Should Savile Row Concours be courting China?

    As Savile Row Concours returns for the third time connecting the worlds of luxury fashion and cars, the gap for connecting to China is even more blatant.
    Savile Row's Concours event first ran in 2022. Photo: Savile Row Concours
      Published   in Hard Luxury

    First launched in 2022, automative event Concours on Savile Row returned to London for May 22 and 23rd, illustrating just how seamlessly the worlds of fashion and luxury cars can merge.

    The 2024 event starred over 45 classic and contemporary vehicles, such as the Everrati Porsche 964, 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spyder, and 2024 Koenigsegg Jesko, as well as motorcycles from household names such as Kawasaki and BMW Motorrad.

    Innovative collaborations between renowned tailors and leading car manufacturers highlighted the exceptional craftsmanship that brings these two industries together.

    With Partnerships including sartorial heavyweights such as Gieves & Hawkes teaming up with car brands like Everrati, known for its electric vehicle conversions of classic vehicles. Other highlights were the stylish duo of Cad & The Dandy working with the coachbuilding artisans of Touring Superleggera, while cloth merchant Holland & Sherry took a unique turn by partnering with Austin Pedal Cars to create an exclusive mini automobile with custom interior fabrics.

     The fuselage of Spitfire AA810 displayed in Gieves & Hawkes. Image: Martyn Goddard.
    The fuselage of Spitfire AA810 displayed in Gieves & Hawkes. Image: Martyn Goddard.

    From the array of dapper tailored looks being paraded on the sidewalk by guests, to the level of luxury behind the Savile Row tailors sat alongside each classic car, the event is not only a celebration of craft, but also emphasizes the way in which brands can leverage the lifestyle appeal of heritage luxury that crosses cars and fashion.

    And luxury consumers attended in their droves: Unveiled on the first day of Concours on Savile Row by car designer Ian Callum, the Callum Skyle electric vehicle received double-figure orders on Thursday.

    While physical visitors to the event have made almost enough pledges to complete the restoration of the 1.2million GBP (approximately 11 million RMB) Spitfire AA810 project - the world’s oldest unarmed military reconnaissance aircraft - which was on display in esteemed tailor Gieves & Hawkes during the event.

    The 1956 Ferrari 500 TR that won the People’s Choice award. Photo: Martyn Goddard.
    The 1956 Ferrari 500 TR that won the People’s Choice award. Photo: Martyn Goddard.

    The iconic luxury bespoke suiting shopping street of Savile Row as a retail hub has struggled to entice back Chinese clients post-Covid 19, with many tailor store owners stating on the day anecdotally that the decline has not yet improved. Therefore the Concours could have been an optimal opportunity to welcome back guests hailing from the mainland, perhaps working with some of China’s leading luxury car brands or collectors. However, insofar, the event has yet to hold a presence from the region.

    China is at the heart of London's luxury retail scene, after all. In 2017, it made headlines that Chinese shoppers had surpassed Brits as the biggest spenders at one of the city’s key high-end locations: Harrods, and by 2022, Chinese customers accounted for 16 percent of the luxury department store’s total sales.

    Whether not the upcoming events cater further to the luxury Chinese consumers directly will be revealed as Concours on Savile Row continues to evolve. But for now, it's an opportunity that is sorely missed.

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