Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Protest Against Abercrombie Kids on Savile Row... Borderline Immaturity!

They look fairly nice...if only it were a costume party!
Getty Images via @daylife  |  (image source)
Maybe you've heard, maybe you haven't...

On Monday, April 23, a group of middle-aged fakes playing dress-up – pardon me, so-called "gentlemen" and their female acquaintances – held a protest on Savile Row, in London, against the opening of abercrombie kids. Despite the fact that barely anyone of them was even wearing anything made on Savile Row, they thought it a brilliant idea to dress-up in their imitation, secondhand (and even outdated) best to proclaim, "Give three-piece a chance. Save Savile Row from Abercrombie & Fitch."

The annoyance began at 10:15, in the morning, at the front of 3 Savile Row (where the shop is being planned to open). Protest was first held along the white hoarding wall now erected over the facade of the building. Then, the participants moved across the street to the front of the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store at 7 Burlington Gardens (42 Savile Row). Their mission: to gain support for their cause to get the Westminster Council to veto A&F's application to commence work for the upcoming abercrombie kids flagship store – what will be the UK's first and the world's only stand-alone abercrombie kids flagship.

With a staunchly firm grip on an admiration for a bygone age riddled with sexism and backward social norms, The Chap magazine is responsible for said protest. The magazine calls itself  "a journal for the modern gentleman"...they are sooooo out of touch and misguided as to what constitutes as being a modern gentleman in the 21st century. (FYI, being a modern gentleman doesn't require handmade tweed suits and one can be as just a gentleman in a hoodie)! Some women were also present among the crowd of males known as "Chaps": the women, referred to as "Chapettes," blinded in nostalgia of a time in which they were never taken seriously, and played side-line roles, in a male-dominated society. (Good job! You're also promoting setbacks in modern feminist movements)! In general, though, grown-up men and women playing dress-up in wears-of-past to protest, in the 21st century, against the opening of a childrenswear store, borders immaturity on a stupendous level. No true, decent cane-bearing, tobacco-pipe-smoking gent would have done such a thing...if The Chap cares to note. And above all, their message comes across as completely ignorant and backward – a childish tantrum, with a hold on outdated customs and thought, against a will to adapt the concept of the gentleman to our rapidly changing, progressive modern world.

But let it be known that these good ole "Chaps" do not represent Savile Row and neither are they helping things move progressively along in this complicated situation...

"[...] The old street has no real relationship with the contemporary world, and this is its biggest problem. Savile Row made its name in the early 19th century by helping modern men to adapt their riding breeches into the suit we still recognise today. It has not displayed such enlightened thinking in the 21st century, (why not a suit adapted for commuter bike riding?). The traditionally dressed protesters may think they are saving the Row, but they are really damaging it: handmade doesn't need to mean heritage. Savile Row needs to adapt its crafts to the modern world – and fast." - Charlie Porter, The Guardian [source]

About 40 or so minutes into their protesting, the Chaps and Chapettes were forced to take shelter at a nearby place for "a much-needed mid-morning snifter" because of the rain that came in heaven-sent...good riddance.

Ridiculous folks set aside, the Savile Row is indeed culturally important and highly significant. The trade of fine men's tailoring that has taken place on the Row is world renown and it deserves respect. It's an art form of its own! Naturally, the reaction of the tailors to the growing influence of Abercrombie & Fitch on the Row, and the change accompanying it, is understandable. However, it is really ironic for them to accept support from people wearing cheap imitations of Savile Row tailoring. It is kind of enraging, really. Had it been real modern gentlemen in their quality Row-tailored suits protesting, it would have been completely different, relevant, and acceptable to the image of Savile Row. That April 23 protest by the insignificant The Chap was a joke, not just for their protest against A&F, but for their thinking that they were worthy of standing up for Savile Row.

The Chap – almost typed it as "The Cheap" – has come across as arrogantly (or shall we say "naively") cocky believing that its efforts and petition have further helped to influence the Westminster Council for a veto of A&F's application; but the likelihood of that actually occurring is low, dear friends!

The Sitch on Fitch will keep you updated on the matter.