Santamaria Shirtmakers - Meet the Truly Crafted Shirt
In the vicinity of my previous home in London's Notting Hill one can find the beautiful shop of Santamaria Shirtmakers. I have always received a warm welcome and it is this hospitality and dedication I found in the crafty making of their shirts. I am delighted to have been collaborating with Santamaria Shirtmakers. A beautifully tailored tuxedo shirt I will be wearing in my next shoots and trailers as well as in my upcoming concerts. I have asked the adorable Ana Rodriguez to answer a few questions for you to get an insight in the intricate world of Santamaria Shirtmakers.
1.What is the mission of Santamaria Shirtmakers? In other words how does the quality of your products relate to your clients?
In a world of disposable fast fashion and universal trends we wanted to take a step back. Our mission is to engage with our clients, understand their requirements, and create for them perfectly fitted shirts that are classic but uniquely personal at the same time.
Classic yet unique might sound like an oxymoron but because we make everything in house and as our tailors and pattern cutters are true craftsmen we can create any personalisation allowing our customers to truly put their mark on any classic style. But it is not just the style that is unique, we hand cut a new pattern for every customer so each garment is truly a one off.
And since we only use the highest quality fabrics and stich them with care in our family workshop in Madrid we guarantee that our clients will be proud to wear them for years to come.
2. Can you tell me a bit about the history behind Santamaria and its founders?
Santamaria Shirtmakers UK operations has 3 key people. Ramon Santamaria, our Master Tailor, has more than 50 years experience in tailoring. He started when he was 15 as an apprentice at one of Madrid's most famous tailors and has won numerous awards during his illustrious career. He oversees the production of the shirts and is the figurehead of the company, everything we do must reach his standards as he has his name on the brand. Our logo is his signature.
Ana Rodriguez is the one that had the idea to bring the Santamaria brand online to a wider audience and to expand to London. She has in depth experience of the fashion industry having worked as a product developer in Burberry, Jigsaw and Primark. Ana looks after running the business, from selecting fabric collections, to business development and customer relations.
The final member of the founding team is Alex Skourtis. Alex is in charge of all things IT and worked closely with Ana to build the worlds first 3D shirt customizer on the Santamaria website. He is a technologist having worked for over a decade in Financial Trading IT.
3. The quality of your products is sublime, can you elaborate on the origins the fabrics and how the collaborations came into being?
As part of our Spanish based operations we import and wholesale shirting fabrics. This is another factor that sets us apart from other tailors as it enables us to offer better value to our clients. We truly are fabric experts and have one of the most extensive fabric offerings in London. Most of the fabrics in our current collection come from two well known Italian mills Canclini and Rubinelli.
Canclini was created in 1925 and is one of Italy's most well-known manufacturers of premium shirting fabrics. this family-owned mill has produced fabrics for some of the world’s best brands including Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Tessitura Grandi & Rubinelli on the other hand is a smaller boutique mill based outside Milan that manufactures and sells high quality shirt fabrics. They've made a great effort not only to build an exceptional mill, but to instill collaborative and humanist values in their company.
After working with many shirting suppliers over the years, we can vouch that these two mills create world class fabrics and we are proud to be in business with them.
4. Hospitality is one of your trademarks. I am grateful to have experienced this. Is there a connection with the quality and the hospitality I feel in your store.
We feel that designing a garment that would then be crafted just for you is quite a unique experience. It is our aim to have the customer experience in our Notting Hill showroom further enhance this.
Regardless of how familiar our client is with tailoring we will always take time to understand their requirements, explain all the options and make style recommendations. We always take as much time as needed as no two fitting appointments should be the same.
During our fittings we offer complementary Fortnum & Mason teas, Nespresso coffees or Spanish Codorniu Cava and depending the time of the day we also have freshly made scones or macarons from local bakeries.
5. Finally, what attracted you to collaborate with The Cultured Gentleman?
The reason we decided to collaborate was not the immaculate style or his penchant for sartorial details, it was because we feel that the values of The Cultured Gentleman mirror the values of our tailoring house. The collaboration was even signed off by Ramon Santamaria himself after seeing the “Find Your Craft” video as Ramon, being an expert in his craft, also believes that everyone needs discover what makes them tick.