History of the

    Golden Shears™

In the mid 1970’s, during Sir Peter Studd’s Mastership, the Company decided to rekindle the connection with its original craft trade through the Federation of Merchant Tailors. Liverymen and Past Federation Presidents, Angus Cundey and Robert Bright (who together with Michael Skinner in the late 1980s were the first Master Tailors for several hundred years to become Free of the Company), played prominent parts in launching a training related competition.

The Company presented the Golden Shears trophy for the competition. The trophy is a pair of traditional cutting shears mounted on mahogany – the traditional shears as used by cutters and tailors and the mahogany representing the boards on which they worked. The Golden Shears were awarded to the tailor whose clothes, using non-professional models (often themselves) were judges for fit, style and suitability to wearer as well as the skills of cutting and tailoring.

After many successful competitions the Company and the trade decided to support craft training by awarding the Golden Shears to the business with the best training record. Marks were awarded according to trainees’ City & Guilds exam results and the company with the highest overall score received the Golden Shears.

In 1998, recognising its traditional support for education, the Company decided the Golden Shears would focus on students on dedicated training courses, and trainees in industry.

In the early years the competition was supported by bespoke tailoring houses owned by Liverymen of the Company. In 2009 the contest was supported by the Merchant Taylors’ Company, CapitB and Savile Row Bespoke and practical assistance was supplied by the London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts London, and Skillfast UK.