by Alex Fury .

Les Smokings - Hayward: The man behind the label

Photograph: Zoe Hitchen

We've publicised this stream under the name of Hayward, the storied London tailoring house founded by Doug Hayward that has suited up some of Britain's true pop-culture icons (we're talking Michael Caine, Jackie Stewart and Richard Burton).

Ritchie Charlton - the man actually pad-stitching, steaming and seaming this jacket into existence - also has something of a storied career. Prior to becoming Managing Director of Hayward, Charlton lead the acclaimed ready-to-wear line at Kilgour, French and Stanbury since 1998, becoming director of the company alongside Carlo Brandelli when rebranded as Kilgour in 2003. That tailoring house was of course responsible for a shift in the image of Savile Row - from stuffy to sleek, via razor-sharp minimalist tailoring that took a turn on the Paris catwalk (the critics weren't so much effusive and down-and-out hyperbolic in their praise).

Prior to this, Charlton worked with a selection of the greatest names in British fashion, including the now-closed London couture house of Hartnell, based just around the corner on Bruton Street and famed as wedding and coronation gown supplied to Her Majesty. Charlton's work was during the final flurry of Hartnell's couture business, with former Dior head Marc Bohan as chief designer in the early 1990s (a position Vivienne Westwood was also allegedly in the running for). Today, however, Charlton's work is of the most traditional and masculine sense, as he finishes the first stage of work on our tuxedo jacket.

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