Britain is the undisputed world leader of bespoke; the very term was coined on Mayfair’s iconic Savile Row, when cloth for a suit was said to ‘be spoken for’ by an individual customer. Savile Row is still the pinnacle of suit tailoring, but City-based Boland & Banks are offering a new intensity of bespoke, raising it to a level that would be difficult to find even on the ‘golden mile of tailoring.’ What they offer is a truly consultative, in-depth approach to every client, to such a degree as has never been seen before in the world of tailoring.
Boland & Banks are situated at Eight Club, a private members’ emporium only for those very much in-the-know. Tucked away in the labyrinthine backstreets of the City, tracking it down is an adventure in itself. Even the doorway is mysterious – walking through a cavernous entrance, you are led to a glass Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style lift which zips you up to the sixth floor. Stepping out into the ultra-exclusive lounge, you are met by tasteful décor and a sea of well-dressed men.
Onsite tailor Boland & Banks had nothing to do with the interior design, but can probably take credit for more than a few of the well-dressed gentlemen.
Eight Club is the perfect setting for Boland & Banks: both are enigmatic and sophisticated, with more than a scent of secrecy about them. The tailor’s showroom is decorated in an elegant charcoal, with deep leather armchairs and a dark mahogany wardrobe. Inside the wardrobe, the ready-to-wear and template pieces are hung with care. A regal purple velvet jacket is one standout piece, luxuriously soft to the touch and lined with a blushing pink silk. A sharply-cut double-breasted jacket is the next item to be showcased. The fabric and finishing are second to none, and it is evident that only the finest fabrics are used. The cloth they source is the highest quality Britain has to offer, though their close relationship with Loro Piana and other top Italian cloth makers is drawn into play for particular pieces and clients. When a pair of casual chinos, made out of soft, pale denim, emerges from the wardrobe, Mark Banks, the founder and creative maestro behind Boland & Banks, explains that they also create casual pieces for clients, designed with the same intricacy and attention to detail as their suits. They are offering something entirely new in the world of tailoring – the creation of a complete bespoke wardrobe.
â€¨Boland & Banks are the masters of all things bespoke – absolutely anything can be altered, from the beautiful handmade leather shoes to the length of the ties and specially designed casual wear. Boland & Banks are fortunate to have a team of tailors who can turn their highly-skilled hands to anything. Mark Banks, the much sought-after image consultant with a creative and discerning eye, is key to all this. He believes a multi-faceted understanding of his clients is crucial to the tailoring process – he wants to know whether you’re a Matisse or a Hockney man, a fine wine aficionado or a single malt whiskey connoisseur, a Michelin-star gourmand or a low-key diner. Capturing a 360-degree understanding of each client is as integral as the measuring, helping Banks and his team understand what each gentleman wants and needs out of his work attire and leisurewear.
The brand has no signature aesthetic: Banks states that the tailoring is all about subtlety and simplicity, attributed to a range of different looks and styles. He is interested in sharp, clean lines that complement the individual shape of each client. “It’s all about flattering people, making them look the best they possibly can,” he says, explaining that Boland & Banks is all about enhancing the client’s innate style, not forcing a particular style upon him.â€¨
Boland & Banks is pioneering a new frontier of tailoring, one that champions innovation, creativity and exceptionality. They are drawing on the rich heritage of British bespoke and evolving it to create a more contemporary model. With their board and backing comprised of luxury aficionados – from the former CEO of Dunhill to Los Angeles’ Mondrian Hotel – Boland & Banks are preparing to take their unique concept worldwide. Get ready for the next generation of bespoke.
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