TALKING OFF THE CUFF

ClementsandChurchMeet Matty Katerzabek; he’s a travelling tailor.

28 years old, Slovakian born and living in the UK since 2006, he’s already a bit of a face around Birmingham. If you think you recognise him, that might well be down to his previous incarnation of bar manager, a period in which he looked after such Brummie watering holes as The Vaults, Hotel du Vin and even Marco Pierre White’s at the top of The Cube. And if you ever saw Matty as a bit of a Dapper Dan, you’d be right; while looking after Birmingham’s drinkers he was being sponsored to wear sartorial pieces by an up’n’coming entrepreneur, who eventually gave him a job. Now Matty travels the length and breath of Britain – almost – to get men across the land suited, booted and even shirted.

The brainchild of Mark Nash, who bought an existing suit company in 2007, Clements & Church is the result of his renaming, rebranding and repositioning exercise. Today, the company has 4 stores in the Midlands and the offering takes in off the peg, made-to-measure and fully bespoke suiting, as well as a range of tailor-made shirts, high quality shoes and woven silk ties. There are some mighty fine hand-made Italian umbrellas too.

Clements & Church is not, as Matty puts it, “the land of the charcoal grey suit”. It’s a place for the modern British dandy, whatever his profession, who loves to jazz up his attire with sumptuous shades, sharp lines and daring patterns. You can either pop into the store or, and here’s where Matty comes in, have them come to you with swathes of swatches, many of them limited and unique given that the company weaves its own cloth. Once Matty’s got the measure of you, it’s about 6-8 weeks until your finished suit arrives, including an in-between fitting when it first returns from the workshop. If you’re in a hurry, their off-the-peg stock can be altered to fit and on your shoulders in 7-10 days.

For some, the cost of a tailor-made suit – from £1000 to £1800 at Clements & Church – can be disconcerting. But for Matty, the idea of a longstanding favourite that can “handle the rigours of a lifetime” beats the short-term affordability of cheap clothing. “Suits are an investment. A hand-stitched jacket has a completely different structure and lifespan to a glued-together high street model. And you can adjust our suits; if you put on a bit of weight, or lose some, we build in enough material for a good couple of inches worth of alterations.”

Based in the Colmore Business District, Clements & Church have a number of professionals coming in from the scrum of lawyers, accountants and business types who work nearby. Yet Birmingham also has its fair share of entrepreneurs who love a bit of colour and cool to express their freedom and freewheeling nature. Right now, says Matty, “People really like checks, but not tweed. Subtle, loud, checks. And blues, oranges and even pink are really happening.”

Clements & Church
22 Church Street
B3 2NP

clementsandchurch.co.uk
0121 233 9994