Samuel Redmayne (1829-90) originally started his career as a shirt maker until the American civil war (1861-64) caused hardship for all involved in the English cotton industry. With a wife and growing family to care for, Samuel was encouraged to briefly leave tailoring and make a career change by going into partnership with his close personal friend, Samuel Plimsoll, who later became known in the shipping world as the "sailors friend" because of his idea, the "Plimsoll Line”, which was used for the safe loading of cargo onto ships. No doubt that, at that time in London, shipping would have been a very lucrative career but Samuel wanted to return to his native home and to reassert his tailoring ambition and build a company to be proud of.
His determination paid off with his first workshop opening in 1868. This would be the first of some twenty plus branch stores to open up in the following years. The Redmayne formula was simple, it prided itself on quality. Not only in its clothing but also in its relationship with customers and employees. Samuel Redmayne was proud of his business and as it grew he invited people to call in and walk round his well lit and ventilated workrooms. They were the opposite of the crowded, dark and dirty conditions of the tailoring workshops in large towns.
Samuel Redmayne's tailoring dynasty was well established with his children now guiding the company when he passed away in 1890, aged 61. Every worker attended the funeral of the man they called "The Perfect Boss."
Redmayne continued on, always going to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate to its clients that anything which was made at Redmayne truly was the best. On one occasion a specially woven blue serge was woven and fastened to a local lighthouse known as "Daddy Longlegs". It was left there for six months in the worst of the seas weather as an experiment to show it would never fade or wear. Facebook, instagram and the internet are accepted as a commercial must for companies today. But Redmayne knew at the turn of the century how important the relationship with its clients was. Depressions and great world wars never stopped Redmayne advertising, sending out a regular in house magazine, and running competitions to always let their clients know that they were supporting much more than a simple tailoring business.
Through the great war years Redmayne actively did their best to keep up the morale of the clients, staff and people of the local area. Even with shortages of resources Redmayne always ensured that what went into their clothing, the trimmings (which is the interior that you can't see), was equal to the quality you could see. To show that their slogan : "There is more in a Redmayne suit than cloth", made them pioneers showing their clients the interior quality and work of each garment. From then on, every branch store had a half made suit so the customers could see the quality of materials in the garments. Our unflinching standpoint on quality earned the company huge respect. Although the great war was raging, the cost of a Redmayne suit in 1917 raised from 30/- to 70/- (GB Shilling) due to lack of resources. But business remained strong as people knew the quality from Redmayne was worth it. We imagine you're wondering what the equivalent of 70 GP shillings suit in 1917 would be worth today?..Well we've worked it for you, about £250 or $325.
Redmayne pulled out of the war years strongly and as the founder's son, William Redmayne, said "Employees only give their best when they are really happy." That was the mantra of the company then and still today. Even with the "black years " of the early 1930's Redmayne introduced a bonus scheme, holiday fund and the firm had its own water polo and football team. Also, Redmayne encouraged the local dramatic and concert platforms. This led to the company purchasing a local building and giving substantial financial help in converting it to a theatre for the town. Many of these acts of generosity could be taken for granted by modern standards. But this approach to thinking was very contrary for a successful company of the time. This generosity of spirit not only gave the very best to its clients but also offered the same sincerity of care to its staff.
In 1933 the company came up with a new concept, "New suits for old." A remarkable idea and the start of Redmayne's famous suit copying service which we still offer today. The first customer was Mr George Needham of Somerset in south west England. He remained a Redmayne client for over twenty years until his death. Our suit copying service was a very simple concept, you just had to send us a suit that fitted you and, with our unique system, we could copy the measurements and style for you. The full details of this unique service can be found here. This system proved very popular with suits being made for very prominent people such as baronets, high ranking officers, BBC presenters, and people from all walks of life in different parts of the world. A service enjoyed by many because of the convenience and time saved to enjoy Redmayne quality. Redmayne received thousands of testimonials and as one gentleman said : "It looks like they have moved Savile Row to the little Lakeland town of Wigton."
This service proved so popular that Redmayne tailoring was worn at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Sandringham and the Tower of London. For which Redmayne was granted the Royal Warrant as tailors to Her Majesty The Queen.
Sadly the heyday of everyman being properly dressed came to a close in the 1970's. Every man in a tailored suit on a Saturday night was exchanged for jeans and a leather jacket almost overnight. Times had changed and, inevitably, supporting a workshop of 200 people and twenty plus stores came to an end. Of course, grand tailoring houses such as Redmayne were not alone in feeling the effects of change but as usual we adapted. The company has never stopped producing beautiful clothing since it began. Today, our values are the same as they've always been, we don't have clients, we have friends and for friends you want to do the very best you can.
If you are interested in finding out more about Redmayne
please contact us.