Richard Neasham’s tailoring legacy

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The Savile Row tailor – without the price tag.  

 Tailoring runs in Richard Neasham’s blood. As a fourth generation tailor Richard, from Walsall, is keeping his great grandfather’s legacy – and the niche customwear market – alive by offering affordable luxury. Jaspreet Shergill caught up with him to find out more 

The world of tailoring isn’t a place we’d often turn to for our daily wear in this day and age. If there’s a special occasion or a wedding, we might explore the idea of getting a custom piece made but otherwise we tend to go straight to the high street – or even online.  

But maybe this doesn’t have to be the case. Fourth generation tailor Richard Neasham, who’s shop RN Tailoring opened in Sutton Coldfield last year, is adamant that custom clothes don’t always have to be for those milestone moments, and that there is a market for those that like the finer things in life – without the price tag.  

Patterns, sewing machines and hand-work embroidery runs in Richard’s blood but the only question is that will this craft be around for much longer? 

Growing up, Richard was living and breathing fabric, stitching and all things tailoring from a young age. His great-grandad Leonard Neasham had opened up his tailors’ store in 1930, starting a family legacy which would last for four generations and counting. 

After turning 16 years old, Richard decided to leave school and follow in Leonard’s footsteps, alongside his grandad, Jack, and father, Roger. 

Richard offers Savile Row tailoring without the price tag scaled.

“Before, when I was at school I used to go with my dad to London to companies like Daks and Aquascutum and I would stand there and watch them do the buying so when I left school, I already knew that was what I wanted to go into for work.” said Richard. 

Leonard Neasham’s first store was in Walsall and, as time went on, the town became more expensive and the shop needed to be refurbished. After some thought Roger Neasham decided to retire, and it was left to Richard to see what steps he wanted to take to keep the Neasham legacy going. 

“After my dad retired, I knew I still wanted to stick to menswear and tailoring so instead of running the shop I decided to go and work for Gieves and Hawkes, the Savile Row tailor,” Richard explains. 

 “I ended up being there for 16 years, then roughly about eight years ago I set up on my own as a travelling tailor, so I’ll travel and go to businesses and homes, I’ll go with all my cloth books and measuring tapes. Just after we came out of the COVID-19 lockdown I opened my little tailoring store in Sutton Coldfield, so I have a base, but I still travel to go and see clients because it’s truly in my blood.”  

As a youngster, every Saturday would see Richard going down to the family shop and learning from his father and grandfather, the craft of creating and putting together the perfect three-piece.  

 “Being able to travel with my dad, seeing London and watch him work from a young age, I wanted to be like him, and I didn’t want to go to university or college, I just wanted to do tailoring, it’s my passion. Knowing my great-grandad started this made me want to carry on even more, I’ve got two boys and they’re on the fence whether they want to go into tailoring and it’s a bit upsetting, I’d like at least one of them to carry it on, hopefully they will come round.” he added.  

 Although Richard learnt a lot of his skills from his family in the West Midlands, there is one destination, the ultimate dream land for tailors and fashion fans. London’s world-famous Savile Row is where Richard went to train and develop his talents even more. 

“My dad taught me from an early age how to measure, cut and sew but I would go to Savile Row and do courses there which was amazing, soon as you walk through the door in one of those stores and just the vibe of the whole street it’s just another world and if you like tailoring it’s incredible.” 

Tailor Richard Neasham

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many tailors or tailoring stores as there once was, the way in which we shop has changed as the convenience of shopping online has dominated the clothing industry, the rise of social media has influenced fast fashion and custom pieces for everyday wear isn’t as popular as it once was. 

Richard said: “I like to do everything myself; I think now finding people that have the knowledge and skill can sometimes be difficult because unfortunately tailoring is a dying trade, it’s a niche market and very few people now wear tailored pieces every day, it’s more so for occasions when you want something special. The ready-to-wear suits you can get from your everyday stores, but you’re limited when it comes to choice but if you want something more extravagant or ‘wow’ then you need to find a tailor.”  

There’s a real personal element when Richard brings his clients’ visions to life. It goes beyond walking into a store and leaving with a beautiful garment; he says it should be an experience from the moment you step in. 

“You can go online and type in your measurements for a suit but I was always taught from my family that it’s meant to be an experience for the client as soon as they come into your store. They can have a glass of wine or coffee, you sit with them, talk to them about their event or pieces and a lot of people don’t realise the amount of detail and customisation we can do, the buttons, lining, monograms, lapels etcetera there is so much you can do and often people are shocked by it because you’d never see this in a normal store, so it’s all about creating that experience.” 

Richard caters for both males and females

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Richard’s trade as it has for many others too; the more casual approach and hybrid working has meant less orders for business-style suits and an increased demand for wedding garments. 

“The majority of my work now is weddings; unfortunately because of COVID-19 the business customer has fallen away because we have all learnt to be casual and not going into the office. But the demand for wedding wear has gone up because so many were put on hold and now it’s about catching up, there’s some every day of the week.” 

He added: “I’ve seen an increase in catering for more LGBTQ+ weddings too, so I’ll make suits for both men and women which has taken off, it seems to be popular because again, choices are limited in high street stores but we small independent brands can cater for this.”  

Richards says there are many things he loves about his profession but there is one thing in particular that sits above all the rest.  

“One of the best things is being part of the journey for my clients when it comes to some of the most important events in their life and seeing their images from the wedding day back, I love seeing that. I love making bright tweeds and something a bit wacky too, clients always send me their images from their day out in their custom pieces and I get a real buzz from it.” 

Looking ahead to the future, Richard would love to open up a second store in Birmingham and says his dream clients to work with would be David Beckham or Daniel Craig.   

“When people come in with pictures for inspiration of a suit, they would like me to make, I would say a lot of the time it’ll be a picture of David Beckham or someone from the James Bond films, and I have to say they would definitely be people who I’d want to make something for. 

“I think over the last 10 years people have been educated on Savile Row because of films and I do get younger people coming in asking me to make garments because of it and I think the personalisation factor is a big part of it too. I’m a Savile Row tailor but without the price tag.”  

 For more details visit or find Richard on Instagram @rn_tailoring and Facebook 




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