Andrew Ramroop OBE, who left Trinidad alone at aged 17 to become a Savile Row tailor, was awarded Black British Business Person Of The Year 2017 on 19th Oct 2017.
“There was no way I would possibly expect to be chosen as Black British Business Person of the Year - not in my wildest imagination. I am still feel like I am floating on air,” says Andrew Ramroop, CEO and Master Tailor of Maurice Sedwell Ultra Bespoke.
The glamourous Black British Business Awards, celebrating "exceptional performance and outstanding achievements of black people in businesses operating in Great Britain", were attended by Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities, at a sparkling Central London award ceremony. The BBBAwards are endorsed by The Rt Hon Theresa May MP Prime Minister and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, amongst many notable business professionals.
Andrew Ramroop is now widely considered to be one of the world’s finest tailors. Coming alone to London from Trinidad to train as a Master Tailor, Andrew’s story is one of hard work, focus and single-minded pursuit of his dreams.
He studied at LCF where he talent shone, finishing the three-year course in two years. But upon applying for apprenticeships on Savile Row, he was turned down for many. "In those early days my accent wasn't right, my features didn’t fit in and my hair was bushy. I was applying for jobs to be at the front of the shop to meet and greet, cut and to fit design and deliver," says Mr Ramroop. "Employers did not welcome a West Indian, perhaps it was racism or lack of confidence in themselves - they wanted to protect their own businesses".
In 1974 however, he was seconded to Maurice Sedwell and in 1988 when Mr Sedwell was ready to retire, Andrew was able to purchase it after 14 years as an employee.
Without the help of banks who would not lend to him, he has since expanded the business from 0% to approximately 75% export, and has built its reputation of exceptional quality to become one of the most respected tailoring houses in the world.
Today Andrew Ramroop is amongst the world’s most sought out Ultra Bespoke tailors. Totally self-made, one of only three exclusive bespoke tailors left on Savile Row, and the only black person to own a tailor's shop on Savile Row. Andrew Ramroop’s personal mission statement is ‘Committed to Excellence’. He has proven that commercial success in today’s Britain is not confined to the white middle classes.
The string of accolades recognising his talents includes an OBE for services to Tailoring and Training; Mayor of London Trailblazer Award; Chief Advisor to the World Federation of Master Tailors; and in 700 years of tailoring history, he is the only tailor to be conferred Professor for Distinction in the Field of Tailoring by the University of the Arts, London.
In 2008 Andrew opened the Savile Row Academy and now passes on his immense knowledge to the next generation of elite tailors. Fostering young talent is key to his vision of the company’s future.
Marking its 80th year, Maurice Sedwell Ltd. is planning celebratory events for 2018.