About

We are a family tailors with over 35 years of experience. Designing and producing the best in bespoke garments.

At GilMan Bespoke we believe in doing it our way, no sales person, no third party, just the two of us fully dedicated to you and your bespoke order.

Our enthusiasm for what we do drives us forward to continue creating and innovating.

The family

Vj

Vj - more than 35 years experience

Vj entered into the tailoring profession when he was seventeen, influenced by his father.

His career originated in the Russian army, repairing, adjusting and making garments for the military before moving on to work as a tailor in Estonia and Russia. He has been working as a bespoke tailor in the UK for the past ten years and has become one of the best master tailors anywhere. His love of his work follows him in every garment he produces and wows customers every time.

Katre

Katre - more than 7 years experience

Katre is a contemporary fashionista with an eye for design and passion to follow in her father's footsteps. She originally set out to study for a career in fashion design, but soon after had an opportunity to take an apprenticeship alongside tailoring experts. With years of training as an apprentice under Vj she has learned his signature craft and added her own unique flair.

Vj’s one of a kind approach to menswear is infused with Katre’s concept to womens clothing, making this the ultimate father and daughter team. They can create anything you can imagine in any size of fit from stunning boucle jackets to that ‘James Bond’ tux. Vj and Katre’s unique process developed through years of experience is unlike anything else and the duo pride themselves in the quality of the work the produce.

It is art for you the customer to own, appreciate and display.

The journey so far...

Vj’s story begins 40 years ago in the former Soviet Union State of Estonia where as a fashion mad youngster he begged and borrowed every photo and image of the latest Western Fashions to style and make his own clothes, often using fabrics that were not ‘officially available’. Soon his services were in demand by all his friends and as word spread Vj quickly realised that in a place and time when opportunities for self-expression were greatly limited, his skills were an asset and he enrolled in Technical College to formally train as a Tailor, a trade that was still in demand in a country with limited imports. The downside was that the fabrics were available in any colour you wanted as long as it was Black, Brown or Green and the same with styling – think box cut or Leonid Brezhnev – a long way from what Vj had been making at home.

However, before he could put his new-found skills to use though he had to complete his compulsory conscription for National Service in the notoriously tough Soviet Army. Training was hard, especially for one whose hands were trained in handling fine threads and fabrics, but once again his skills came to his rescue. His commanding officers quickly realised that they too now had the means to a little self-expression and his services were quickly employed in adding just that little bit more style to a dress uniform, but more importantly for off duty clothes and those for official functions. The new challenge for Vj was that there were many officer’s wives wanting his skilled tailoring and so yet again he started studying and learning western tailoring for women.

Young Vj

Upon leaving the army Vj had amassed the skills, experience, influential contacts and a little money to start up on his own, but as he says himself ‘I was born a free man, with free ideas in a time and place where that was not an advantage!’. That was all about to change thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev and Glasnost, instead of being in trouble for wanting his own business, Vj was positively encouraged to do so with State Television and News Media all reporting the opening of his first Tailors Shop. With customers and patrons from all works of life the business grew rapidly along with the demand for Vj’s services until eventually he was the Director of a business with 3 factories and 120 Seamstresses and Tailors. Change however has been a constant companion in Vj’s life and as the East opened up more to the West, so did demand for Western Brands and mass-produced clothes, leading Vj to ask: ‘Where in the world would people most value the skills of a Master Tailor?’ leading him here to Britain.

Once again Vj met challenges to be overcome and after a period of freelancing he was able to be trained in the subtleties of British Gentleman’s Tailoring by a semi retired tailor who had worked on Savile Row. ‘There are subtle but important design cues that are employed in British Tailoring which aren’t obvious until you understand the extensive British Military Heritage. Jackets have practical features such as 2 vent construction, a different cut around the shoulder to give more freedom of movement – many little things but ones that make a huge difference in the fit and style’.

After several years working for a leading British Tailor, during which time he was able to further train his daughter Katre who had worked alongside him since a young girl and studied Fashion Design herself, Vj is once again a free man doing what he enjoys most with his daughter working alongside him here in Tarporley.