Patrick Grant (designer)

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Patrick Grant
Patrick James Grant[1]

(1972-05-01) 1 May 1972 (age 49)[2]
Edinburgh, Scotland
EducationUniversity of Leeds
New College, Oxford
OccupationFashion designer
Norton & Sons
E. Tautz & Sons
AwardsMenswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards 2010[3]

Patrick James Grant FRSA (born 1 May 1972) is a Scottish[4][5][6] fashion designer and businessman who is director of bespoke tailors Norton & Sons of Savile Row, clothing lines E. Tautz & Sons and Community Clothing, and textile manufacturer Cookson & Clegg. Since 2013, he has been a judge on the reality series The Great British Sewing Bee, which aired on BBC Two before moving to BBC One in 2020.

After taking over Norton & Sons in 2005, Grant has been credited with rejuvenating the once ailing business.[7][8] He relaunched E. Tautz as a ready to wear label in 2009, for which he was awarded the Menswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards in 2010.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Grant was born in Edinburgh, and raised in the city's Morningside district.[9] His Musselburgh-born father, James (1940–2020), managed the pop band Marmalade before becoming an accountant at RMJM and mini rugby coach.[10][9][11] His mother, Susan, worked for the University of Edinburgh.[12] His maternal grandfather, Flt. Lt. Walter Henry Ewen FitzEarle, was killed in action in the Second World War when his plane was shot down while flying for the Royal Air Force;[13][14] Grant keeps his wardrobe trunk, which had previously belonged to his great-grandfather Walter FitzEarle, the bandmaster of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, in his design studio.[15] His other grandfather worked as a yarn designer in Galashiels, Scottish Borders.[16] He has a younger sister, Victoria, who works for his businesses.[17]

Grant attended South Morningside Primary School, then 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."[9] Whilst at Barnard Castle he represented Scottish rugby union at U18 and U19 level. He took a gap year after school and played for West Hartlepool R.F.C.,[16] although his rugby career was cut short by a shoulder injury.[12] Grant lists his early fashion influences as Barbour, Burberry, Hunter, Lyle & Scott and Pringle.[12]

Grant completed a degree in material sciences at the University of Leeds in 1994.[18] He chose an engineering degree because of "a fascination with how things are made".[19] His course included a year spent at the University of Orleans.[20]

Following graduation, Grant relocated to the United States where he worked as a ski instructor,[12] as a counsellor at a summer camp in Santa Cruz, California, as a nanny, a landscape gardener, and a model agent.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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?".[3]


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.[22] 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."[24] 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, his grandmother, and his former chief executive at Bookham.[22] The deal was completed in December 2005.[22]

Grant stated, "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.[3][25] The company had attempted to diversify by selling guns and offering sporting tours; Grant re-concentrated the business on tailoring.[26] By 2011, Norton's customer base had increased from around 20 customers in 2005, to several hundred, tripling the number of suits made.[27] The business made a small profit in 2010 and tripled revenue. Revenue for all his businesses now approaches £75 million a year.[28]

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.[29] The label is a large component of the Norton business, with particular success in Asia.[3] 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."[30]

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.[31] Grant continues to act as Creative Director for the brand.

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 manufactures outerwear, in both traditional woven and modern technical fabrics, jeans, and chinos for some UK clothing brands.


In 2013, Grant was made an Honorary Professor in Business at Glasgow Caledonian University. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 2016.

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.[32]

Other fashion work[edit]

Grant worked with Barbour as Creative Director of their Beacon Heritage line in October 2012.[33]

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.[34] He appears regularly in the British editions of GQ and Esquire magazines.[34] 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 rural Lancashire, having moved there from London in March 2020.[35][36]

Grant was in a relationship with fellow designer Katie Hillier from 2007–15.[35][37]

In 2020, Grant's father died of COVID-19 during the pandemic.[38] His mother still lives in Morningside.[12]


  1. ^ "Statutory registers - Births". Scotland's People. National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.
  2. ^ "Patrick Grant". Debenhams. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e "From Saïd Business School to Savile Row". Oxford Today. 15 March 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  4. ^ Hannah, Julie (12 September 2014). "Great British Sewing Bee star Patrick Grant reveals how he turned his love of style into a successful career". Daily Record. Retrieved 1 May 2020. I feel deeply Scottish and a lot of what I do is inspired by Scotland.
  5. ^ "Scots designer Patrick Grant: Hibs football casuals played a part in my success". The Glasgow Herald. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  6. ^ "How We Met: Katie Hillier & Patrick Grant". The Independent. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2020. He's Scottish, he'd been to Oxford.
  7. ^ Patterson, Troy (8 December 2016). "The English Are Coming for Your Closet". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Reviving Savile Row Suit Maker Norton & Sons". Bloomberg. 5 May 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Didcock, Barry (11 October 2013). "Patrick Grant: smooth operator". The Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  10. ^ Anderson, Jock (14 April 2020). "Obituary: Jim Grant". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  11. ^ Ryder, Bethan (17 October 2013). "The Business: Patrick Grant". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 19 November 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Tailor Patrick Grant reveals how Hibs fans helped inspire a clothes passion". The Scotsman. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  13. ^ Ellison, Jo (24 October 2014). "The poppy: an enduring symbol of war and peace". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  14. ^ "War Casualties". Berwickshire News and General Advertiser. 15 August 1944. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  15. ^ Evans, Christina Ohly (4 March 2020). "The Aesthete: Patrick Grant talks personal taste". The Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Patrick Grant @theNorthernArt". Northern School of Art. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  17. ^ Howell, Madeleine (25 April 2020). "Sewing Bee's Patrick Grant: 'I had pages from Vogue stuck on my wall at boarding school'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Suited to a Savile Row challenge". Evening Standard. 7 March 2006.
  19. ^ The Emperor's New Clothes. Leeds Alumni Magazine. 2011. p. 2.
  20. ^ Grant, Patrick (1 February 2012). "Where there's tea, there's hope". Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Close up: Patrick Grant, owner of Norton & Sons and creative director of E Tautz". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  22. ^ a b c d Wylie, Ian (21 February 2011). "Saïd fashions a tailor-made entrepreneur". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  23. ^ McMeekin, Elizabeth (9 November 2011). "Fashionable Scot has designs on tartan-clad Pudsey Bear". Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  24. ^ Seidler, Ben (17 January 2011). "Reinventing Classic". International Herald Tribune.
  25. ^ "Patrick Grant". 30 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  26. ^ Parker, Olivia (16 April 2013). "My perfect weekend: Patrick Grant, fashion designer". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  27. ^ Coomber, Steve (5 October 2011). "Savile Row tailoring house was a perfect fit". The Times.
  28. ^ Wintle, Angela (6 May 2018). "Patrick Grant: 'I would drink champagne and then get the bus home'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  29. ^ "British Fashion Awards". 10 March 2012. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  30. ^ Fury, Alexander (16 June 2013). "British fashion week for men: The key players". The Independent on Sunday. London. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  31. ^ Sowray, Bibby (4 April 2013). "Tailor Patrick Grant joins Designers at Debenhams". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  32. ^ "Patrick Grant is part of the BoF 500". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Barbour invigorates its premium collections with new collaborations". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  34. ^ a b Fury, Alexander (26 October 2014). "Designer Patrick Grant, interview: The tailor of Duke Street". The Independent. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  35. ^ a b Edwardes, Charlotte (20 February 2016). "Patrick Grant: My mum was appalled by the money I spent on clothes". The Times. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  36. ^ Amanda Cable (16 September 2016). "Patrick Grant: 'Half my house is from eBay'". House Beautiful. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  37. ^ "Patrick Grant talks classic clothes, capitalism & Kickstarter campaigning". 7 March 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  38. ^ Grant, Patrick. "A year ago my dad died of covid". Instagram. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.