Friday - 18 April 2014

An Officer and Gentleman: George comes back to Berkshire

30 August 2013Written by Joan Porter

After 17 years of selling tweed suits, smoking jackets and hunting kits at Bertie Wooster, George Cazenove closed his eccentric vintage shop in Chelsea.

Famous clients included such disparate figures as the Prime Minister John Major and Madonna, but he sold up in 2006, citing crippling business rates and excessive rent hikes.

With a cry of: "Britain has become a combination of a giant golf course and a giant call centre," George moved to South Africa, opening an antiques shop in Cape Town.

Now he's back. 

Missing the UK antiques trade and all its news and gossip, he launched his new business, a shop calledAn Officer and a Gentlemanin the Berkshire market town of Hungerford at the beginning of July, selling vintage clothes, with a barn at the back of the shop full of colonial pieces and Boer War memorabilia from his Cape Town business.

No stranger to the pulling power of publicity, George's first PR coup with his new shop, which made the gossip pages of the Daily Mail, was a visit in August from Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's sister, who bought a 17th/21st Lancer's jacket for a bargain £65.

He was busy before this and he can now expect his small shop to be packed out. George, a bond broker in a former life (but not with the family merchant banking firm, "not smart enough", he said) loves vintage, particularly tweed, of which he is a devout wearer, describing it as "a kaleidoscope of colours and yarns, tailoring that took hundreds of man hours, lifetime apprenticeships... who could not love vintage clothing - most modern styles have been taken from a bygone age."

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