Made in Mayfair (Intercontinental Hotel Group) | Katie Treggiden Skip to content

Made in Mayfair (Intercontinental Hotel Group)

This article was written 7 years ago.

Katie Treggiden was commissioned to write a story about the history of craft in Mayfair, by the Intercontinental Hotel & Resorts group, for use in their content marketing for a hotel in the area. All copy as supplied to the client. “I always look forward to reading Katie’s work. I just know it’s going to be an engaging story, deftly told, always on the cutting edge. One of my favourite and most trusted writers.” – Iain Ball, Contently

Mayfair has been at the heart of British craftsmanship for over two centuries. See how one of London’s most storied neighbourhoods has weathered economic transformation and the changing face of luxury.

Comprising just 42 streets on the western edge of central London, Mayfair tells the story of British craftsmanship and perhaps holds the keys to its future. Since the turn of the 18th century, it has been the gilded shop-front of Britain’s artisanal industries, but despite the apparent permanence of its Georgian façades, the neighbourhood has witnessed dramatic change.

The area became a destination for craftspeople after the Great Fire destroyed much of central London in 1666 forcing them West. The more affluent artisans set up shop in Mayfair—among them are Lock & Co, inventors of the bowler hat, and John Lobb Bootmaker, both of which survive to this day.

Political turbulence, namely the English Civil War and revolutions in France and America, drained the aristocracy’s resources, forcing them to sell their country residences and move into Mayfair or lease Mayfair properties to craftspeople. Natalie Melton, co-founder of Mayfair craft retailer The New Craftsmen, explains why this was so important: “A gentleman living in Mayfair could walk around the corner to his maker,” she says. “Economics and geography allowed them to exist side-by-side, so commissioning was straightforward.”

In 1733 The Daily Post announced ‘a new pile of buildings,’ marking the arrival of Savile Row. By the 19th century it was populated with the tailors who made its name including Henry Poole & Co, originator of the tuxedo and famed tailor of Winston Churchill.

You can read this article online here. 

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Katie Treggiden is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular — an international membership community and online learning platform for environmentally conscious designers, makers, artists and craftspeople.
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