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Patrick began in engineering, but changed tack and took himself to Oxford’s Said Business School. While there he spotted an opportunity to acquire an ailing 200-year old Savile Row tailor. Without any training in fashion, Patrick has turned around the enterprise and tripled the number of suits it produces – though still measured in the hundreds. He has also raised his profile with The Great British Sewing Bee. Patrick explains where heritage meets innovation.
Patrick is the owner and Creative Director of Norton & Sons, a Savile Row tailor. He is one of the judges on BBC 1’s The Great British Sewing Bee, consults for brands such as Barbour and The Kooples, and is an honourary Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University.
An engineer by trade and with no fashion experience, Patrick bought Norton while studying for an MBA; a centuries-old business with shambolic branding and variety of different products, it stood for nothing. Patrick abandoned the sidelines in guns and sporting tours, hired a new, core staff and focused again on doing a simple thing well, making beautiful suits.
Norton continues to make only 300 bespoke suits each year, and Patrick has since founded a ready-to-wear line and produced a collection for Debenhams. The ready-to-wear line, E. Tautz, is stocked in ten countries and won Patrick a British Fashion Award. He has since collaborated with fashion giants such as Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane, and brands such as Chivas Regal.
In speeches, Patrick discusses his accidental entrepreneurship and the importance of creativity in business. He stresses the importance of doing one simple thing well, paring down your brand and listening to the needs of the customer. It doesn’t matter if it’s engineering or fashion: it’s about making the product amazing.
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Grant: Engineer to Entrepreneur