Reviving a once-storied British menswear brand is not without its challenges. One step is to re-establish a retail presence. Patrick Grant, owner and creative director of E. Tautz, has done just that with his new shop on Duke Street in the Mayfair district of London.
Edward Tautz founded E. Tautz in 1867, and the company was acquired by the Savile Row firm Norton & Sons in 1968. Fast-forward to 2005, when Grant purchased Norton & Sons, and soon relaunched the E. Tautz brand. With brand history in place, Grant needed to reach a younger demographic.
“We wanted to create a flagship store that remained true to the E. Tautz heritage and the Duke Street location that also reflected the contemporary aesthetic of the ready-to-wear collection,” Grant explains. His vision inspired Daniel Sanderson and his London-based Sanderson Studios to design an interior of timeless elegance and simplicity.
Sanderson, a 2002 graduate of the Royal College of Art, established his own firm in 2009. His six-person office has an eclectic repertoire and a preference for collaboration. “We understand what a brand means and how that’s reflected in every part of an interior and the customer experience,” he says. “Here, we sought to infuse the space with Patrick’s personality.” Client and architect assembled an ideas board that juxtaposed antique script, contemporary clothes, and images of Philip Johnson’s Four Seasons restaurant in New York. That classic, modern interior inspired the seating and a waffle grid ceiling over the rear staircase.
While the project had a tight budget, Grant was able to secure Concreate floor planks for the ground floor and a carpet from Brintons for the basement thanks to his connections. With flooring acquired by the client, Sanderson could expend more on custom elements like cabinetry and the brass-trimmed Sapele wood staircase at the rear of the store. In its understated luxury, the richly grained, elegantly detailed paneling evokes Adolf Loos’s interior for Knize, a legendary Viennese men’s store. As Sanderson notes, “Loos allowed fine materials to speak for themselves. The spareness of the interior complements the richly ornamented stone facade.”
Sanderson had initially considered a poured-concrete floor, but the laminated Concreate floor planks he ultimately selected have more character and reinforce the intimate scale of the 1,250-square-foot ground floor. Storage chests occupy the center of the room, and clothes are displayed on shelves and brass rails to either side. Grant insisted on a Gunni Omann desk at the rear instead of a sales counter, adding a personal touch at the expense of storage and display space. The interior includes other midcentury furniture that the client loves, such as Hans Peter Piehl sofas and Møller chairs.
Downstairs, the brick arches of the building’s foundation were whitewashed, and the comfortable seating plus carpeting and a curtain at the front end give the room a softer, more contemplative feel. Track lighting washes over the white plaster ceiling and recessed spotlights around the periphery highlight the clothes on display. Here, customers can be measured for custom versions of the current designs. During London’s fashion week, guests pack in to see a catwalk show of the latest collections.
“A lot of new brands try to create a false sense of heritage, but it rarely works,” Sanderson says. “Rather, we tried to mirror what Patrick does in his collections—giving a contemporary spin to vintage themes. We are not pretending to be a bespoke tailor on Savile Row.”
Instead, Sanderson has created a distinctive retail store where customers can enjoy that increasingly rare commodity, personal service. “We were very fortunate with this project,” Sanderson adds. “Elements we hadn’t used before came together in a satisfying way.”
Architect: Sanderson Studios
Client: Norton & Sons trading as E. Tautz
What: 2,500 total square feet on two floors