Xpat Interview: Simon Skottowe, Tailor

  • 11 Oct 2017 12:00 PM
Xpat Interview: Simon Skottowe, Tailor
After completing my studies at Harrow College of Art gaining a B.A. (Hons.) degree in fashion design in 1988, moved from his home in London to Italy´s design capital, Milan. There, I was able to develop my skills in menswear and tailoring working for both a renowned design studio with large international clients, as well as a circle of private customers for bespoke pieces. I spent the last two years in Milan as the cutter responsible for Katherine Hamnett London men’s and women’s tailoring.

In 1998 I was head hunted by a major U.K. tailoring company, Elite Clothing Ltd, and invited to become the Design Director of their Hungarian production company. So I packed my bags and spent three years working for them in Budapest.

Frustrated with the limitations of mass production and mass market I decided to set up my own business in 2001 and concentrate exclusively on bespoke hand tailoring. My company now has a clientele covering most of Europe but remains true to the meaning of bespoke. All the tailoring is done in-house and all the cutting and fitting is done by me.

Since moving to a new location three years ago I have been developing the business to offer an expanding range of ready to wear menswear from the UK and Italy. Since last autumn this also includes a private label shirt and pique sports shirt collection.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in Hungary in 1998 at the invitation of Elite Ruhagyar Rt. to become their design director.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Yes practically my whole life. Starting in Italy going India coming to Hungary a short sojourn to Romania and then back to Hungary.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The language. I couldn’t understand anything.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Go to some art galleries and a concert because the culture is amazing here. Absolutely love the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Hortobágyi palacsinta followed by a somlói galuska, also a really good töltött káposzta takes a lot of beating.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Helmann’s Mayonnaise and lots of decent cheese.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?

8. What do you miss most from home?

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Italy and France.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Favourite Film: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Now Voyager with Bette Davies comes a close second.

14. Apart of temptation what can’t you resist?
Montgomery’s Cheddar Cheese.

15. Red or white?

16. Book or movie?

17. Morning person or night person?
I am at my best for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
There is a bit of a list. But the number of homeless people living on the streets is something I find very upsetting.

19. Buda or Pest side?

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
You get what you pay for.


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