James Bond’s most trusted tailor
To many, Terence Young was the original James Bond.
The son of a Commissioner of the Shanghai Municipal Police, the James Bond director was born in China and educated at public school. Just like the fictional spy, he read Oriental History at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge. He was an erudite ladykiller, dressed in bespoke finery at all times, who was always witty and well-versed in all matters of style and taste.
So there was no one better placed to prep the unknown Scottish actor, Sean Connery, for the life-changing role he was about to play in Dr No. Young was a regular at Anthony Sinclair, which established itself as the go-to tailor for British Army officers’ civilian clothes during the 1950s.
These men tended to favour slim, cavalry-cut trousers, paired with a single-breasted coat and a soft, natural shoulder. The coat was cut for ease of movement, with a degree of chest drape and generous sleeves topped with signature roping. The waist was slightly suppressed, ensuring that the buttoned-up coat remained close and neat, and the flared skirt over the hips balanced the shape.
This hourglass silhouette created by Anthony Sinclair suited the athletic physiques of the military men and was distinctly at odds with the boxy, double-breasted suits popular at the time. And so, the Conduit Cut was born, named after his premises at 29 Conduit Street.
Like his military counterparts, James Bond would hardly be seen dead in an old-fashioned ‘demob’ suit. So when it was time to smooth out the rough edges of the new 007, Anthony Sinclair was Young’s first port of call. Connery was so unaccustomed to wearing bespoke finery that Sinclair instructed him to wear the suits around the clock – even sleeping in them – so that he was completely at ease in the clothes when filming began. The Conduit Cut became a landmark in the history of Savile Row tailoring and is as fresh today as it was when 007 first stepped on to the screen in 1962.
To celebrate the golden anniversary celebrations of the 007 film franchise, Anthony Sinclair re-launched its bespoke tailoring service in 2012, reviving the founder’s signature philosophy to produce understated and timeless clothing for a new generation of modern men. As Creative Director David Mason, explains: ‘The bespoke tailoring service we provide has not changed over the last five decades; it involves a series of fittings and at least 50 hours of hand-tailoring to take the garment through successive stages of production, allowing the client to witness the true bespoke experience of having his clothes built around him.’
When Sean Connery officially surrendered his licence to kill in 1967, 007’s Conduit cut suit had become so synonymous with the role that George Lazenby attended his casting in a bespoke suit made by Anthony Sinclair. There’s no need to tell you that it did the trick, and he continues to have clothes made by the tailor to this day. As a matter of fact, so does Sir Roger Moore – the only octogenarian to regularly appear in GQ’s list of ‘The 50 Best Dressed Men in Britain’.
In response to the needs of the busy modern gentleman, Anthony Sinclair has recently launched a collection of ready-to-wear Conduit Cut suits and a Special Order service, which offers a piece of tailoring history at an affordable price that can be purchased online and delivered direct to the customer’s home or office, keeping the tailoring firmly in line with the requirements of today’s hectic lifestyles.
As well as Anthony Sinclair’s signature pieces, the brand also sells a range of high quality men’s shirts, ties and accessories, all of which are carefully selected to represent Sinclair’s philosophy of what constitutes the epitome of English style: classic, understated, elegant and timeless. Just like James Bond himself.
ANTHONY SINCLAIR 34 MONTAGU SQUARE, LONDON W1H 2LJ +44 (0)20 7437 7007