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From Fabric to Fortune: The Story of Patrick Grant’s Reinvention

Patrick Grant's journey from fabric to fortune is nothing short of extraordinary. Renowned for his impeccable tailoring skills and sharp business sense, Grant somehow transforms challenges into opportunities, turning every venture into a success story.

While he may be recognised as the face of the quintessentially British brand Norton & Sons, we are captivated by his remarkable talent for breathing life back into struggling businesses and reshaping the landscape of menswear.

The King of Career Change

Born and bred in Edinburgh, Patrick comes from a family rooted in textiles and manufacturing, but his early years weren’t exactly filled with luxury fashion and style.

During his childhood holidays, Patrick often visited mill towns with his grandfather, who worked as a yarn designer in Galashiels, Scottish Borders. These experiences provided him with firsthand insight into the detrimental effects of the textile industry's decline on local communities, likely shaping his passion for industry transformation.

However, his boarding school days consisted of a different interest - playing rugby. He represented Scotland at Rugby Union U18 and U19 level, and went on to play for West Hartlepool RFC. His athletic career was promising until a shoulder injury intervened.

After studying Material Sciences at the University of Leeds, he travelled to the US for a year where he worked as a ski instructor, camp counsellor, a nanny, landscape gardener and a model agent. He had a strong work ethic from day one. However, when he returned to the UK in 1995, he secured his first corporate Marketing role, but swiftly pivoted to an engineering role for Bookham Technology in 2000 to make use of his degree and skills.

Resurrecting British Tailoring

During his MBA studies in 2005, Patrick saw an opportunity that most would've walked away from and purchased Norton & Sons, the iconic Savile Row tailors. He took a leap of faith and sold everything he owned - even his house and car - and rallied support from friends, family, and the bank to acquire the struggling business and restore it to its founding traditions.

Grant fearlessly dove into this project, unfazed by his lack of formal training or experience in the industry.

Replicating his success, Grant went on to revamp the British designer brand E. Tautz into a ready-to-wear label in 2009, aiming to expand the existing portfolio of brands with a fresh dimension. Formerly renowned as Winston Churchill’s preferred brand, this strategic shift earned him the Menswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards in 2010.

In 2015, he earned the BFC/ GQ Designer Menswear Fund for his work on E. Tautz, followed swiftly by the rescue of Cookson & Clegg, a historic clothing manufacturer in Blackburn, Lancashire, which he saved from shutting down. Despite facing initial setbacks, such as unavoidable layoffs and financial struggles, Grant remained determined, ultimately reviving the company, and putting it back on track.

He then went on to found Community Clothing in 2016 – the ethically sourced every-day clothing company fighting fast-fashion. His goal was to make clothing both affordable and sustainable to contribute to economic growth.

Patrick's goal to revive traditional tailoring in fashion has been accomplished through his consistent efforts and unwavering faith in his vision.

“Every time you repair something, it adds to its value.”

The Art of Reinvention

Patrick’s career and time in the spotlight opened up new opportunities for him. In 2018, he became an ambassador for HRH King Charles III’s charity ‘Future Textiles’, a charity working to educate young people and sustain craft skills in the UK’s textile industry. Patrick is now looking to educate the next generation of tailors and provide opportunities for them, including apprenticeships at Savile Row.

Away from factory life, he became one of two judges on popular reality tv show ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ in 2013. Alongside fellow fashion designer Esme Young, he tested the skills of amateur sewers through various challenges. He's proven to be a natural on screen, adding TV hosting to his repertoire.

Leading nicely onto his next venture, Grant swapped his tailored suit for a white apron in MasterChef 2021, but his culinary skills didn't quite match up, as he was the first to leave the competition. Nonetheless, this experience added to Grant's public profile, showcasing his versatility beyond the fashion world.

His success in breathing new life into businesses highlights the value of consistency and personal brand, both acquired over a lifetime. Fearless in the face of risk, Patrick’s journey inspires others at any stage of their life to do the same.


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We are big believers that you should be able to design a life you love and not stick to a linear path, especially when it comes to your career choices. In fact, we'd go as far to say that the concept of retirement in its current form needs to be retired. Yes, that's right, there's no rulebook here!