Leon now works in London's Savile Row
We interviewed Leon for our September 2011 issue of the YouSpeak
magazine. You can read it in full here:
A tale of unexpected twists, determination, stardom and the
sharpest of sharp suits. The sort of thing that gets Hollywood
directors palpitating. Intrigued? Meet ex Donny fashion student
Leon Powell, tailor to the elite and gentleman to all, to hear how
he paved his career in London's Saville Row.
Dazed and confused
Leon's career as a tailor hasn't always been so, ahem, clear
cut. Spending one year studying interior design at university, Leon
dropped out in a spell of uncertainty and took on a labouring job
at British Steel.
After three years at British Steel, news reached Leon of the
fashion course at Doncaster College, and so he declared steel
capped toes officially OUT for the season, with just a little
teasing and raised eyebrows from his mates. A fashion course? But
you're a labourer? And a boy? You get the picture…
After the toil of his previous work, Leon applied the same work
ethic into his studies and experimented endlessly.
Leon explains: "I was a little older than the other students on
my course, but I really felt like I’d got a second chance. Being
back in education, I knew I had to work hard and the work ethic
from British Steel really helped. I actually had a part time job
while I studied, but I just immersed myself in the creative process
and spent all my time drawing and designing. There’s so much
competition for jobs, you have to make the most of your
opportunities and work hard when you study."
After completing an apprenticeship, Leon went on to work as a
coat maker and is currently employed as an under cutter at the
prestigious Anderson and Sheppard on Saville Row.
You must be wondering about the famous people he dresses, about
the exclusive circles in which he moves? So are we. But when it
comes to discretion, Leon remains incredibly professional. “A
gentleman does not kiss and tell.”
He explains: "People come to us because we mean quality and
because the service is so personal, so unique. It is like a doctor
patient relationship in terms of confidentiality. We do not
advertise even, we do not need to."
A phenomenal future
Leon wants to reach the top of his field and to be able to look
back in 30 years time and be considered a phenomenal cutter.
"People in the industry get good reputations and you get to know
about it. The people who really inspire me now are the people I
work with. I want to be one of those people – an expert. I’m proud
of where I am at this moment. I’ve got passion and enjoy what I