes, definitely. They create a beautiful harmony with a suit. BH  I have about 50 pairs of shoes and 90 per cent of them are Oxford but loafers stay cool and comfortable for the summer season

A character who had a strong influence on you ? LM  Serge Gainsbourg for his avant-garde, dandy and creative touch. BH  My father. I shaped my personality through him but also in opposition to him.

For you, the short-sleeved shirt is … LM  … To be banned ! Except if you play tennis. BH  … Reserved for Hemingway. Only he knew how to wear it.

Rive Gauche or Rive Droite ? LM  Rive Droite, it matches my lifestyle more. BH  It makes no difference. For me, it is essential to live in the centre.

Two-piece or three-piece suit ? LM  Three-piece for sure ! BH  I like them both, including double breasted suits for big occasions or important business meetings.

Metro or bike ? LM  Metro during the week, bike at weekends. BH  Two-wheeler but with an engine, a scooter or motorbike.

Are you enthusiastic about casual Friday ? LM  As I work on Saturdays, Fridays aren’t special for me. BH  I used to be but when a colleague once asked me if I had run out of clean shirts because I was wearing a polo, I decided to give up on casual Fridays. Tie or bow tie ? LM  Tie, because it is a vertical accessory so it makes the body look longer. BH  Ties. It is such a pleasure to tie the knot with a dimple. Bow ties have a quaint charm that I like but I wouldn’t dare to wear one. Linen or cotton ? LM  Cotton is softer. Linen is very easy to wear and it’s a wonderful breathable natural fibre for summer but I don’t like its rough side. BH  Sea Island cotton, thin and robust.

Your best plans for a perfect weekend ? LM  I work on Saturdays so a nice day with clients is a must ! On Sundays, sunbathing, brunch, a walk along the Canal Saint-Martin, shopping in Le Marais, an exhibition and a movie. Very busy, I know. BH  Go to bed late and sleep in, at least once. Beach or mountains ? LM  Beach. I love to swim and it’s a way to go back to my origins, the Mediterranean Sea. BH  Like André Gide said “Choisir, c’est renoncer”. I can’t choose. I am a fan of skiing and scuba diving. The best fashion advice you would give to a friend ? LM  Never wear more than 3 colours. BH  Swap your socks for mid-calf socks. There is nothing worse than a piece of hairy leg ! Three words to describe Scabal ? LM  International tailoring authority. BH  Versatility, precision and elegance !

SCABAL @ SAVILE HOUSE Savile House is an original distribution concept that is available only by appointment, at the showroom on the second floor of Square de l’Opéra Louis Jouvet, 5 or at a location of your own convenience (be it your home or office). By using the services of Savile House, the customer is able to design his own customized high-quality suits, which are made in western Europe with English savoir-faire. There is a huge range of fabrics and options available, complete with genuine personalized service and deadlines that are respected. Scabal products are also available in Paris at Printemps de l’Homme and Bon Marché. Fashion tips, fabrics novelties, private invitations, etc. at :

Your secret to charming people ? LM  Listening to people. BH  My exotic side maybe. I am a mix of Vietnamese and French blood. Three days’ stubble or moustache ? LM  Three days’ stubble, cut every day. BH  Due to my origins, beardless.

Inside view of Scabal @ Savile House Scabal  © Scabal




One could forgive Mr J.-Peter Thissen for wanting to talk about the successful business he has founded so many years ago, which today is known for its high-quality craftsmanship and currently employs more than 600 people in these economically tough times. But rather than reminiscing, patting his own back or limiting his scope to his immediate surroundings, the Scabal Group chairman is asking us to turn our attention to those most in need. By Stephanie Duval

Super 120’s fabric – Pure Merino Wool – 2 ply yarn – 300g Woven with passion at Scabal’s Huddersfield mill – England Ref. 402760 © Scabal

For a company trading in more than 65 countries, it is impossible to be blind to the hardships that many of the world’s inhabitants face. J.-Peter Thissen says : “We are all rightly concerned about the worldwide economic and financial crisis, but that should not make us forget the misery in many other parts of our planet, such as war, violence, poverty, epidemics, lack of medical assistance and starvation. Fortunately, there are individuals and organizations that still try to help, even though it will never be enough. For ourselves, a family group trading internationally, we must also ask : “What can we do from our side ?” Talking to people active in social work, it became clear to Thissen that there is one condition that is imperative to improve any situation : PEACE. “It is the water without which a harvest would never be possible,” he said, as he announced the private fund that he has brought to life. The Peace Fund will collect funds thanks to the sale of a very special fabric. “I wanted to focus on this all-important message,” Thissen explained. “A singer can express it, a painter can express it, and so can we, in our very own way.” The special cloth will be woven in a Super 120’s wool with a striped design with a one-word message, ‘Peace’, that can only be read when seen up close. “In the past, it was only possible to weave the name of a 52

customer in a short length and it was quite a costly process,” Thissen added. “However nowadays, thanks to the technical know-how in our own factory, we overcame the problem. Using our new warping machines and modern looms, we found a way to get the right tension for the letters, in this case ‘Peace’.” President of an international company and father in a family business, J.-Peter Thissen considers it his responsibility to actively help those organisations that put the well-being of people afflicted by war, poverty, violence and starvation at the forefront. That is why he decided to establish a special fund, where a significant sum of money has already been donated. In addition, €50 will be given to the Peace Fund for every metre sold of the Peace fabric. The benefits will be transferred to a special account for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders.

Partnerships Coordinator Antoine Bogaerts. “It is very important to us to retain this independence, as it guarantees that we will be able to work in any environment, regardless of the political environment.” However, donating the actual funds will not be the only way in which Scabal helps Médecins Sans Frontières, as Bogaerts points out : “Being approached by a global brand such as Scabal, which is sold in stores worldwide, will increase awareness in many countries where we are not currently fundraising, so we will become better known. In those countries where we do have projects running, it will show people how they themselves can help. We are very grateful to Scabal for having chosen us to work with. It is difficult to find partnerships with brands that are meaningful beyond possible advertising opportunities. Scabal’s 100% ethical culture, and the fact that they operate from Brussels, where our operations management is based, too, makes them “I have personally been a member and sponsor a wonderful match for Médecins Sans Frontières.” of Médecins Sans Frontières for a very long time. I’ve seen the fantastic work they’ve done As for how the funds will be used, both J.-Peter around the world. Young doctors often risk their Thissen and Antoine Bogaerts stress that this will lives in very dangerous conditions to provide be a mutual decision. “But the funds will not be medical services.” For Médecins Sans Frontières, allocated to one specific project or area,” Bogaerts partnerships such as this are essential to carrying explained. “As Scabal is a global company, they on their good work : “90% of our funds come from think it is important that the funds should be private people or businesses, only 10% is public directed to the global workings of Médecins Sans funding,” says the non-profit organisation’s Frontières rather than a handful of local projects.”



LEATHER AFFAIR For a business trip, long romantic weekend or simply day-to-day work at the office, the new Scabal leather luggage and smallaccessories range, mixing handmade, elegance and freedom,will be your first choice. Top : Genuine leather Business Bag, Wallet and Key Ring Left : Genuine leather 72h Travel Bag Right : Genuine leather Handbag


Top : Genuine leather Business Bag, Wallet and Coins Wallet Left : Genuine leather Trolley Right : Genuine leather Business Bag

All of the above models come from the Omega Leather Accessories Collection by Scabal




Stylish and effortless are the adjectives that characterize Weekend, a brand new range of fine casual garments recently launched to fit a man’s relaxed style. By Eric Musgrave

‘DRILL STRETCH’ JACKET 97 % cotton and 3 % elasthane


73 % cotton and 27 % polyamide



2 BUTTONS ‘TRICOTINE JACKET’ No lining, 97 % cotton and 3 % elasthane

PURE COTTON SHIRTS’ Soft collar, slim fit, casual touch


news : the Weekend is getting longer. Or, to be more precise, the Weekend collection of luxury casual wear from Scabal is getting larger and more widely available. Developed and launched in the brand’s own stores, this attractive range of high-quality leisure time clothes can be found from Spring-Summer 2013 in Scabal’s wholesale stockists too. “Casual dressing – elegant casual dressing – is on the increase in most parts of the world and we want to serve this demand” says Olivier Vander Slock, Scabal’s Sales and Collection Manager. “Not all men need to wear suits in the business environment anymore and we know that the younger sons of long-established Scabal customers will be attracted to this stylish, contemporary collection.” High-quality fabrics (of course), an excellent

‘soft’ make, lots of colour and interesting quirky touches characterize Weekend. “We wash and dye a lot of the garments once they have been manufactured to give them a softer handle and a slightly lived-in look,” explains Vander Slock. “The whole range is about easy-to-wear comfort, so the jackets are unlined with no shoulder pads for a soft, comfortable fit.” The new Weekend range for Spring-Summer 2013 embraces jackets, including a brilliant saharienne or safari-inspired cotton jacket, and blazer styles. Trousers are chino-style cottons with quirky multi-coloured buttons and neat jeans. Linking with the jeans are some superb refined denim and chambray shirts. Polo shirts in fine knits and pique with a slightly retro feel add some punchy colour. The range is completed by a selection of leather accessories –particularly noteworthy is the selection in perforated leather.



INDIVIDUAL STYLE as a NATION SYMBOL It has been mere months since South Korean singer Park Jae-sang – better known as Psy – uploaded the music video to his song Gangnam Style to YouTube (in August 2012), yet the clip had already been watched almost 990 million times. It also reached number one in the charts in most European countries, but also in Australia, Canada, Mexico and some charts in the U.S. – an unprecedented feat for any South Korean pop song. By Stephanie Duval Psy Gangnam Style handmade plush © Macheretrange –


immense popularity of Psy’s hit has propelled the singer to international stardom. It has also led many South Koreans to label him a national hero for spreading their culture across the globe, gaining recognition for the cultural industry of a country that has long remained hidden in the shadows of the more popular products of Japanese pop culture. But success did not come overnight for Psy. After two failed attempts to study at Boston University and Berklee College of Music in the States, the son of an affluent family in the Gangnam District of Seoul returned to South Korea to try and make it as a singer. He soon made a name for himself as a controversial artist, breaking with the traditional line of K-Pop song writing, appropriating elements from 58

Western hip-hop and establishing a fondness for bizarre dance moves. Struggling for more than 12 years to find the right audience, he appeared in South Korean charts several times before taking the world by storm with his hit wonder Gangnam Style.

INDIVIDUAL STYLE SAVES THE NATION Ironically, it seems that Psy’s reluctance to fit into popular K-pop culture is exactly what helped him gain worldwide fame. Contrary to his massproduced musical colleagues his appearance is considerably less slick – a far cry from the ‘plastic fantastic’ girls and overly effeminate boys that populate the rest of the charts. And his funny

dances surely aren’t choreographed to the millimetre, like the music videos of other Asian super stars. Psy is not afraid to flaunt who he is, even if that image does not correspond to what the audience is used to. A popular guest on American talk shows, he’s been known to say about himself : “I’m not handsome, I’m not tall, I’m not muscular, I’m not slender…but I’m here.” He also added : “On my own, I weigh as much as an entire boys’ band.” It is exactly this sense of humour and selfawareness that truly sets him apart and earned him a spot in the hearts of people all around the world, including world leaders such as President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. In an article about the social impact of Gangnam Style, The Atlantic journalist Euny Hong, who grew up in the same district referenced by the song, claims that “irony is that

special privilege of wealthy nations” and that Gangnam Style “signals the emergence of irony in South Korea, meaning that the country has reached the final stage in any state’s evolution.” This is why Psy goes where numerous K-pop singers and bands have not been able to penetrate – possibly because they take themselves too seriously. Indeed, there is nothing like humour to cross boundaries and to unite people, which is why Ban Ki-Moon went as far as to say Gangnam Style is “a force for world peace” in an interview with AFP. He also added that “through this promotion of arts we can better understand the culture and civilisations of other people”. It is hard to underestimate the social and cultural impact of Gangnam Style on a country like South Korea. Finally, the country is seen by most of the world as the platform for daring, inventive and smart culture that it is. Whereas K-pop and the South-Korean film scene have produced plenty of noteworthy cultural products, they have remained unknown to the large audience, appreciated beyond the country’s borders only by the intellectual elite with a hunger for foreign culture. In the high-fashion industry, South Korean designers have been working hard to rise to the fame of their American and European colleagues, but their efforts have yet to be remarked by the masses. South Korea is also known for various cosmetics companies that pride themselves on offering high quality for reasonable prices, but their brands are not appearing in magazines outside of Asia just yet. That may all be about to change, thanks to this one video filled with ridiculously funny dance moves.


interpretation that can be made of the single. Gangnam Style is a neologism referring to the lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District, but the representation of it in the music video is wholly satirical. As Time magazine journalist David Futrelle asserts : “The video depicts Psy’s comically inept attempts to live large in Gangnam style, offering a satirical take on South Korea’s burgeoning culture of consumer excess.” The comical scenes in the video might not make much sense to viewers outside of Korea, but those familiar with the country’s culture quickly understand that Gangnam Style is not, in fact, a testament to living the lifestyle of the rich and the glamorous, but rather a pitiful yet funny failure to do so. As Futrelle rightfully remarks in his article though, this is satire of the most gentle kind : “one that does not set out to condemn the hollow and superficial lifestyle of many affluent Koreans, but one that reminds viewers living large is “more about attitude than money.” Likewise, Psy’s take on style has resonated with media outlets and designers who are normally not that quick to pick up on silly trends like this one. GQ magazine dedicated an article to the fashion tips one might need to emulate Gangnam style – most notably embracing colourful accessories, wearing sunglasses and pulling off black tie outfits “with aplomb” no matter your size or shape. And fashion website reported that Jill Sander is working on a collaboration with Psy – though one that will only come out in Asia – inspired by his motto : “Dress classy, dance cheesy.” Not surprising to learn that Psy is not only an addict of flashy outfits but also gives importance to the finest fabrics such as ‘Superfine’ wools and cashmere, one of his favourite noble material. He single-handedly put South Korea on the mainstream cultural map of the world, inspired world leaders to pretend they were riding invisible horses and he encourages those who do not fit a certain mould to break free, embrace their personal style and enjoy the silliness of life. Yet Park Jae-sang remains humble and is quick to downplay his part in the craze he started during another interview with Time magazine : “They say some philosopher said, ‘when effort meets chance, then there is luck’. Chance was YouTube and the effort my past 12 years, because I’ve done these kinds of dance moves and video and songs for 12 years. So I really agree with the philosopher.”

Psy’s hit single refers to the Gangnam District in Korea’s capital city Seoul. It is the third largest district in the city and up until the ‘80s was one of the least developed areas of Seoul, but over the past thirty years it became one of the most affluent and influential districts in the whole of South Korea. Psy himself compares the neighbourhood to California’s Beverly Hills in terms of heavily concentrated wealth and standard of living. Of his inspiration for the song, he stated to Business Insider : “I describe Gangnam as noble at the daytime and going crazy at the night time. I compare We think there is a lot more we can learn from ladies to the territory. So – noble at the daytime, this particular singer than crazy dance moves. going crazy at the night time – and the lyric says I am the right guy for the lady who is like that.” But many have been quick to point out that portraying himself as a ladies man is not the only




4 SouthKorean singer Psy (1), Psy with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (2), performing “Gangnam Style” on NBC’s ‘Today Show’ in NYC (3) and with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt (4)




OPENING PARTY ! Recently Scabal inaugurated its brand new flagship store in Brussels, Belgium. No more than 200 guests celebrated this opening centred on cloth heritage. By Jérôme Stéfanski

Scabal sheeps were the special guests of the evening

Brussels flagship store – outside view

Scabal Brussels Flagship Store Boulevard de Waterloo 32 1000 Brussels Belgium Charles Heidsieck champagne for Scabal

Singer Stromae with his manager and blogger Rollin

Profirst event agency

Scabal Merchandising Manager Sylvain Gadeyne and M. and Ms. Geert Hoste

Anne Duchateau & oldtimers specialist Laurent Dassel

Scabal team Stéphanie Myaux and Mariane De Greef Emilie Mandoux from Scabal PR agency and a friend

Reading Bespoken magazine… Of course.

Scabal retailers Eric Becker and Olivier Beti from Be For You Genève

Scabal Collection Manager Olivier Vander Slock, Jacques De Vlaminck and Scabal Order Manager Serge Decuyper

Luciano Barbera (left) and Scabal CEO Gregor Thissen RTL journalist Patrick Weber

From the Shoes Collection Scabal Retail Assistant Morgane Valkenborghs – Bespoken contributor Federico Grandesso and Scabal Sales Assistant Céline Van Cauwelaert

Aston Martin Sales Manager Stef Tassignon

Scabal Marketing Trainee Charlène Hebi

Actor Koen De Bouw and his wife the actress Chantal Leyers

Hat designer Fabienne Delvigne

Mélanie Dewulf from Scabal PR agency

From Sheep to Shop is not a joke


BEHIND THE FAMOUS CIFONELLI’S SHOULDER In Paris, Cifonelli still preserves the authentic tradition of bespoke tailoring, representing technical perfection and timeless elegance, of which Scabal fabrics are a perfect interpretation. Bespoken chats with Lorenzo Cifonelli, one of the world's most renowned tailors. By Janet Prescott for me. It’s true to say that his way of working still inspires me even though the style is constantly evolving. Cifonelli is almost legendary among stylish Parisians and other fashionable gentlemen and it has technical excellence too. We are impressed by this detail on your website. The ‘Cifonelli shoulder’ quickly became the ultimate signature of the brand. “I could recognize a Cifonelli shoulder from a distance of a hundred metres” Karl Lagerfeld. The legendary shoulder is forward cut, felted wet with an iron, and is deemed to offer a unique freedom of movement. How do you keep up the impetus of such a famous business ? The business is dynamic due to frequent contact with a worldwide clientele, we are always travelJosephine Baker’s outfit made by Cifonelli  © Cifonelli ling to meet our customers and I find some places Cifonelli is one of the most famous names in particularly inspiring, I like the effervescence tailoring, epitomizing a characteristic suave style of Tokyo and the stimulation of New York for with more than a touch of glamour and interna- instance. I’ve played the guitar for many years, tional reputation. Its showroom and workshop and I find that music can be also a way to find is located at 31 Rue Marbeuf, Paris, in the elegant and understand new ideas ; I have a particular 8th arrondissement. Bespoken spoke to Lorenzo affinity with music. The Cifonelli philosophy is Cifonelli, owner and master tailor at Cifonelli. founded on a need to understand how people live in modern society, showing curiosity and To begin, I think we need a quick run-down promoting the idea of “contemporary couture”. of the history of Cifonelli ? It involves the search to strike a balance between Lorenzo Cifonelli : The Cifonelli business was classic and modern styles, and thinking of a way founded in Rome in 1880 by Giuseppe Cifonelli of reinventing tailoring. and has involved several generations of the family. Arturo, founder Giuseppe Cifonelli’s son, who How important is the fabric ? had an international view, underwent technical In my opinion, a good fabric must be creative training in London and took the bold move of and dynamic, that is the most important thing. opening the business in Paris in 1926, choos- I admire many Scabal fabrics, and I’m not the ing its present elegant surroundings. Lorenzo only one, because my customers often request Cifonelli and cousin Massimo, fourth generation, these materials. My favourite selections are the are now at the helm. pure cashmere fabrics in the Scabal Romance bunch. They are soft and versatile, perfect for Lorenzo, how did you decide to become jacketing. Scabal creates very original things and a tailor ? its approach matches perfectly with Cifonelli. I always knew I would become a tailor, from the first time I saw my grand-father working in the Can you summarise the Cifonelli approach ? workshop I knew it ; he was always a role model In life, as in style, it’s important to be proud 62

of one’s choices and especially to act on them. That’s the first thing that I tell my customers. I like to set up a very confident relationship so that I can understand their lifestyle and reflect it in their suits. How important is craftsmanship today ? Craftsmanship is newly popular. For some years we’ve seen that people are going back to traditional and artisanal work and as a result, authenticity and personalisation is now a requirement ; that’s why I’m pretty sure that tailoring will continue to grow and catch the interest of many customers How do you see the future of tailoring ? Everything is really positive for us. We have so many different types of customers from around the world. As well as Europeans, especially French customers, there are Americans, Brazilians, and Russians and now we have Asian clients who are currently discovering us. We have many Japanese customers who really love our work and Cifonelli is distributed at Isetan and Kashiyama where Cifonelli make bespoke suits. Let’s be confident that bespoke is the business of tomorrow in the luxury market !

Cifonelli Rue Marbeuf, 31 75008 Paris France T. +33(0)1 42 25 38 84


Lorenzo Cifonelli © Cifonelli





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VENEZUELA +58-212-264 6914 REST OF THE WORLD AUSTRALIA +61-3-5989 8601 BRUNEI – CAMBODIA – INDONESIA – LAOS– MALAYSIA – MYANMAR – PHILIPPINES – SINGAPORE – THAILAND – VIETNAM +65-6336 0070 HONG KONG +852-23-762 535 INDIA +91-11-23 26 45 00 IRAN +98 55611469-55614137 +98 55611469-88701343 JAPAN +81-6-6232 2755 KUWAIT +965-243 36 85 NEW ZEALAND +64-9-828 06 74 SAUDI ARABIA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES +44-140-375 27 16 SOUTH KOREA +82-2-2285 6230 SYRIA +963 - 11 2233986 +963 - 11 2222784


In the next edition of Bespoken, you will discover the new Scabal Autumn-Winter 2013-2014 collection (time flies !) and meet the elegant sports personality we have chosen as brand ambassador. Our brand-new Beijing store will be also featured. Reserve your copy, which will be delivered to your home, at or read the magazine on your iPad at

Linear-winding automatic movement, 18K red gold case with sapphire crystal sides and back. Engraved gold version of the first CORUM automatic baguetteshaped movement.

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In this 12th edition of Bespoken Scabal unveils the Summer 2013 Gentlemen, meets up with a timeless icon of male elegance : Pierce Brosnan,...


In this 12th edition of Bespoken Scabal unveils the Summer 2013 Gentlemen, meets up with a timeless icon of male elegance : Pierce Brosnan,...

Profile for bespoken