E Tautz knocks on wood in Duke Street
'I wanted a space that was handcrafted in beautiful, luxurious materials, as a direct reflection of our approach to clothing,' says Patrick Grant, E Tautz owner and creative director of the menswear brand's new Grade I-listed Duke Street flagship. 'I wanted a space where men would enjoy spending a little time. Too many shops, in an attempt to feel modern, end up feeling oppressive. We want our customers to want to dwell and to come back again.'
Grant and Daniel Sanderson, of Sanderson Studios, have created a retail and made-to-measure experience that wonderfully weaves together the brand's contemporary aesthetic and revered heritage. Founded in 1867 by London tailor Edward Tautz, the house was relaunched by Grant in 2009. The accomplished designer quickly put its tailoring lineage on the ready-to-wear radar. 'The Tautz history speaks for itself,' says Sanderson. 'We did not want or need to create a 19th century pastiche.'
With this mantra in mind, the pair designed the space in three parts: a minimal gallery for the main line; a made-to-measure tailoring and shirt-making salon on the lower ground; and an adjoining grand staircase and fitting rooms, fabricated from rich wooden cabinetry and subtle brass accents that reference the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. 'The connecting space was designed as a piece of furniture in its own right,' continues Sanderson, 'in which we could house Patrick's collection of classic mid-century furniture. We needed to find the right balance of materials for the beautiful Gunni Omann desk, Hans Peter Piehl sofas and Møller chairs. After much trial and error we found a dark Sapele timber from a sustainable source that would stand up against the classics.'