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April 24, 2012
Just Say No

Savile Row was the scene of an appropriately well dressed protest yesterday morning as scores of supporters of The Chap magazine’s campaign against Abercrombie & Fitch moving into the street assembled to voice their concerns.

The American teenage clothing retailer intends to open a children’s clothing emporium at 3 Savile Row, the listed former headquarters of The Beatles’ Apple Corps.

After meeting outside no. 3 the immaculate ‘chaps’ and ‘chapettes’ proceeded to the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship shop on Burlington Gardens where, to the tune of John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance, they entered into a spirited rendition of Give Three-Piece a Chance.

The Chap, which enthusiastically promotes the wearing of tweed and cultivation of interesting moustaches, believes that an Abercrombie & Fitch shop on Savile Row will result in massive congestion and threaten the future of the street as the world centre of the best bespoke tailoring. The petition it has started to oppose the move has to date attracted in excess of 1,300 signatures.

Mark Henderson, Chairman of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, commented:
“Savile Row is a national and international icon. At its heart lies bespoke tailoring.
The goal of the Savile Row Bespoke Association is to protect and promote the art of handcraft tailoring on Savile Row. Westminster Council apparently recognised this when they established Savile Row as a Special Policy Area. There is meant to be a test that any development should demonstrate that it does not have a negative impact on the character and function of the Savile Row SPA.
Clearly an Abercrombie & Fitch kids store is going to be totally out of character with the Row and in order for them to make it commercially successful they will have to attract thousands of kids to the street – and with the narrow pavements on Vigo Street and Savile Row this could become dangerous for them and uncomfortable for our customers.
In the short term Westminster and Abercrombie are going to have to resolve this, if they are to go ahead with this shop.
In the long term we have no wish to see the Abercrombie & Fitch brand tarnished but clearly we do not want to see the character of this unique street damaged either.”

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