In a sign of the continuing fall-out from the Jimmy Savile scandal, a change of name for London’s Savile Row is being mooted. Clive Macintosh, chair of the trade association Savile Manufactories And Retail Tailors (SMART), explained: “Although we have in fact been providing bespoke tailoring in this area since the nineteenth century, the Jimmy Savile affair has made many of our members and customers unhappy about the possible guilt by association. We are therefore in the process of consulting about a change of name for the road, which we see as an opportunity to rebrand ourselves for the twenty-first century.”
Tom Kingsley is one customer who agrees with the proposed change. “My parents paid for a Savile Row suit for my eighteenth birthday in 1976. It always made me feel kind of uncomfortable, but the shop manager made me feel foolish when I complained. He said ‘I’m a master tailor and you’re just a kid. Who do you think your parents are going to believe?’ In the end I just decided I didn’t like the feel of Harris tweed, but now I realise the true reason.”
Macintosh and other SMART committee members have come up with a number of contenders for the replacement name. Among them are Blackburn Boulevard, Emperor Rosko Street and Kid Jensen Parade. “We really do need to start appealing more to the younger set,” Macintosh believes.