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Smoke Speak: Joe Holsgrove

Smoke Speak: Joe Holsgrove

By Rikesh Chauhan

Joe Holsgrove is no stranger to the tailoring world. Since winning the Golden Shears in 2015, he has gone from strength to strength, carving his name as one of the finest and most reputable tailors on Savile Row. With the first signs of Spring finally on show in London, we caught up with the talented craftsman over a couple EGM blend cigars in Mount Street Gardens, Mayfair.

Joe Holsgrove for EGM Cigars

Memories of Your First Smoke

Sunset on the Isle of Wight. I was visiting the island for a classic car event with a dear friend of mine a few summers back. We both sat in open collared linen shirts overlooking The Needles, as the fading sunlight danced across the calm waters.

What’s Your Favourite Current Cigar, and Why?

The Romeo y Julieta Cedros De Luxe No. 2. Smooth and an easy smoke for sure. Plus, it’s not too long a smoke so it works nicely after dinner.

What Have You Done Recently, for The First Time?

Well, it’s what I’m going to do! I just booked my trip to Pitti Uomo in June. It’s about time I showed face, and spent time amongst friends — old and new  — from menswear’s elite.

Joe Holsgrove for EGM Cigars

Tell Us About Your Journey in Menswear

In 2012 I started a coat making apprenticeship at Denman and Goddard, alongside Dino Constantinou, a true master of his craft. My time by his side will always continue to inspire me, and encourage me to create garments to the very highest of standards. In 2015 I won the Golden Shears — an award which FT refer to as the Oscars of the Tailoring World! Held every two years, the competition brings together the very best tailoring students and apprentices from across the country to showcase their creative and technical excellence.

In 2019 I joined Dege & Skinner on Savile Row as an under cutter, which gave me valuable insight into the world of military tailoring. Naturally during the lockdown, I spent the entire time practising the craft, culminating in the ability to make up fittings for various clients. I took this opportunity to go freelance and set up my own business in 2022. I’m continuing to uphold the fine craft of coat making, but I regularly take on private commissions.

How Do You Find Calm in a Chaotic World?

Spending time with Ralph, my short-haired vizsla — the simplest of pleasures is seeing him run freely along the beach. Otherwise, generally taking the time to remove myself from the busyness of London life. Be it reading with a stiff drink, or simply finding time to make myself some new clothes.

Your Favourite Summer Drink

A Pink Negroni: Beefeater gin, Campari, Lillet Blanc, peach and lemon. A less bitter take on the classic which is remarkably refreshing and will, no doubt, accompany many sunny days this year.

Best Place to Enjoy a Cigar

With friends. For this reason, I’m fond of the Partagas Culebras, as their very nature determines that they are best enjoyed in the company of others.

Outfit Details, Joe Holsgrove for EGM Cigars

Something You Regret Not Buying

I was in an old bric-a-brac type vintage shop by the coast in 2014 when I happened to notice a small collection of fantastic mid-century tortoiseshell NHS spectacles. As a non-glasses wearing apprentice, I couldn’t justify the expense, so I left them be with a real sense of longing. A few years later, I ended up needing glasses. I’ve never gotten over it.

What Watch Are You Wearing?

A 1950s Swiss-made automatic that was given to me by my grandmother. It was once worn daily by her father.

What’s Something Always Worth Paying For?

Socks! Unbelievably overlooked in the menswear world, but a good sock provides a feeling like no other. I favour Pantherella’s knee-length ‘Danver’, and have an extensive range of colours to compliment every shade of shoe and trouser.

What’s In Store for 2022?

Continue to pursue a strong and varied career in Bespoke tailoring, enhanced by interesting private commissions. Paris. Pitti. More bespoke clothes and the finest cigars!

Joe Holsgrove for EGM Cigars

Keep an eye out for more from our Smoke Speak series, with some of our favourite people, and let us know who you would like us to feature next. For all your Cuban cigar needs, be sure to explore our collection now.

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