Now then, what's all this about...? Tom Mahon the founder of English Cut, is no longer part of English Cut!
Well, I'd be telling fibs if I didn't admit that it saddens me to say, that is the truth. English Cut was a wonderful company that was simply targeted with crafty manipulation and was put into a vulnerable position. The outcome of which, ultimately offered me very few choices, all of which were grim. Put simply, I could still be there now if I signed and agreed to do what I was told. This way, threats of financial perils to both myself and my young family would be forgotten and I would simply be happily paid staff, until of course surplus to requirements. Non compliance with this meant I'd be forced out of my company. So now you know, I didn't sign. Though I say so myself, I felt English Cut and its ethos, brought something rather special to the world of bespoke tailoring. I loved telling of the people and detail which makes the craft of Savile row tailoring so special. Now, I never thought this would happen but I must say, to be in the middle of a potential tailoring war scandal is a little exciting. Let's face it, I always gave the tailoring forums plenty to talk about. Now I imagine they'll be fizzing with this tailoring yarn. I think this debate, while it lasts at least, will be more gripping than something like
"Is Lumbs Golden bale superior to Scabal Royal?"
Before I go on let's make clear the main reason of this statement. I want to apologise most sincerely to my old and new clients of English Cut. My bespoke clients, most of which I've been making for at least a decade and also to our new made to measure clients. Good people, who I'm fully aware have put their trust in my reputation and my former company. I hope you can believe me when I say that in 22 years of trading I have done my utmost, never to accept letting a client down. But as I said, this situation was engineered against us and I had no option. For bespoke clients, I hear they're going to wheel in a cutter from somewhere to try to smooth this over. If that's the case I wouldn't fancy his job, this business is all about relationships and this was between myself and my clients. I doubt they'll be happy to hear of a complete stranger, cutting with my patterns and expecting this trusted agreement to be honoured faithfully. Money talks, but personally I'd prefer not to act like a tailoring vulture, but there you are. I'm afraid its typical of the crude thinking we've been exposed to that assumes you can solve any problem with money and a hired hand. Aside from the bespoke situation, I've put years of hard work into the made to measure service, so everything should be completed and hopefully no one will be out of pocket. It's interesting that many good friends had wondered if I was still at English Cut as its image had changed so much recently. And I agree it was feeling rather alien to me as it's a totally different company now. Although I was forced out, most of my key staff decided to leave voluntarily after my departure and follow me. The result of this I know has caused communication issues which must be very frustrating for everyone. I'm sorry that I can't be there legally but I promise I'll do my very best to help if I can.
Many good friends, both clients and in the trade have been very supportive. It comes as no surprise that eyebrows are raised when an individual who's traded without issue for 22 years, almost overnight, loses his company after the introduction of a third party financial partner. Well, it's certainly a little life lesson. So for all you bright young companies out there, a little advice. Now, I'd never say anything slanderous or critical about any individual or company as you all well know. But if you have a very keen possible business partner, please google their name or company with the word "fraud" after it. It may really save you a lot of heartache. To quote a line from the recent Hollywood movie, The Founder One of the McDonald brothers said quite rightly "There's a wolf in the hen house, and we let him in".
I also hear English Cut's new owners will be marketing the products which I designed in Japan and just hope the memories of me creating all of this will disappear. Well, I think people are a little more discerning than that.
What has happened has been upsetting and stressful for everyone involved, but we have to move on. The hard lessons that we've learnt have already improved us and our new plans are shaping up to form a bright and exciting new future. So as we move forward I raise a glass to you, my friends and say here's to a new start.
As a final note, a dear long time friend and and client said to me:
"Tom, this is exactly what they did to my old boss. He was kicked out of the company he founded".
I tell you what though, even in a black turtleneck, he went on to change the world and it didn't half work out well in the end ;)