Charlie Allen has been creating bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring for over 30 years, and is the third generation of his family to work in the trade. Fascinated by men’s clothing, he went into business at the age of just 24 following training at the Royal College of Art. Though he is inspired by the quality and assurance of Savile Row, he prides himself on providing an unstuffy service. His studio is nestled on Cooper’s Yard, just behind Islington’s bustling Upper Street. We caught up with him for the latest in our Q&A series.
1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you?
When I started going to Art College. I was the only one to wear a tie.
2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)?
Miles Davis – Jazz
3. How would you describe London style?
An eclectic mix of decades.
4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)?
Italy. If I was a woman though, it would be Paris. For the style, language and beautiful buildings.
5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you?
Charlie Allen mohair blue blazer, a white shirt by The English Artisan, grey trousers by A.P.C., a pair of Evisu jeans, brown loafers by Edward Green, knitted polo shirt by CP Company and a tie by Penrose London.
6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products?
Skin moisturiser and my tooth brush.
7. When and where did you look your best?
Monte Carlo – 1985.
8. Which is your favourite season of the year (and why)?
Spring, for the colour and smell.
9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style?
My uncle, William Fenton.
10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in?
“Coming to America”
11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others?
Skinny-fit ‘hipster’ trousers on older men.
12. Cat or dog?
13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes?
Study business and speak at least 2 languages.
14. What motivates you in your career?
Creating beautiful handcrafted garments for clients who appreciate ‘Made in Britain’, and of course making money.
15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be?
16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on?
Very expensive sportswear.
17. Which is your most treasured sense?
18. Name three elements of a perfect holiday
Sun, sea, sand.
19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be?
Six inches taller!
20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest
Barack Obama at the Chelsea Arts Club.