Students Benefit from 150+ Years of Tailoring Tradition

Newham College’s Fashion and Tailoring department enjoyed a visit from Lee Dawson, Managing Director of Samuel Brothers bespoke & military tailors and Alice Burkitt from the UK Fashion and Textile Association on Thursday.

Lee spoke to the College’s level 1 and level 2 tailoring students at length, covering a range of topics that included everything from buttonholes to Botswanan kilts. Emphasising work ethic and humility, Lee shared practical tips and principles that had students hurriedly reaching for their notebooks and smartphones. Gill Jones, Head of School Fashion and Tailoring said;

“The students benefitted greatly from Lee’s invaluable wealth of experience and knowledge. His presentation was both informative and inspirational for students and staff.”

Established in 1830 Samuel Brothers are a traditional bespoke & military specialist tailors who pride themselves on their long history and continue to manufacture garments to the same exacting standards of their forebears. Samuel Brothers’ almost 200 year tradition presents its own challenges. Lee sad;

“It’s harder to sustain a good reputation than it is to build one if you’re just starting out.”

A part of that challenge is recruiting to sustain the growth of the business. Lee is man of high standards who demands the very best from his employees.

“We’re looking for someone who is exceptional, who comes in and gets on with it. The minute you slow production you get downtime, and downtime doesn’t pay bills. We’re looking for young people with potential, who are reliable and who are happy to be working with us.”

Neil Coates, Director of Business Development and Apprenticeships, Alice Burkitt UK Fashion and Textile Association and Lee Dawson, Managing Director of Samuel Brothers

Alongside their guest speaker appearance, Lee and Alice were there together with Neil Coates, Director of Business Development and Apprenticeships, to promote an apprenticeship employment opportunity with Samuel Brothers. Regarding the apprenticeship opportunity Lee said;

“It’s an exciting time! We’re passionate about giving opportunities to young people and we’ve spent a lot of time investing in apprenticeships. We think this is the right way to go forward and we are determined to make this work for both Samuel Brothers and the apprentice. It’s a win-win situation.”

If you are interested in an apprenticeship in tailoring, or any other sector, visit the college’s apprenticeship page.

If you are a business looking to employ an apprentice or recruit an existing member of staff on to an apprenticeship please visit the employer’s section of our website.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKTF) is the most inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies. UKFT brings together designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry throughout the UK and internationally. For more information about UKTF, visit their website: http://www.ukft.org

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