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"My name is Jason Springham. Age 54.
I’m a plasterer by trade and have my own business, A.E.Springham & Son Ltd, which I took over from my father 25 years ago. The company was established in 1953. We work in all aspects of plastering, internal and external. Aside from plastering, I’m an avid football enthusiast - supporting Arsenal all my life. I also love to ski, going to the gym and enjoy a summer holiday, listening to music by the pool.
I first became aware of the Gresham Blake brand when I did some work at Ray Winstone’s house. Ray and I got talking about fashion and he said that he’d had some suits made by Gresham Blake. He also had shirts from you as well, explaining the shop was in Brighton. With that in mind, I decided to make a trip to Brighton with some friends that were also interested in Gresham Blake. I made an appointment for a suit fitting whilst there. I had a bespoke suit in French navy with pink stitching around the lapel and pink and blue paisley lining. When paying for the items I noticed the big picture behind the till of Ray and Gresham at his pool which my team and I plastered! This was quite funny and I pointed this out to the assistant.
When I came to have my next suit made, Gresham Blake had opened in London, this was much easier for me, with only a short walk from London Liverpool Street station. The suit was bright blue a slight speckle of black running through it with a gold lining. I have about 8 to 10 shirts in bold prints, which look great with plain suits. I’ve just had my latest suit made which I’m wearing in the photo. It’s grey herringbone with a light blue check running through it and a navy blue skull lining. I like Gresham’s shirts and checked trousers as I believe they make great additions to a man’s wardrobe, in being different and standing out.
On my visits to Gresham Blake, the service has been incredibly friendly and when I’ve had a suit made it’s always efficient and they go over every detail, even down to the last button. I have worn my suits on 2 occasions to Royal Ascot. As well as a wedding in Australia and Spain."
"Draw the Line Jumpsuit.
June 2017 was my time to draw the line. Recovering from spine surgery, my thoughts turned to my fortieth birthday in December and what that milestone meant for me. It turned out that even though body confidence had never been an issue, leading a healthier lifestyle was an issue.
Slimming World changed my life and by the time forty arrived, I was three stones lighter. A few months later I reached my personal target of waving goodbye to four stones. I was active and had a healthy relationship with food.
Believing in me and having the confidence that my lifestyle has changed for life, has been the reason for creating this individual jumpsuit to celebrate. For over fifteen years I have admired Gresham Blake's statement pieces and passion for tailoring. Collaborating to design a jumpsuit on their twentieth year has been fantastic.
My design has seen Gresham Blake style a repeat fabric design in black and orange from "Dalziel's Apprentice" a print by my father, Peter S Smith RE. His engraving is based on part of a nineteenth century trade wood engraving.
Drawing the line for me meant, taking stock and moving forward, as many times as needed. This fabulous jumpsuit will always be a reminder that goals are achievable."
I am a partner in a consulting firm and live in Brighton with Sian and my three wonderful kids. We moved out of London seven years ago ‘to live by the sea’ and despite the regular commute haven’t looked back. There is something about the sea and the sea air that called us, not just because being an ex-Navy man, but the zeitgeist of it all. And in Brighton with the festivals and the on-tap entertainment there is really no excuse to be bored of life.
I came across Gresham Blake in 2012 when wandering around the Laines trying to get a feel for the place . Always a Mod at heart the vibrancy of the colours and the sharp styles caught his eye. I also needed a suit for his upcoming wedding - pure serendipity. That wedding marked points in more than one long term relationship and Tim has been a regular customer since. His suit wardrobe is almost exclusively GB - whether work pieces or something more casual for the weekend social.
For me, putting on a well-crafted suit marks a turning point in one’s intent. Whether it’s saying: ‘yes, I’m ready for the challenges of a busy day’, or the moment in which to declare you are ready for a night of fun and laughter. If clothes maketh a man, this man is part made Gresham Blake.
I am an actress, puppeteer and circus performer, based in both Brighton and Los Angeles.
I’ve been travelling the world with Cirque du Soleil for the past four years, and the more I travel, the stronger my beliefs in tolerance and freedom of expression become. I am a great advocate for liberty, in celebrating the things that make us individuals and different, and in striving for a sense of live and let live. I think that is reflected to a certain extent in the clothes I choose. I don’t necessarily seek to make a statement, but I do love designs with a playful twist.
I am so pleased with this jumpsuit as it features the amazing shape and line that Gresham Blake always does so well, along with the art work of one of my best friends and work colleagues, Nick Beyeler. Nick and I have been working together as performers at Cirque du Soleil since 2015, and I am fascinated by his visual artwork. His characters take a tongue-in-cheek look at the drama and self-sacrifice of circus. I love them and cannot wait to wear this piece as I embark on my next set of adventures…wherever and whatever they may be!
I am the Specialist Debt and Client Relationship Manager at city law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills. Appointed in August 2018, I manage a team that is responsible for the firm’s cash collections and oversees the revenue management for the Real Estate and Finance divisions.
Born and raised in Croydon, I (here with my Bulldog Benson) now live with my wife and two children in Carshalton, Surrey. I originally trained and qualified as a chef but got an office job after leaving college because at 17 years old, I was too young to work unsociable hours. The rest as they say, is history.
As a relative novice to the Bespoke suit world, I can honestly say that Gresham Blake's professionalism and friendliness put my mind at ease immediately and their attention to detail is spot on.
The 2 suits I've purchased are wonderful. The first suit was for my wedding and the second, for work. Both feel and look fantastic and that's all down to excellent craftsmanship and quality.
I've always wanted to be a successful man who had suits made for him and Gresham Blake have made that possible. Needless to say, I'll be back for more and wish them many years of success.
Gresham Blake over the last few years has been one of my favourite designers.
The clothes have made me feel absolutely fantastic and that's not easy when your 4 foot 10 1/2 inches! Suitable for getting on the bus, meeting royalty or both.
I’m a mental health clinician, motivational speaker and personal development coach.
I believe that every individual has to do something significant and outstanding with their lives. Notwithstanding the size of your goal in life, you are not going to achieve it if it is not properly mapped out. You have to understand your goal, its importance and how to define them so that you can achieve them easier.
My focus is to help people achieve their biggest, brightest goals using ‘The 140 Rule’ which is a concept I developed myself. It works on the principle of writing down goals using up to 140 characters to help channel a person’s focus on what they really want to achieve. Eliminating competing interests and developing clear daily steps using 140 characters to make observable and measurable progress towards your goals.
Motivation and inspiration are an inextricable part of success and this is why ‘The 140 Rule’ has set out to empower people towards the realisation of their goals. The 140 Rule aims at achieving this by spreading knowledge and development tips that will change life stories in the world.
Thank you to Gresham Blake tailors for helping me to combat my Imposter Syndrome which would consume me when delivering speeches, boardroom meetings and interviews.
I came realise that part of my self-doubt was a direct result of my suits not fitting or feeling like they belong on me. The expert tailors, passion and expertise took me from feeling like a mannequin to boldly bringing my best authentic self to any environment.
*imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behaviour where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud*
I first came by Gresham Blake when my partner and I were in Brighton for his Christmas party. He wanted a new shirt, we popped in, had a mooch, and instantly fell in love with these clothes. Alex has several shirts, a 3 piece suit, a couple of waistcoats, pyjamas and even some socks; but nothing for me.
Then last year, I was bribed into giving up smoking. My reward for this was a bespoke, made to measure suit by Gresham Blake. As I am standing here now, you’d be correct in surmising that I have indeed succeeded in giving up smoking. It was difficult but worth it.
As a plus size lady I have always had trouble with trousers. I have a small(ish) waist but good meaty thighs so if something fits my legs, the waist is huge, and don’t even get me started with the skinny jean/trouser fashion. So, to have something made to fit my shape is amazing. I just wish that I had excuses to wear it more often, but not very practical when I am a reflexologist and beauty therapist.
I have spent 16 years as a single dad to my son, who was born 16 weeks premature, weighing 1lb 13oz and was on oxygen for 3½ years. During that same period, I built up my business from earning £40 a day to now providing fulltime work for over 200 people and covering the majority of the UK. By the end of the year I will have achieved an ambition of mine of donating £100K to special needs (children) charities.
I served in the British Army as a Grenadier Guard, so spent a bit of time standing outside Lizzie’s palaces sporting a scarlet tunic and a bearskin.
I am single! Have been for 16 years… I like to think it is because I have been too busy for a relationship, but I think it’s probably more to do with my face. Still, my otterhound, Hector, is always keeping me company. Hector weighs 11 stone… (Google them… they are the best dog and incredibly rare).
My first suit from Gresham Blake was in 2009, for my brother’s wedding. Obviously, I looked better dressed than he did! I tend to wear my Gresham Blakes to the opera and to meals out where my usual company is my nephew and his fiancé. I would have real trouble going anywhere else. Nathalie always absolutely nails what I want, even when I don’t usually know myself. When I make a questionable choice and am in danger of looking like a DFS Easter special, she gives me ‘that’ look and I know it’s time to heed her expert advice.
All the garments I have bought from Gresham Blake have been to the utmost quality and I have never had any issues with any of them. You know you are always going to feel good when wearing a Gresham…
That’s about all there is to me... boring eh...
In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.
Being unique is very important in order to stand out in overcrowded environments, and I feel as a brand Gresham Blake is able to do this, which is why the brand ‘suits’ me perfectly I am not one who enjoys conformity, so any opportunity to take an alternative direction is always explored, and the results achieved are often a lot more exciting.
I am hyper aware that I am hyper visible, and because of this I always have to make an impression. There are no days off, one always has to be on point.
The bespoke suits I have enables me to feel confident that the presentation side is covered. Everything else after that is effortless.
There is a quote that I feel connects myself and the Gresham Blake brand perfectly, and encapsulates all that the brand has become;
You have to be odd, to be number one!
I am Greig Scott, founder and managing director of Logical Connections ltd and my Logical Group ltd which provides design, pre-press, printing and distribution to the bespoke publishing arena. London, Paris, Milan and New York fashion show publications are what we do. Anything creative, arts, culture, fashion which produces magazines, books, zines or publications we produce them. Hoping you like the printing quality of this edition!
Outside of work, I am married to the most beautiful women inside and out Anouska Scott and have 4 children Kai, Harrison, Maddison and Miabella. Definitely my biggest achievement!
Running a busy business and with 4 children and 2 dogs spare time is a myth. However, with the odd spare hour I love to spend quiet time with my wife. Precious couple time. I am a creative and design lover and a little obsessed with all sports, trying to keep fit, collecting colourful shoes and Minis (the old-fashioned ones). If Anouska is off riding her horse and running her business then I love to keep fit on my mountain bike, buying shoes and driving my pride and joy, my Mini.
Gresham made my wedding suit and I have never looked back. Now I am the proud owner of 4 bespoke suits, various shirts, jumpers, trouser and shoes. Natalie said to me when I was having my first fitting ‘when you have a tailored item made you will never look back’ and she was soooo right.
Gresham Blake is different, it pushes boundaries, they are happy to challenge and change the norm and put their head above the parapet! Colourful and top-notch quality, I wear my ‘Gresham’ items everywhere, it would feel wrong to hide them away in the wardrobe.
My dreams of life are watching my beautiful wife shine and light up the room, watching my children become amazing adults and guiding them in their futures. Leaving my mark in business! I try to keep things simple, ‘treat people how you want to be treated and keep away from anyone who is a bullshitter, timewaster or dickhead! Smile at life and life will smile back at you’.
Doug Grout (Grouty) lives in a small village in West Sussex, his work colleagues think he is stuck in the 1980s (not sure why?) due to his love of the Music and sporting attire of the decade.
Two things in life I have waited for since my 20s -
1. Being a Spurs season ticket holder – now a reality.
2. Having a bespoke suit made.
I had often walked past the Gresham Blake shop in the Brighton Laines, and thought it was a modern day “Mr Benn” store. However, in recent years I have visited and eventually purchased a bespoke suit, although I did not find the Magic door.
What a great experience and what a great result, I now feel like a Millennial...
Boring. Boring! BORING!
Office, news conference or press box, most menswear is a batch of bland.
A Noah's Ark of ties covering sea, land and air: sharks and goldfish, lobsters and shrimp, frogs and lizards, bees and crows, leopards and wolves.
Flora to alternate with fauna.
Palate-pleasing confections: macarons, watermelon and lollies.
Bespoke suits and jackets, new yet old. Or is it old yet new?
Ballparks and football grounds are defined by uniforms, as they should be. Players customarily are the focus.
Reporters have latitude - why not levity, too?
Provoke, don't pacify.
Dare not to be dull.
I got my first tailored suit around the time I proposed to my wife. I knew I wanted something that was a perfect fit for my wedding, and well since trying that first one on I've fallen in love with them. There’s nothing quite like wearing a suit that’s been made for you, that fits you effortlessly. Especially when it’s a suit that has all the little details exactly as you want them.
With Gresham Blake over the years, especially with Luke Morgan recently, I’ve been able to explore the kind of style I like with what I wear now being quite different to what I got at first. I’m sure what I prefer will change in future, but with Gresham Blake I’ll always end up with something I love.
Working in the computer games industry as a Game Director, I'm lucky that I can wear whatever I want to, so my suits have been another way of expressing my creativity and I have a range of quite diverse and colourful suits that each mean something special to me.
Each one has a story behind it that I feel lucky to be able to express. I expect I’ll be wearing suits from Gresham Blake for a long, long time to come.
My first foray into the sphere of bespoke tailoring was in my teens with the acquisition of some made to measure trousers. It triggered a lifelong appreciation of the understated excellence of traditional English tailoring. However these strides were far from understated. Billowing, two-tone Oxford Bags, with a high waistband and triple belts, all the rage for the style conscious North London Soul boys like me.
I now run Brighton based Creative Law & Business a pioneering consultancy serving only creative talent and businesses with creativity at their core. It’s the Wild West out there so clients seem to benefit from having a connected and experienced professional on their side pinpointing opportunities, negotiating deals, drafting contracts, safeguarding IP and solving problems.
I’m actually in awe of creative people. I understand their needs and also the many sectors in which they operate so I am frequently able to use creative legal thinking to protect them.
Gresham is a force of nature, a client bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. His clothing is of Saville Row quality, but what sets him apart is his innovative boldness and playful irreverence. His creativity deserves its own postcode!
I really love my new double-breasted suit. Maybe we will go triple belt next time.
I am the owner and founder of The West Contemporary Group and independent film production company JW Productions.
I have over 20 years of experience as an art dealer, gallery owner and curator, as well as vast expertise in business development, brand development and marketing. We have helped to catapult artists to the forefront of their genres on the international art scene, artists such as Chris Moon, Beth Cullen-Kerridge, The Connor Brothers, Robi Walters and Fin DAC.
West Contemporary art consultancy, operating from London and Dubai, has worked with clients that include The Royal Albert Hall, Claridge’s, Tom Kerridge, Dubai Opera House, Emaar, Hotel Cafe Royal, David Collins Studio and Candy & Candy.
We specialise in producing large-scale art events and exhibitions as well as art-led marketing campaigns, with our agency side of the business working with brands such as Adidas, All Saints, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Peroni, Lenovo, Lulu Guinness, Cambridge Audio and Red Bull.
My film production company, JW Productions, managed the production of 'An Artist's Eyes' featuring West Contemporary artist, Chris Moon and directed by Jack Bond - the only director to make a documentary with and about Salvador Dali. The documentary was released in UK cinemas in 2018, with the press including Guardian, Empire and Radio Times giving it a glowing review.
I was awarded an FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts) in 2017 and I am a founding member of Goldsmiths University CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts).
I was born and bred in New Cross and live and work in London.
This is my Mum and Dad. They are called Lesley and Lee. I am Ewan and I am 8 and a bit. It was just going to be Dad in the Lookbook, but I sneaked in. I persuaded mum to come along too, hey what a nice dress.
Dad has had a several suits from Gresham Blake over the last few years. Some were made even before I turned up. Dad’s favourite suit is always the latest one. He liked this one so much that I’ve got matching trousers and waistcoat. I think Dad really wanted a Mini Me.
My Mum first met Gresham when, as a teenager (hundreds of years ago) she went out with his brother Jason. We’re all really excited about being in the Lookbook and we love the Gresham Blake brand, it is really cool. Dad tells me he was cool when he was a New Romantic and Mum says she was cool when she was a Goth. Don’t know how they every got together but they both like nice clothes.
Well this whole experience has really whetted my creative appetite; I’ve made a start on Mum’s sewing machine and might try a bit of pattern cutting next. Who knows, maybe I will become a famous bespoke tailor one day...
I have known Gresham and Fal for nearly 20 years and it has only been a pleasure to support them and their business. We both started out at about the same time, building our little empires, and having to go out punching every day. As a businessman and bookmaker, it is important that I make an instant impression, and that potential clients recognise me. Gresham’s style helps me make that difference.
As a businessman and bookmaker, it is important that I make an instant impression, and that potential clients recognise me. Gresham’s style helps me make that difference. He is a man of vast natural talent and flair, and I will never forget that he once said to me "Ben, I'm not here for the 99%. I am here for the 1% who want to stand out and challenge style".
I am one of Gresham Blake's 1% and very proud to be so.
Lord George Harriman-Smith is the creative force behind Childrensalon.com, the award-winning retailer that, together with his wife Michele, was founded in 1999. From humble beginnings, today it is the world’s largest online retailer for luxury childrenswear. With a growing team of over 450 people, Childrensalon is the recipient of the ‘Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade’ amongst many other prestigious accolades.
For George, fashion has always been about self-expression, quality and attention to detail. Gresham’s creations had been capturing George’s attention for many years. When they finally met, their combined flamboyant nature (thankfully governed by their force-of-nature wives) lead to the creation of George’s dream suit.
At the same time, Childrensalon collaborated with Gresham to create a wonderful collection for children.
This is my first tailor made suit and cannot wait to get out in the world with it. Dressing up has only got more fun, since wearing uniform on the Royal Air Force than warm woolies working down south. Dressing to suit the city offices since 1997 has also been a progression from run of the mill to finer threads as income almost matched ambition. The driver quite literally has been the touch, feel and finish of the clothing touching my skin. Never understood colleagues wearing “work clothes” they dislike when occupying majority of our waking lives.
The only other thing to make me smile as much as dressing up is the sensation while driving certain vehicles. Only hope this one will suit the vehicle in mind for the next adventures.
Family advice when choosing a suit was, “make sure you can change a light bulb”. That ensures a terrible fitting jacket and hair stood on end.
The magnetic appeal of Spitalfields area over the last 20yrs often spiralled me toward this shop where the adventure was rewarded, with paper bags of delight, the only thing missing was the little man in a Fez.
I have been a creative soul for many years, starting my journey as a projection artist at raves like Phil Perry’s Full Circle and Boom Shanka, I went on to become a pitwall telemetry specialist with a Lemans motor racing team, a FinTech founder and an extra in film/tv and immersive theatre.
In later life I have become a prop maker of vintage contraptions for Theatre/Film and Coffee. In the tradition of the mad British inventor my SteampunkCoffeeMachines have appeared at the London Coffee Festival and even led to an invite to 10 Downing Street. My clients include Duck & Waffle, Union Hand Roasted and Black Sheep Coffee.
I am shown here with one of my favourite inventions the “Cocktail Gun” for instant libation! The shirt you see was hand made by the GB wizards and features two of my coffee machines.
I am currently making alien fighting machines for Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds Immersive Theatre Experience at the Old Metal Exchange in Leadenhall, London.
Why have a bespoke Gresham Blake Suit? Well for my woodland festival wedding they created an amazing Green Man Suit that made me feel epic and now I can wear my art on my sleeve, so in a world where so many things are mass produced and people are told they should have the same things, and seem to want the same things, Gresham Blake’s team reminds us we are free to think differently, be unique.
We are all individuals!
I have always been a delighted customer of Gresham Blake’s for 10 years, ever since being drawn in by the colourful, creative and quirky shopfront in Brighton. In a sea of black, grey and navy blue fashion for men, Gresham’s work really stands out as being unique and having genuine character.
I love the whole Gresham Blake off the peg range, especially the limited run shirts, of which the Christmas shirt is an annual essential. Gresham also does some great off the peg suits – who else would have thought of combining Wonder Woman; skulls; pizza; bananas; avocados; and pop art into a single suit?! But where the company really does something that no-one else can is with the bespoke suits that I’ve worked with the team on.
These suits have involved taking a wide range of concepts from a germ of an idea to reality, working closely and interactively with Gresham’s designers throughout the whole process. They are often highly complex pieces, involving arranging multiple fabrics, patterns and images, but are always interesting!
Individual suits to date have encompassed designs as diverse as the 1980s; wine; burgers; and the karma sutra, with the latest suit in production being a collage of late 1970s crisp packets! I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years have in store for Gresham Blake, but I definitely want to be along for the ride.
Dusan Jakovljevic. Born May 1968. Husband of one wife, father of two sons, owner of multiple Gresham Blake shirts, ties and suits, collector of 1000+ LPs and cassettes. Blooming (still) in Belgium, bred in Britain, born in Bosnia.
A man of spirit and action. War deserter, asylum seeker, perpetual dilettante, historian by education, enthusiastic anarchist, obsessive dandyist, euro federalist, deep environmentalist, general semantician, dabbling occultist, social media guru, lover of all-things-slow, intransigently analogue.
Lives unconcernedly and spontaneously: not allowing finely spun theories to divert attention from things close at hand, nor directing endeavours towards a distant goal, but following excitement of the moment.
Works as energy lobbyist in Brussels since 2005. In addition, I brought traditional Hell Fire Club to the European Continent and co-founded the Brussels Circle for General Semantics.
Loves to mix’n’match Gresham Blake design and vintage English fashion for a strong personal style. Ambition is to bring faux Cool Britannia look to Brussels to spice up the energy lobbying circles, getting things less corporate and more personal. I get comments on my shirts or ties, and I have effectively integrated Gresham Blake into my personal brand.
The journey of my grandfather and father has defined who I am today. It began in 1928 when my grandfather, Naranjan Singh Juttla, left the shores of India and headed to Kenya in search for work. Travelling aboard a dhow, an unforeseen incident led my grandfather into the company of His Royal Highness the Aga Khan. Over the ensuing years, they developed a long-lasting friendship and with the support of the Aga Khan, my grandfather formed the largest construction company in Kenya - ‘Naranjan Singh Brothers’.
Soon after, Naranjan’s younger brother, Alderman Mohan Singh, followed in Naranjan’s steps and moved to Kenya. He went on to become the Deputy Mayor of Nairobi and together, Naranjan and Mohan were fortunate to dine with Princess Elizabeth II. They attended the auspicious dinner at the Treetops restaurant in 1952 that marked Elizabeth’s transition from Princess to Queen of England.
My father, Harbhajan, joined the family business in Kenya and adopted my grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. With my mother, three brothers and myself in tow, he emigrated to England in 1967 to establish his own successful construction company – ‘H.S. Juttla Contractors’.
I grew up observing my father’s business acumen and his determination to succeed. What sets me apart from my peers is the knowledge I learnt from growing up on his construction sites. I pursued a career in architecture and having worked on landmark buildings across the City of London, I was fortunate to set up my own architectural practice in 2005 – ‘Juttla Architects’.
I am thrilled that my business has grown from strength to strength and became an award-winning practice in 2015. However, what makes me most proud is that I am able to continue my grandfather’s journey over 90 years’ on.
I am an Actor, Voiceover and Voice Actor.
As an actor I appeared in Inspector Morse, The Bill, Rules of Engagement, The Bill, The Knock, The Bill, Walking on the Moon, The Bill and... did we mention The Bill? And, the BAFTA Best Drama winning ‘No Child of Mine’ and BAFTA winning Multiplayer Game ‘Divinity Original Sin 2’ in 2018.
These days I work predominantly as a ‘Gob for hire’ and so spend vast chunks of my days saying things out loud, that I has absolutely no knowledge about, in return for money. Yes, a career change into Politics is surely, but a heartbeat away.
Of course, if your life is that of a disembodied voice…it’s only natural, that when you’re allowed out of the box to play, you get to dress it up, a bit. Gresham Blake is that heady mix of super sharp style and left field playfulness. The ‘Rude and the Refined’…just like the man himself.
I can currently be heard on Radio and TV and narrates ‘How Do They Do It’ for Discovery. Has a number of Audiobooks out on Audible, including the newly released ‘No Handcuffs’. It tells the story of Eddie Richardson, South London Gangster and other half of the infamous Richardson Brothers; notorious for their war with the Kray Twins and so-called Torture Gang Trial in the 1960’s...
I’ve been a happy Gresham Blake customer for over 15 years – it is important to me to feel comfortable and look the part no matter what the situation, be it business, formal occasion or a country event.
I first visited Gresham in Brighton, where I grew up, as I liked his take on bespoke tailoring. I was originally shopping for business suits; I’m a software entrepreneur with companies in the UK and US. However, it is the special suits that I enjoy most: my wedding suit, my white-tie suit for formal Livery Company occasions and my tweed suits for shoot dinners.
My family and I now live in rural north Bedfordshire, where we keep eventing horses and raise sheep and grow fruit and vegetables on our secluded farm. Our plan is to become as self-sufficient as possible in the future – while still managing to travel and experience new landscapes and cultures. It’s a tall order – but at least I’ll be well dressed!
I moved to Brighton 7 years ago and started poking about in the shop soon after… As time went by, I found I had amassed a sizeable amount of Gresham’s stuff.
This is the first suit I’ve had made, although I own about 6 off the pegs jobs, but he’s made all my stage wear for the last couple of years. I play bass and sing for Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets. When I was told that rather than the usual black, we should be looking colourful as we were going to be projected onto, I know there was only one place to come.
My father was Dutch; my mother Scottish. But despite a successful international union, they were unable to agree whether to give me a Dutch or Caledonian name. So, they compromised by combining both, grandly naming me Hendrik Alexander Gilchrist Kleinsmiede. With more letters than even the alphabet, quite the mouthful. But also, my first unique identifier. It was the first thing I had that was utterly bespoke.
Given my lineage — born in Australia, raised in Britain, but having lived also in Indonesia, America, Italy and Switzerland — it was perhaps inevitable that I would eventually come to consider myself a citizen of the world.
But as a teenager, it was not the dimension of space (place) where I found inspiration, but time: specifically, the swinging sixties. In the early 1980s, I was really into mod culture. Scooters, Northern Soul, suits.
I used to visit Brighton often, then, riding down on my Vespa. I bought my first suit — an off-the-peg purple mohair number — somewhere in the Laines. It was cheap and cheerful, but it made me feel like a king.
In 1990, I lived in Kemptown — and very much in the moment. I was on the dole and lived every day, literally day-by-day. Musically, it was all Acid House and the Stone Roses, and sartorially, the trouser legs flared. But the common thread was style. Even when I had no money, I was always interested in clothes.
In the late nineties and early noughties, I became more forward looking — future facing — and became obsessed by all things digital. It was the internet that really gave my generation its identity. It was all about interconnectivity. The clothes reflected that — everything interwoven.
The internet also gave me a career and with it, the income to indulge my passion for clothes. I now own about ten Gresham Blake suits — most of them bespoke. I wear a different one every workday.
It has taken time, and a few life phases, for me to grow into my sartorial skin. My passport may be British. But really, style is my badge of belonging. I take it wherever I go. Now, my suits are as much part of my identity as the internet, my international lineage or my longwinded name.
I am a media lawyer and recognised in the Legal 500 for my work in the Film and TV Sector. I am co-owner of Healys LLP a law firm with offices based in London Brighton and Cairo. Healys is a leading law firm with an international reach who’s core values are friendship, trust and loyalty which are carried through across all the work the firm does.
I am a keen supporter of local Charities and am an Ambassador to the Brighton based Starr Trust Charity which provides both financial support and mentoring to young people across the fields of education, sport and the arts and have helped to date over 5000 young people achieve their dreams or goals. I am also President of the London, Brighton and Essex Power 100 which recognises individuals who have made a positive difference in their localities.
I am an avid supporter of the UK Independent Film Industry and as well as being the trusted legal adviser of several UK Film Production Companies I have also acted as Executive Producer.
I am a family man with a passion for travel and animal welfare worldwide...
I wear my Gresham Blake suits to work like a suit of designer armour, they put me in the right frame of mind, make me feel more confident and to stand out from the crowd. I went through the all black phase years ago - most architects do.
Wearing Gresh suits and shirts is a game changer. You feel incredibly self-conscious at first, standing out like a parakeet in a flock of pigeons at functions. But then the compliments would come: from guys, from women, from complete strangers. My Gresham suits are head turners, they make you feel good and they make you memorable, which is useful in business.
Paul says he is definitely in the minority, with fewer people wearing suits to work these days, but the symbolic power of a suit is as strong as it has ever been.
The suits don’t just alter how people perceive you, they alter your own outlook. I feel like an architect and I think like a boss - I like to see the bigger picture.
…and I enjoy the shops, a bit quirky, a bit naughty, aimed at people like me, with Gresham as the eccentric Brit, which I love.
My name is Derek Pywowar, born in Brighton in the early fifties. I have always been known as Dez. I was one of a family of 6 children. My Father was a Polish immigrant and he worked hard, along with our Mother to raise our family, which included my sister who had disabilities.
All of our clothes were ‘hand-me-downs’. I was the eldest boy, so I was fortunate to have the newest, but these were passed down to 3 brothers, in turn. If you had a hole in your sock, Mum would darn these to be re-worn.
Going to school in the late fifties and sixties, all schools had uniforms, blazers with the school crescent and school ties; we hated them.
In the seventies, we started to take an interest in clothes and fashion. We dressed in tonic suits, Crombie overcoats with pocket handkerchiefs. We thought we looked like ‘kings’.
In the eighties, brighter colours were popular, and clothes were of an excellent quality. Silk shirts and Italian suits were our choices.
In the nineties, although expensive, quality seemed to deteriorate, clothes did not look good for too long.
I was more common for young people to dress more casually and the idea of wearing suits was not as popular. The age of the football shirt had arrived, awful!
Since the millennium, I have approached a ‘Senior Citizen’ age, but like to wear suits, jackets and ties, despite this being for the minority, other that celebrities and footballers for photoshoots.
I found Gresham Blake’s store in Brighton initially for their bold ties and designs, but more recently I have worn their shirts and exceptional suits.
It is a nice feeling to receive compliments on my attire, particularly America, where I visit often, as the normal attire is NFL shirts and baseball caps!
I haven’t stopped wearing this suit, it was an honor to collaborate with GB. I’d put my life’s wardrobe in the hands of Gresham. Pure class.
Vivienne Westwood said "Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” This is why I go to Gresham Blake because a suit from them adds to my life and I can wear something no one else will. I spend ages searching the many books of fabrics until one jumps out at me. I have a fairly straightforward style, but I do like to have a little twist in the design which is what having a suit made for you allows. Absolutely nothing wrong with buying off the peg, but buying bespoke means you can have something unique.
Working with Gresham & Fal Blake on a new suit is always a pleasure and they both seem to know almost instinctively what I like and more often than not come up with something a little left-field (like the asymmetric collar) that always work.
In the words of Kenzo Takada, “Fashion is like eating. You shouldn't stick with the same menu” and so with this suit I also went for a bespoke lining that Fal helped me design with a unique super stylish swarm of bees that is the icing on the cake.
I take a bright, breezy, colourful approach to enjoying wine. What other shirt could I possibly wear except a Gresham Blake to get me in the mood.
- Oz Clarke
Growing up, Brighton became an important place for me from the age of about 14, later I lived in Brighton for 12 years and it was a vital time after graduation from Art college, to becoming a full time artist.
Gresham is such an established Brighton figure it has been great to collaborate with him on suits and a painting, which I wanted to be highly personal, and features many elements I felt right for his and Fal's own life - but also to feature his commercial logo, he then suggested we turn it into a tracksuit, and how can you say no to Gresham?!
Fabric to Gresham is like Canvas to me - our outlet and place to express ourselves...
He is a rare creature, his energy is undeniable, and you instantly feel good in his company...
I am a Manager, with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Leadership. A “car guy”; so I love creating, co-designing and servicing sports and supercars.
I am also a drummer, in love with music - mainly Jazz. That’s how I find the balance between a mathematical engineer mind, and artistic and humanistic ways of expressing myself.
Not only in words, e-mails, engineering sketches, musical notes. Also, in the way I enjoy fashion and dress myself.
Gresham Blake’s garments caught my attention as a natural way of dressing with joy: expressing and communicating with personality and unique taste. I love the way Gresham, Fal and their design team, create and tailor: confident, ambitious pieces which at same time are still very classy and elegant.
This tailor-made Gresham Blake’s suit, with its dark blue, red and white details were inspired by the colours of the UK flag.
I spent most of my early years in the West Indies and have always had an enthusiasm for many disciplines. However, my passion for music and competitive sport do have an influence as to how I allocate the little time I have to my hobbies, which include motor racing and record collecting.
It would be challenging to admit that I am someone who is uncompromising especially in fashion, but I do recall, as one among teenage friends, we took what we wore very seriously. A lot of time was spent in material and tailor selection along with detailed inspections, with a razor-sharp seam, notably for a finished pair of trousers.
Of course, this was a luxury. Moving away from the West Indies and now in London that looked quite remote. That is not to say that there are not good tailors in London, but in my quest over time and by chance during a visit to Brighton. I accidentally noted a shop called Gresham Blake. On my first encounter the members of staff were very accommodating. I can say they are one of the best you could select to provide a made to measure suit of your liking. For me that has been quite regular over the past 15 years.
I was born and grew-up in Brighton and spent my youth around North Laine, soaking up the vibrant music scene, fashion and culture of the area. I fell into hairdressing when I was sixteen and been working in the industry ever since; for over 30 years now. As a member of The British Fellowship of Hairdressing, I split my time between working in-salon at Simon Webster Hair, session-styling and mentoring developing talent.
For a young hairdresser, the goal was to have your work featured in a publication like Vogue and I’m privileged to say that my work has appeared in not just British, but also Italian and Russian Vogue. My career in hairdressing has allowed me to work with some of my musical icons and heroes, working on the album covers and videos of musicians and bands across eras and genres, for which I’m very lucky. I’ve styled and educated on an international stage and worked backstage at London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks with over seventy designers. This young barber who started out in his local Brighton salon couldn’t have imagined where it would take him.
Now I’ve come full circle, returning to my roots with our salon on Gardner Street in the heart of North Laine and my passions are the foundations of the Simon Webster Hair ethos and the SWH brand. Our tagline is style-music-fashion and I love bringing my experiences in session-styling into the salon to my clients and team. Our community is a melting-pot of talent and working alongside artists across diverse creative fields and focusing on the faces of Brighton’s community as muses is my real inspiration. There’s a close-knit group of Brighton creative’s who share and invest their time and passions for their hometown and individual fields, working together on projects and campaigns that celebrate the talent of the city and I love that. I’ve worked with Gresham Blake for several years on campaigns and shoots, forging a bond that lies not just in professional creativity, but also in a shared sense of eclectic nostalgia, a true passion for our communities and industries and the unique Brightonian humour.
Chris is one of our first customers, a man that demonstrates pure style. Thanks for your continuous support.
Shout out to the lovely nutty creative Gresham Blake for sorting me out such a fine whistle.
I first came across Gresham Blake when making frequent trips to Brighton to visit friends. I always used to peer in, and think “one day” I’d have an excuse to spoil myself. My (then) forthcoming wedding in 2004 proved to be the ideal excuse, and together with my two Best Men, had bespoke suits made by Gresham. My friends then moved away from Brighton, and as a result fewer trips to Brighton occurred.
I always had an odd-shaped body, insofar as (for some reason) I have very broad shoulders and (then) much smaller waist - so it was always difficult to buy a well-proportioned suit off-the-peg. Marriage, two children (Molly & Alice) and becoming Partner in a Town Planning and Design company soon sorted out the waistline catching-up with his chest size!
It was another wedding that saw me visit Gresham again, but this time in Spitalfields for my sister’s wedding in 2016.
It was always the quality of the material, the attention to detail and welcoming of the friendly staff and “overall quirkiness” that can be added to really personalise a suit that has always attracted me back. Whilst having to dress mostly conservatively at work, I am “probably a blend of BBC Radio 4 and 6 Music” - and having a Gresham suit enables him to achieve this cross-over in terms of reflecting this with specific detailing on each suit. Whether it is for Goodwood events or political conferences, a Gresham suit is always well received in all circumstances.
Now I realise the full benefits of bespoke suit against a fluctuating body-shape, I have subsequently embraced the advantages of further suits and shirts, including for work purposes. I have always suffered from a lack of self-confidence, and when wearing one of Gresham’s suits, I always feel somehow more assure of myself. It almost feels like a confidence shield.
More recently, the friendly team in Brighton have helped me realise that we are all different shapes and sizes, and the entire process of buying clothes has become a much more pleasurable experience.
Hello, I’m Neal, aka Ned, aka Peter Pan and probable other names that can’t be put to print...
A man of many lives having been in the RAF, worked for the NHS, the pharmaceutical industry and now private healthcare working with vulnerable children. I own a pub for the evenings and have a B&B opening soon… All crammed into my 50th year in 2019. The next 50 will be even better!
Keeping me happy, healthy and sane is my wife Hazel and sons Elliot, Reuben and Magnus. We live the dream in a village on the outskirts of Coventry called Allesley... Don’t believe all you read about the 2021 City of Culture, there are some great parts to this concrete jungle! The family bulldogs, Bob and Norman, have the joy of open fields, the sniffs of inquisitive livestock and the odd treat from Humphrey the cat and his field kills... We’re lucky, we can’t think of a better place to host our manic lifestyles, boisterous behaviours and infamous parties!
Luckily for me, Gresham Blake fits my character well... A gregarious joker who, thankfully, doesn’t take people or life too seriously. I’m known for my suits, shirts and generally ‘interesting’ attire, so stumbling across Gresham Blake 10 years ago has stretched my wardrobe significantly. I look forward to the seasonal launches and the raising of eyebrows when donning the striking, limited edition numbers in The Rainbow Inn. I enjoy creating a wry smile and ‘oh no, not another shirt’ from everyone I meet… A shrinking violet I am not.
‘Life is a song… sing it’… This is what I do when wearing my funky Gresham numbers...
Sarah and I are biologists. We love nature! A deep appreciation of diversity, colour, surprise and attention to details is inherent in evolution, the process that forms and drives life on earth, the process that governs nature and mankind. All of the above characteristics and amazing skills are inherent in the extraordinary work of Fal & Gresham Blake, and their talented and fun team.
We love the richness of nature motifs of their work, and the perspectives they take on nature. Nature is it deeply woven into ties, printed on shirts, moulded as cufflinks or presented on fun linings.
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is a research museum with a twist: still war torn estate meets most modern showcase of nature - only separated by a few doors. This will now change as we have secured c. one billion Euro for change in the next 10 years. The relationship between humans and nature needs to be re-evaluated and deep change implemented - a democratic knowledge society can deliver this. Winning hearts and minds for change involves both reason and humour. In the run up to persuading both Berlin parliaments to support us, a colourful, approachable, relevant brand was created -a team GB look was an integral part of this success. Thank you!
We have a great team of Expert Tailors at Gresham Blake, in both our Shoreditch, London and Brighton store. Want to know which Gresham Blake Tailor is best suited to create your bespoke outfit? Read our Tailors Profiles.
Predominantly based in the Brighton store Fal Blake is the Co-Founder & Director of Gresham Blake & has over 17 years tailoring experience.Find out more
Nathalie is the Bespoke Manager for both Gresham Blake Brighton and Gresham Blake London. Available for appointments Tuesday – Saturday.Find out more
Martin Jones is a resident Bespoke Tailoring Consultant based in our Brighton store. Available for appointments Thursday – Monday.Find out more
Gabe is our newest team member, available in our Brighton store for ready to wear and made to measure.
Rita is our Production Manager and is available Monday – Friday.
The Hall of Fame features people Gresham Blake have worked with in the past.