Well-known tailor John Blades has hung up his tape measure after 50 years clothing the North’s well-dressed men.
The 73-year-old numbers the rich and titled among his clients, as well as famous names like actor Robson Green.
Blades, who worked at Blagdon Estate near Ponteland, made the Northumberland native a tartan suit for the Bafta awards ceremony.
Blades is the fifth generation in his family to ply the tailoring trade and the John Blades Bespoke Tailoring brand will live on with his son Julian, who runs the Jules B designer clothing store business in Jesmond, Newcastle.
Blades, a former racing driver, had trimmed the business in recent years by focusing on tailoring both in the North East as a tailor to the gentry and in London, where the average age of his clients is in the late 20s and almost largely in the City. He said: “There are standards there that need to be upheld and decent, quality tailoring is one of them.
“A good cut, be it to a jacket or a suit, makes for confidence. It’s a reflection of success and I firmly believe in this.”
Son Julian, who will benefit from his father’s extensive database of clients, added: “I am excited about this new development as we can now cater for all areas of the made-to-measure market. Previously, we had a gentleman’s agreement that we would not encroach into each other’s specialist area, but now my father is retiring, we can enter into the very British look for which he has become so well-known.
“I think my father’s particular style of tailoring will dovetail very well into our existing offer.
“We intend to develop the John Blades business and have some interesting new ideas on how to build on the foundations that he has set.
“I feel a great sense of duty and responsibility to carry on the Blades tailoring legacy that I have been handed and ensure that it continues for another generation.
“My father has been a big influence in my life, particularly with his style of dressing. He has never been afraid to accentuate the eccentric side of his character and always had a keen eye for detail.”