The History behind Hemingway Tailors
Hemingway Tailors has been stylishly dressing its impressive global client portfolio since 2005, when Toby Luper made the decision to set up his own business with the aim of creating the ‘Savile Row of the North’. However Toby’s tailoring experience stretches back over 38 years and his family have been tailoring within Leeds for much longer.
Toby’s tailoring family heritage dates back over 90 years ago when his Grandfather Isaac (Ike) Black worked as a master tailor in one of Leeds’ finest workrooms. In the forties and fifties Leeds was the hub of the textile and suit trade – and central to the vibrant industry was the Black & Luper family. Owners of the largest single story factory in the country, Norman Black, Toby’s uncle and father, Stanley Luper, employed hundreds of staff at their Kirkstall Road site making garments for high-profile customers including Burberry and Burtons.
Toby started in the family business at the age of 19, selling his father’s redundant stock from a small rented warehouse by the river. However, he acquired a taste for tailoring at a much younger age whilst helping in his father’s factory at weekends and during the school holidays. It wasn’t all big business for the tenacious tailor, as his father greeted him on his first day at work with a broom and an instruction to sweep the warehouse floor. The idea was that in time, when Toby’s staff were sweeping floors, they would know that their boss had done this too.
This strong work ethic and being prepared to roll up his sleeves was a family trait and one that would see the company prosper for decades to come. Now trading solo under the company name Hemingway, Toby has combined the traditions and work ethic of his family with an individuality and commitment to customer service that his clients experience today.
Hemingway Tailors now have clients throughout the UK and USA and have recently launched their online store offering made-to-order shirts, cufflinks, silk ties, cashmere shawls and cashmere scarves as well as a variety of gift ideas and GTO London accessories.