Mike Deans is the Bespoke Head Cutter at Oliver Brown, joining the company at the end of 2020 from Savile Row tailoring house, Gieves & Hawkes.
He brings with him a wealth of experience in technical tailoring wisdom, alongside his keen eye for styling and creating unique tailored garments. His management of the Bespoke Department has shaped the reputation and image of what Oliver Brown Bespoke means; instilling the core focus on craft, quality and contemporary elegance.
Growing up between Exmoor in the West Country and North Essex, Mike's journey to becoming a tailor is a meandering one. Tailoring wasn’t his first choice when it came to a career, in fact, he joined the military straight from school at age 16, serving in the 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron. He enjoyed 5 ½ years of service including deployment to Afghanistan in 2006 before leaving to seek out new challenges.
It was through this exploration and after working in fields as varied as engineering and pharmaceuticals, that Mike eventually found himself in retail. It was here, managing an independent menswear shop, that he started to become excited about suits and tailored garments.
Mike's first foray into the world of bespoke was as a Salesman and Fitter at a Savile Row tailor, where his curiosity for the technical aspects of the craft was piqued and he made the decision to seek out a cutting apprenticeship. He was lucky to find a position at arguably the greatest address in tailoring, No.1 Savile Row (Gieves & Hawkes), where he learnt the trade from some of the industry's finest artisans; it’s this dedication to the art of tailoring that he carries forward and continues to honour and build upon.
Mike gets immense joy from collaborating with a small team of like-minded individuals to create beautiful garments; a process that involves working closely with not only other craftspeople but also the customers themselves. Just as Mike has benefitted from the generosity of knowledge from others, he is a strong believer in sharing his own knowledge with the Oliver Brown team, aspiring students and anyone else who expresses interest in the craft.
One of the greatest displays of Mike’s talents is when he created a one-off piece for our Chelsea Flower Show window display; an expertly matched Cocktail Jacket, cut in an iconic William Morris print. Bold in print, and subtle in its style, the jacket perfectly illustrates the quality of craftsmanship and design that the Oliver Brown bespoke team are capable of.
For Mike, tailoring isn’t just a job, it’s his way to satisfy the creative itch and his deep love for clothing and style. Inspiration is not only drawn from the visual, Mike has strong connections to music, having been a frontman in a band in his younger years, alongside running indie club nights. He cites the style of musicians as the spark that ignited his love for clothing and continues to be a well of inspiration.
He is always looking to explore the working practices of other craftspeople and enjoys visiting art exhibitions, museums and other places where he can seek out inspiration. He also enjoys going to the climbing gym and exercising his competitive streak by playing table tennis with friends. One of his favourite things to do is simply explore the streets of London, soaking up the layers of history and uncovering new curiosities.