Patrick Grant (designer)

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Patrick Grant
Born (1972-05-01) 1 May 1972 (age 47)
ResidenceThree Mills, Bromley-by-Bow, East London
England, Gipsy Hill.
EducationUniversity of Leeds
New College, Oxford
OccupationFashion designer
Norton & Sons
E. Tautz & Sons
AwardsMenswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards 2010[1]

Patrick Grant (born 1 May 1972) is a British fashion designer and Director of bespoke tailors Norton & Sons of Savile Row, E.Tautz, Community Clothing & Cookson & Clegg. As a media figure he is best known as a judge on the television series, The Great British Sewing Bee.

After taking over Norton & Sons 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.

Early life[edit]

Grant was born in Edinburgh, and raised in the city's Morningside district.[2] His Musselburgh-born father James managed the pop band Marmalade before becoming an accountant.[2][3] His mother Susan worked for the University of Edinburgh.[4]

Grant 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."[2] 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.[4] Grant lists his early fashion influences as Barbour, Burberry, Hunter, Lyle & Scott and Pringle.[4]

Grant completed a degree in material sciences at the University of Leeds in 1994.[5] He chose an engineering degree because of "a fascination with how things are made".[6] His course included a year spent at the University of Orleans.[7]

Following graduation, Grant relocated to the United States where he worked as a ski instructor[4] as a counsellor at a summer camp in Santa Cruz, as a nanny, a landscape gardener and a model agent.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10][11] 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?".[10][12]


Norton & Sons[edit]

See more: Norton & Sons

Whilst at Saïd in 2005, Grant learned that Norton & Sons was being advertised for sale by the Granger family.[9] 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."[13] 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.[9] The deal was completed in December 2005.[9]

Grant has described how: "It was a business in terrible shape; a wonderful artisanal tailor not making the best of its assets".[12] Over three years, he managed to rejuvenate the business by focusing on its heritage and increasing innovation and enthusiasm among management.[12][14] The company had attempted to diversify by selling guns and offering sporting tours; Grant re-concentrated the business on tailoring.[15] By 2011, Norton's customer base had increased from around 20 customers in 2005, to several hundred, tripling the number of suits made.[16] The business made a small profit in 2010 and tripled revenue, which now approaches £1 million a year.

E. Tautz & Sons[edit]

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.[17] The label is a large component of the Norton business, with particular success in Asia.[12] 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."[18]

Community Clothing[edit]

In 2016, Grant launched social enterprise Community Clothing in response to the extreme challenges facing the British clothing and textile manufacturing industry. Community Clothing is a social enterprise with a simple mission - to make excellent quality affordable clothes for men and women, to create jobs for skilled workers and by doing this help to restore pride in Britain’s textile communities. By utilising the spare capacity in factory quiet periods to make a range of stylish, great quality, British-made clothing, Community Clothing creates job opportunities and stability for those within the industry.

Hammond & Co[edit]

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.[19] Grant continues to act as Creative Director for the brand, which is sold in over 120 stores worldwide.

Cookson & Clegg[edit]

In 2015 Grant purchased Blackburn clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg, saving the factory from closure. Cookson & Clegg was founded in 1860. The firm began as leather curriers and manufacturers of boot uppers. By the 1930s they were producing jerkins, flying helmets and other leather products for the British Army. Throughout the later part of the 20th century Cookson & Clegg were a major supplier of military outerwear, legwear and other sewn products to the British Army and other armed forces. Today the firm applies the same skills to the manufacturing of outerwear, in both traditional woven and modern technical fabrics, jeans and chinos for many of the UK’s finest premium clothing brands.


In 2013 Grant was made an Honorary Professor in Business at Glasgow Caledonian University. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Heriot Watt University's School of Textiles and Design. In 2018 he was named co-chair of the Prince of wales' charity Future Textiles, an organisation working to sustain skills and create jobs in the UK's garment making industry.

Other fashion work[edit]

Grant worked with Barbour as Creative Director of their Beacon Heritage line in October 2012.[20]

Media work[edit]

Grant is best known by the general public for his work as a judge on the BBC television series The Great British Sewing Bee.[21] He appears regularly in the British editions of GQ and Esquire magazines.[21] He has appeared as a guest on BBC television and radio programmes, such as Breakfast, Countryfile and Steve Wright in the Afternoon.

Personal life[edit]

Grant lives in Gipsy Hill.[22]

In 2016, Grant split from his partner of eight years, fellow designer Katie Hillier.[23]

His mother still lives in Morningside and his father lives in the Scottish Borders.[4]


  1. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 26 April 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Patrick Grant: smooth operator". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  3. ^ Ryder, Bethan (17 October 2013). "The Business: Patrick Grant-Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Tailor Patrick Grant reveals how Hibs fans helped inspire a clothes passion". The Scotsman. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Suited to a Savile Row challenge". Evening Standard. 7 March 2006.
  6. ^ The Emperor's New Clothes. Leeds Alumni Magazine. 2011. p. 2.
  7. ^ Grant, Patrick (1 February 2012). "Where there's tea, there's hope". Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Close up: Patrick Grant, owner of Norton & Sons and creative director of E Tautz". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Wylie, Ian (21 February 2011). "Saïd fashions a tailor-made entrepreneur". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  10. ^ a b McMeekin, Elizabeth (9 November 2011). "Fashionable Scot has designs on tartan-clad Pudsey Bear". Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Oxford Today - From Saïd Business School to Savile Row". 14 September 2013. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d "From Saïd Business School to Savile Row". Oxford Today. 15 March 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  13. ^ Seidler, Ben (17 January 2011). "Reinventing Classic". International Herald Tribune.
  14. ^ "Patrick Grant". 30 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  15. ^ Parker, Olivia (16 April 2013). "My perfect weekend: Patrick Grant, fashion designer". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  16. ^ Coomber, Steve (5 October 2011). "Savile Row tailoring house was a perfect fit". The Times.
  17. ^ "British Fashion Awards". 10 March 2012. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  18. ^ Fury, Alexander (16 June 2013). "British fashion week for men: The key players". The Independent on Sunday. London. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  19. ^ Sowray, Bibby (4 April 2013). "Tailor Patrick Grant joins Designers at Debenhams". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Barbour invigorates its premium collections with new collaborations". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  21. ^ a b Fury, Alexander (26 October 2014). "Designer Patrick Grant, interview: The tailor of Duke Street". The Independent. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Patrick Grant talks classic clothes, capitalism & Kickstarter campaigning". Retrieved 5 April 2018.

External links[edit]