Patrick Grant (designer)
1 May 1972|
Three Mills, Bromley-by-Bow, East London|
University of Leeds|
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Norton & Sons|
E. Tautz & Sons
|Awards||Menswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards 2010|
Patrick Grant (born 1 May 1972) is a British fashion designer and creative director of bespoke tailors Norton & Sons of Savile Row. As a media figure he is best known as a judge on the television series, The Great British Sewing Bee.
After taking over Norton in 2005, Grant has been credited with rejuvenating the once ailing business. He relaunched E. Tautz & Sons as a ready to wear label in 2009, for which he was awarded the Menswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards in 2010.
Grant was born in Edinburgh, and raised in the city's Morningside district. His Musselburgh-born father James managed the pop band Marmalade before becoming an accountant. His mother Susan worked for the University of Edinburgh. He attended the Edinburgh Academy before joining Barnard Castle School as a boarding pupil. Grant explained that "My parents thought it would be better for me to be away from home. They have good friends who live not far from Barnard Castle and their two sons were there. So they knew the school and said it was good for rugby and I was mad on rugby." Whilst at Barnard Castle he represented Scottish rugby union at U18 and U19 level, although his rugby career was cut short by a shoulder injury. Grant lists his early fashion influences as Barbour, Burberry, Hunter, Lyle & Scott and Pringle.
Grant completed a degree in material sciences at the University of Leeds in 1994. He chose an engineering degree because of "a fascination with how things are made". His course included a year spent at the University of Orleans. After graduating, he moved to the United States where he worked as a ski instructor as a counsellor at a summer camp in Santa Cruz, as a nanny, a landscape gardener and a model agent. He returned to Britain in 1995 to take up a career in marketing, first at cable-makers BICC and Corning, before moving to optical components manufacturer Bookham Technology in 2000. From 2004, Grant studied for a MBA degree, funded by Bookham, at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, where he was a member of New College. His thesis, completed in October 2005, focused on the regeneration of luxury fashion brands such as Burberry, and was titled "Is Burberry's formula for brand revitalisation replicable?".
Norton & Sons
See more: Norton & Sons
Whilst at Saïd in 2005, Grant learned that Norton & Sons was being advertised for sale by the Granger family. To pursue the sale, he accepted voluntary redundancy from Bookham. He was surprised at how low the asking price was, commenting: "you could pay more for a car. We're not talking millions but hundreds of thousands of pounds." Grant was able to afford the business by selling his house, his car "and everything else" as well as borrowing from a bank and raising money from friends; two former Oxford classmates, friends from Leeds, and his former chief executive at Bookham. The deal was completed in December 2005.
Grant has described how: "It was a business in terrible shape; a wonderful artisanal tailor not making the best of its assets". Over three years, he managed to rejuvenate the business by focusing on its heritage and increasing innovation and enthusiasm among management. The company had attempted to diversify by selling guns and offering sporting tours; Grant re-concentrated the business on tailoring. By 2011, Norton's customer base had increased from around 20 customers in 2005, to several hundred, tripling the number of suits made. The business made a small profit in 2010 and tripled revenue, which now approaches £1 million a year.
In 2013 he was made an Honorary Professor in Business at Glasgow Caledonian University.
E. Tautz & Sons
Further reading: E. Tautz & Sons
Grant relaunched the defunct Norton subsidiary E. Tautz & Sons in 2009 as a ready to wear brand. In recognition for his work with Tautz, he was awarded as Menswear Designer of 2010 at the British Fashion Awards. The label is a large component of the Norton business, with particular success in Asia. The label tends to be more experimental than the Norton line, with Grant explaining that with Tautz "We don't need to be wedded too much to the idea of the tailored suit."
Other fashion work
Grant has been working with Barbour as Creative Director of their Beacon Heritage line since October 2012. In April 2013 it was announced that Grant would be relaunching the Norton subsidiary Hammond & Co. as a diffusion line available exclusively at British clothing retailer Debenhams.
Grant is best known by the general public for his work as a judge on the BBC television series The Great British Sewing Bee. He appears regularly in the British editions of GQ and Esquire magazines. He has appeared as a guest on BBC television and radio programmes, such as Breakfast, Countryfile and Steve Wright in the Afternoon.
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- The Emperor's New Clothes. Leeds Alumni Magazine. 2011. p. 2.
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- Sowray, Bibby (4 April 2013). "Tailor Patrick Grant joins Designers at Debenhams". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
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- "Patrick Grant Biography" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012.
- Grant, Patrick. "Diary of a Somebody". How To Spend It. FT.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- E Tautz designer Patrick Grant London Collections: Men interview for Autumn Winter 2013 – GQ.COM (UK) Archived 25 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Patrick Grant talks classic clothes, capitalism & Kickstarter campains". standard.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018.