Healy & Son Tailors and Shirtmakers (Formerly the personal tailoring arm of Black Tie Menswear) is a family owned and run tailoring house based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, which has been established for over 30 years.
However, the history of Healy & Son tailoring stretches back much further than that, and journeys through some of the most prestigious and sought-after tailoring houses in the world.
Chris Healy started his tailoring career in Camberley, Surrey, in the 1960’s. After spending time cutting his teeth with some prominent mens outfitters he was head-hunted by famous Military tailors Conway Williams, who were then the most prominent British Army tailors of the time, specialising particularly in officers’ commissions. After a brief period working in the on-base tailors at RAF Henlow (Chris remains one of the few unusual anomolies in military tailoring – a tailor who has worked in bespoke tailoring to all arms of the Armed Services; Army, Navy and RAF), Chris returned to Conway Williams, this time spending a larger percentage of his time in the City, at their headquarters housed at 48 Brook Street, Mayfair.
Thanks to his expertise, after the closing of 48 Brook Street Chris was snatched up by another famous military tailoring house – Hawkes of Savile Row. Chris brought with him the knowledge and clients of Conway Williams and secured Hawkes’ place as the primary military tailors of the time. In 1974, Hawkes merged with another famed tailoring house, becoming Gieves & Hawkes. Gieves & Hawkes are known for their historical dressing of the Honourable Corps of Gentleman at Arms, their uniforms being kept with Gieves & Hawkes of number 1 Savile Row. At the time, Chris Healy was charged with the upkeep of the uniforms and the dressing of the Gentlemen at Arms in their uniforms for their ceremonial duties.
After leaving Gieves & Hawkes (and with it, London) after the birth of his first daughter, Chris took to the road working freelance for a number of prominent menswear brands. He is also to thank for the wool felt top hat, a design conceived and conceptualised by Chris as a convenient and cost effective alternative to a silk or fur top hat, which since has been adopted by every formal hat manufacturer in the world.
In 1985 Chris started Healy Menswear in Crowthorne, Berkshire, specialising in gentlemen’s tailoring, ready-to-wear and accessories. He soon after formed a formal hirewear department, coined ‘Black Tie’ which at the time was extrordinarily niche and as a result became a huge success. Black Tie became the staple of the Healy Menswear brand and eventually was adopted as its trading name, and hirewear became the main focus of the company.
Chris’ son, Graeme, joined the company in 2001, soon after finishing school and was already well versed in using a needle and thread. The tailoring side of the company was always Graeme’s main passion, and since 2011, after a year’s travel in Japan, Graeme focussed on nurturing and growing the personal tailoring side of the business to it’s former glory. In 2018, the decision was made to re-brand the tailoring arm of the company from Black Tie Bespoke to Healy & Son, to better represent the traditional nature of the business and the family values upheld by the company.
Today, Graeme handles every tailoring commission personally under the watchful eye of his father, and alongside a very small but extremeley knowledgable and experienced team, creates timeless, elegant, Savile Row quality garments for the discerning gentleman, steeped in their military tailoring pedigree.