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
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."