unusually high injury rates, among other safety issues. The facility was evacuated after a cardboard compactor caught fire last week, two days after the JFK8 fire, which was similar.

“The timeline to fix things is before something tragic happens,” Ms. Goodall said.

She accused Amazon of running an aggressive anti-union campaign, including regular meetings with employees in which it questions the union’s credibility and suggests that workers could end up worse off if they unionize.

Mr. Flaningan, the company spokesman, said that while injuries increased as Amazon trained hundreds of thousands of new workers in 2021, the company believed that its safety record surpassed that of other retailers over a broader period.

“Like many other companies, we hold these meetings because it’s important that everyone understands the facts about joining a union and the election process itself,” he said, adding that the decision to unionize is up to employees.

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What is Social Security COLA and How Do People Receive It?

Social Security, the monthly benefit paid to retirees, disabled people and survivors of beneficiaries, includes an annual cost of living increase that is announced every fall. It helps seniors try to keep pace with the price increases that touch every part of the economy. The adjustment for 2023 will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 13.

The Social Security Administration, the federal government agency that oversees the benefits, adds that money to payments that are received by more than 70 million people, mostly through electronic direct deposits. They begin in January.

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Engine parts makers must cross ‘valley of death’ to reach EV era

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KIDDERMINSTER, England, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Auto engine parts makers eyeing the promising electric-vehicle market are dealing with a severe case of delayed gratification.

Until EVs truly take off, engine parts makers face a perilous few years where they must invest heavily in new machinery, while struggling with falling sales of fossil-fuel cars.

Evtec Aluminium, a small supplier with two plants in England, is a case in point. It barely survived.

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Within the last decade in the European Union – when Britain was still a member – diesel was the green fuel of the future. Carmakers, including Evtec’s main customer Tata Motors (TAMO.NS)-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), invested tens of billions of dollars in new diesel models and production capacity.

Suppliers followed suit. Evtec, then known as Liberty Aluminium, invested tens of millions of pounds in new machines, some of which sit idle but are still being paid off.

Then the EU, spurred on in part by Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) “Dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal, swiftly abandoned diesel in favour of EVs and now plans to effectively ban combustion-engine car sales by 2035.

“We went in thinking diesel is the future,” said Evtec’s business director, Brett Parker, on a tour of the company’s half-empty foundry in Kidderminster in England’s Midlands, the historical heart of Britain’s car industry. “We backed the wrong horse, unfortunately.”

Evtec was saved last year when a group led by investor David Roberts bought it. Roberts says Evtec’s foundry in Kidderminster is Britain’s most modern – vast machines here pump molten aluminium heated to around 660 degrees Celsius (1,220°F) into castings to make complex shapes – and stands to benefit as UK carmakers look to build EVs that need aluminium parts.

“For me it was a no-brainer to invest in that business,” Roberts said.

As recently as 2015, diesel made up nearly 52% of EU car sales. After Dieselgate and the shift in favor of EVs, diesel fell to 19.6% of EU sales in 2021 and has fallen further this year. In Britain, diesel car sales halved to just 8.2% in 2021.

Petrol car sales in the EU declined to around 40% in 2021 from over 45% in 2015 and will fall further as Europe goes electric.

Major engine parts suppliers like Vitesco Technologies Group AG (VTSCn.DE) and Schaeffler (SHA_p.DE) are already investing in transitioning to electric, but smaller players like Evtec – for which tracking data is not widely available – must adapt or die.

“Engine parts makers are ground zero for the most amount of pain in this transition because they have the least amount of portability into EV world,” said Mark Wakefield, global co-leader of consultancy AlixPartners’ automotive and industrial practice.

Some major carmakers have warned of huge job losses, as EV motors have only a third of the parts of a combustion engine and require less labour.

Fewer parts also mean fewer suppliers.

Engine parts suppliers must either transform into an EV-focused business, or diversify into other industries making parts for anything from heavy equipment to hair dryers.

Or go out of business.

“People have to realize this transition comes at a cost,” Evtec investor Roberts said. “We all have our own valley of death to get to EVs, but for some suppliers it will be so much harder.”

‘CAN’T GROW WITHOUT MONEY’

Declining combustion-engine car sales have already cost jobs.

World No. 4 carmaker Stellantis NV (STLA.MI), for instance, is shifting its plant in Tremery, France – long the world’s largest diesel engine plant – over to EV motors.

Tremery employs 2,400 people now, down from 3,000 in 2019. Many others will not be replaced when they retire.

German supplier Bosch (ROBG.UL) is transforming its plant in Rodez in southern France away from diesel injectors to new products including hydrogen fuel cells, cutting 750 of 1,250 jobs.

Auto industry consultant Bernd Bohr said larger, deep-pocketed suppliers will likely be the “last man standing” for delivering a particular part.

“A lot of companies are fighting for a piece of a smaller and smaller cake and the question is, who’s getting that volume?” he said.

Powertrain supplier Vitesco is focused on combustion engines, but by 2030 the company expects EVs will account for 70% of sales.

In January, the German supplier will split its business into two main divisions, one focused on EV components and the other on higher-value technology that can also be used in combustion engines to bring in cash as that business winds down.

Some parts of the business no longer considered to be core will be shut down or sold off.

“We have to generate the necessary funds so we can invest in the future,” Vitesco CEO Andreas Wolf said. “I can’t grow without money.”

Parts supplier Schaeffler expects its future EV business will be smaller than today’s combustion-engine sales, so the German company is focused on diversifying its customer base.

For instance, the ball bearings Schaeffler sells to carmakers could be sold to other industries.

‘OTHERS WILL DROP OUT’

Smaller suppliers are already struggling with soaring raw material and energy costs, plus the need to invest in greener products to meet carmakers’ climate goals.

Funding new equipment for EV parts could be tough.

Evtec’s investor Roberts said the company has around 330 million pounds’ worth ($363.8 million) of business lined up for EV parts for JLR over a seven-year contract, plus around another 250 million pounds with other carmakers.

But because of long auto industry lead times, the models in those contracts will not start production for two to three years.

Evtec must spend up to 70 million pounds for new tools and machines for those contracts, of which Roberts will pay half, long before any revenue comes in.

Evtec also has support from JLR, which considers it a strategic supplier.

“Our suppliers play a pivotal role in our transformation,” a JLR spokesperson said. “We are working closely with them during the automotive industry’s transition … to electrification.”

AlixPartners estimates carmakers have committed $526 billion to go electric and if they do not proactively address supplier problems they could end up spending another $70 billion to fix them.

Suppliers making key components could get rescued, but carmakers cannot afford too many bailouts, Wakefield said.

Evtec’s Parker said with an investor backing its transition, in the short term the company is looking to “plug the gaps” in revenue.

Earlier this year, when an Israeli supplier folded, Evtec took over some of its business. As suppliers struggle after two years of pandemic, supply shocks and inflation, Parker expects more such opportunities.

“If you can hang on long enough, others will potentially drop out,” Parker said. “Then you’ve got more chance of picking up business.”

($1 = 0.9070 pound)

(This story has been corrected to fix paragraph 27 and 28 to remove reference to third division )

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Reporting by Nick Carey in Kidderminster, England, and Christina Amann in Berlin
Additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris
Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Panic, Bribes, Ditched Cars and a Dash on Foot: Portraits of Flight From Russia

— Artyom, 28, who paid more than $1,600 in bribes, including to a police officer.

Artyom has grim memories of his year of required service in the army.

“Here you are, sitting in a trench, hugging a gun,” he said. “During a night like that you understand a lot, you realize a lot. After serving in the army, I decided for myself that I am a pacifist, and that war is bad. It’s terrible.”

After Mr. Putin’s call-up, a draft notice was issued for Artyom, a programmer, but he had other ideas. He, his wife and another couple drove south from Moscow.

Near the village of Urukh, about two hours from the border, they came to their first police checkpoint. There, an officer asked if Artyom wanted to be drafted.

“He began to threaten me that he would call the military enlistment office and they would come get me,” he said. Instead, he agreed to “negotiate.”

That was the first of many bribes Artyom paid throughout the drive, totaling 100,000 rubles — more than $1,600, far above the average Russian monthly salary of around 62,000 rubles. Some were to Ossetians, an ethnic group in the Caucasus, who helped navigate police stops.

“At one intersection, a policeman saw the Moscow license plates on our car and began to threaten that he would turn us back,” he said. “We offered to negotiate. He pretended that he was not interested in all this, but in fact, he just spins for money.”

When they finally arrived, the line of cars at the border stretched more than five miles, he said. So Artyom and the other man grabbed their jackets, left their wives in the car and ran for the border. The line there was tense.

“Everyone was emotional,” he said. “People were arguing, screaming.”

Still, they got through. Three days later, they were still waiting for their wives to arrive with the car.

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On Portugal’s ‘Bitcoin Beach,’ Crypto Optimism Still Reigns

LAGOS, Portugal — The Bam Bam Beach Bitcoin bar, on an uncrowded beach in southwestern Portugal, is the meeting place.

To get there, you drive past a boat harbor, oceanside hotels and apartment buildings, then park near a sleepy seafood restaurant and walk down a wooden path that cuts through a sand dune. Yellow Bitcoin flags blow in the wind. The conversations about cryptocurrencies and a decentralized future flow.

“People always doubt when to buy, when to sell,” said Didi Taihuttu, a Dutch investor who moved to town this summer and is one of Bam Bam’s owners. “We solve that by being all in.”

melted down, and crypto companies like the experimental bank Celsius Network declared bankruptcy as fears over the global economy yanked down values of the risky assets. Thousands of investors were hurt by the crash. The price of Bitcoin, which peaked at more than $68,000 last year, remains off by more than 70 percent.

But in this Portuguese seaside idyll, confidence in cryptocurrencies is undimmed. Every Friday, 20 or so visitors from Europe and beyond gather at Bam Bam to share their unwavering faith in digital currencies. Their buoyancy and cheer endure across Portugal and in other crypto hubs around the world, such as Puerto Rico and Cyprus.

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In beach towns like Ericeira and Lagos, shops and restaurants show their acceptance of digital currencies by taking Bitcoin as payment. Lisbon, the capital, has become a hub for crypto-related start-ups such as Utrust, a cryptocurrency payment platform, and Immunefi, a company that identifies security vulnerabilities in decentralized networks.

“Portugal should be the Silicon Valley of Bitcoin,” Mr. Taihuttu said. “It has all the ingredients.”

news outlets covered his family’s story, Mr. Taihuttu’s social media following swelled, turning him into an influencer and a source of investment advice. A documentary film crew has followed him on and off for the past 18 months. This summer, he settled in Portugal and quickly became something of an ambassador for its crypto scene.

He has goals to turn Meia Praia, the beach where Bam Bam is located, into “Bitcoin Beach.” He is shopping for property to create a community nearby for fellow believers.

“You prove that it is possible to run some part of the world, even if it’s just one,” said Mr. Taihuttu, with a Jack Daniel’s and Coke in hand. He has shoulder-length black hair and wore a tank top that showcased his tan and tattoos (including one on his forearm of the Bitcoin symbol).

Ms. Bestandig was among those who Mr. Taihuttu drew to Portugal.

collapse of Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based virtual currency exchange that declared bankruptcy in 2014 after huge, unexplained losses of Bitcoin.

If cryptocurrency prices do not recover, “a lot of them will have to go back to work again,” Clinton Donnelly, an American tax lawyer specializing in cryptocurrencies, said of some of those gathered at Bam Bam.

Even so, Mr. Donnelly and other bar regulars said their belief in crypto remained unshaken.

Thomas Roessler, wearing a black Bitcoin shirt and drinking a beer “inspired by” the currency, said he had come with his wife and two young children to decide whether to move to Portugal from Germany. He first invested in Bitcoin in 2014 and, more recently, sold a small rental apartment in Germany to invest even more.

Mr. Roessler was concerned about the drop in crypto values but said he was convinced the market would rebound. Moving to Portugal could lower his taxes and give his family the chance to buy affordable property in a warm climate, he said. They had come to the bar to learn from others who had made the move.

“We have not met a lot of people who live this way,” Mr. Roessler said. Then he bought another round of drinks and paid for them with Bitcoin.

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They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay.

In 2018, senior executives at one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, Providence, were frustrated. They were spending hundreds of millions of dollars providing free health care to patients. It was eating into their bottom line.

The executives, led by Providence’s chief financial officer at the time, devised a solution: a program called Rev-Up.

Rev-Up provided Providence’s employees with a detailed playbook for wringing money out of patients — even those who were supposed to receive free care because of their low incomes, a New York Times investigation found.

nonprofits like Providence. They enjoy lucrative tax exemptions; Providence avoids more than $1 billion a year in taxes. In exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires them to provide services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate.

But in recent decades, many of the hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.

focused on investments in rich communities at the expense of poorer ones.

And, as Providence illustrates, some hospital systems have not only reduced their emphasis on providing free care to the poor but also developed elaborate systems to convert needy patients into sources of revenue. The result, in the case of Providence, is that thousands of poor patients were saddled with debts that they never should have owed, The Times found.

provide. That was below the average of 2 percent for nonprofit hospitals nationwide, according to an analysis of hospital financial records by Ge Bai, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ten states, however, have adopted their own laws that specify which patients, based on their income and family size, qualify for free or discounted care. Among them is Washington, where Providence is based. All hospitals in the state must provide free care for anyone who makes under 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that threshold is $83,250 a year.

In February, Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general, accused Providence of violating state law, in part by using debt collectors to pursue more than 55,000 patient accounts. The suit alleged that Providence wrongly claimed those patients owed a total of more than $73 million.

Providence, which is fighting the lawsuit, has said it will stop using debt collectors to pursue money from low-income patients who should qualify for free care in Washington.

But The Times found that the problems extend beyond Washington. In interviews, patients in California and Oregon who qualified for free care said they had been charged thousands of dollars and then harassed by collection agents. Many saw their credit scores ruined. Others had to cut back on groceries to pay what Providence claimed they owed. In both states, nonprofit hospitals are required by law to provide low-income patients with free or discounted care.

“I felt a little betrayed,” said Bev Kolpin, 57, who had worked as a sonogram technician at a Providence hospital in Oregon. Then she went on unpaid leave to have surgery to remove a cyst. The hospital billed her $8,000 even though she was eligible for discounted care, she said. “I had worked for them and given them so much, and they didn’t give me anything.” (The hospital forgave her debt only after a lawyer contacted Providence on Ms. Kolpin’s behalf.)

was a single room with four beds. The hospital charged patients $1 a day, not including extras like whiskey.

Patients rarely paid in cash, sometimes offering chickens, ducks and blankets in exchange for care.

At the time, hospitals in the United States were set up to do what Providence did — provide inexpensive care to the poor. Wealthier people usually hired doctors to treat them at home.

wrote to the Senate in 2005.

Some hospital executives have embraced the comparison to for-profit companies. Dr. Rod Hochman, Providence’s chief executive, told an industry publication in 2021 that “‘nonprofit health care’ is a misnomer.”

“It is tax-exempt health care,” he said. “It still makes profits.”

Those profits, he added, support the hospital’s mission. “Every dollar we make is going to go right back into Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Alaska and Montana.”

Since Dr. Hochman took over in 2013, Providence has become a financial powerhouse. Last year, it earned $1.2 billion in profits through investments. (So far this year, Providence has lost money.)

Providence also owes some of its wealth to its nonprofit status. In 2019, the latest year available, Providence received roughly $1.2 billion in federal, state and local tax breaks, according to the Lown Institute, a think tank that studies health care.

a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.”

Ms. Tizon, the spokeswoman for Providence, said the intent of Rev-Up was “not to target or pressure those in financial distress.” Instead, she said, “it aimed to provide patients with greater pricing transparency.”

“We recognize the tone of the training materials developed by McKinsey was not consistent with our values,” she said, adding that Providence modified the materials “to ensure we are communicating with each patient with compassion and respect.”

But employees who were responsible for collecting money from patients said the aggressive tactics went beyond the scripts provided by McKinsey. In some Providence collection departments, wall-mounted charts shaped like oversize thermometers tracked employees’ progress toward hitting their monthly collection goals, the current and former Providence employees said.

On Halloween at one of Providence’s hospitals, an employee dressed up as a wrestler named Rev-Up Ricky, according to the Washington lawsuit. Another costume featured a giant cardboard dollar sign with “How” printed on top of it, referring to the way the staff was supposed to ask patients how, not whether, they would pay. Ms. Tizon said such costumes were “not the culture we strive for.”

financial assistance policy, his low income qualified him for free care.

In early 2021, Mr. Aguirre said, he received a bill from Providence for $4,394.45. He told Providence that he could not afford to pay.

Providence sent his account to Harris & Harris, a debt collection company. Mr. Aguirre said that Harris & Harris employees had called him repeatedly for weeks and that the ordeal made him wary of going to Providence again.

“I try my best not to go to their emergency room even though my daughters have gotten sick, and I got sick,” Mr. Aguirre said, noting that one of his daughters needed a biopsy and that he had trouble breathing when he had Covid. “I have this big fear in me.”

That is the outcome that hospitals like Providence may be hoping for, said Dean A. Zerbe, who investigated nonprofit hospitals when he worked for the Senate Finance Committee under Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa.

“They just want to make sure that they never come back to that hospital and they tell all their friends never to go back to that hospital,” Mr. Zerbe said.

The Everett Daily Herald, Providence forgave her bill and refunded the payments she had made.

In June, she got another letter from Providence. This one asked her to donate money to the hospital: “No gift is too small to make a meaningful impact.”

In 2019, Vanessa Weller, a single mother who is a manager at a Wendy’s restaurant in Anchorage, went to Providence Alaska Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital.

She was 24 weeks pregnant and experiencing severe abdominal pains. “Let this just be cramps,” she recalled telling herself.

Ms. Weller was in labor. She gave birth via cesarean section to a boy who weighed barely a pound. She named him Isaiah. As she was lying in bed, pain radiating across her abdomen, she said, a hospital employee asked how she would like to pay. She replied that she had applied for Medicaid, which she hoped would cover the bill.

After five days in the hospital, Isaiah died.

Then Ms. Weller got caught up in Providence’s new, revenue-boosting policies.

The phone calls began about a month after she left the hospital. Ms. Weller remembers panicking when Providence employees told her what she owed: $125,000, or about four times her annual salary.

She said she had repeatedly told Providence that she was already stretched thin as a single mother with a toddler. Providence’s representatives asked if she could pay half the amount. On later calls, she said, she was offered a payment plan.

“It was like they were following some script,” she said. “Like robots.”

Later that year, a Providence executive questioned why Ms. Weller had a balance, given her low income, according to emails disclosed in Washington’s litigation with Providence. A colleague replied that her debts previously would have been forgiven but that Providence’s new policy meant that “balances after Medicaid are being excluded from presumptive charity process.”

Ms. Weller said she had to change her phone number to make the calls stop. Her credit score plummeted from a decent 650 to a lousy 400. She has not paid any of her bill.

Susan C. Beachy and Beena Raghavendran contributed research.

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Boeing Pays $200 Million To Settle SEC Charges Over 737 Max

By Associated Press
September 23, 2022

Neither Boeing nor former CEO Dennis Muilenburg admitted wrongdoing over two deadly 737 Max crashes, but they offered to settle and pay penalties.

Boeing Co. will pay $200 million to settle charges that the company and its former CEO misled investors about the safety of its 737 Max after two of the airliners crashed, killing 346 people.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that it charged the aircraft maker and former CEO Dennis Muilenburg with making significant misleading public statements about the plane and an automated flight-control system that was implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Neither Boeing nor Muilenburg admitted wrongdoing, but they offered to settle and pay penalties, including $1 million to be paid by Muilenburg, who was ousted in December 2019, nine months after the second crash.

The SEC said Boeing and Muilenburg knew that the flight system, known as MCAS, posed a safety issue but promised the public that the plane was safe. The SEC said they also falsely claimed that there had been no gaps in the process of certifying the plane in the first place.

“Boeing and Muilenburg put profits over people by misleading investors about the safety of the 737 Max all in an effort to rehabilitate Boeing’s image” after the crashes, said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s enforcement division.

Boeing said it has made “broad and deep changes across our company in response to those accidents” to improve safety and quality.

“Today’s settlement is part of the company’s broader effort to responsibly resolve outstanding legal matters related to the 737 Max accidents in a manner that serves the best interests of our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders,” said the Arlington, Virginia-based company.

A new Max operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea in October 2018, and another Max flown by Ethiopian Airlines nosedived into the ground near Addis Ababa in March 2019. In each crash, MCAS pushed the nose down after getting faulty readings from a single sensor, and pilots were unable to regain control.

The crashes led regulators around the world to ground the plane for nearly two years until Boeing made fixes to the flight-control system, which was designed to help prevent aerodynamic stalls when the nose points up too sharply. Neither plane that crashed was in danger of stalling.

The SEC accused Boeing of misleading investors in a press release after the Indonesia crash which said the plane was “as safe as any airplane that has ever flown the skies.” Boeing knew when it made that claim that MCAS would need to be fixed and was already designing changes, the SEC said.

After the crash in Ethiopia, Muilenburg said on a call with investors and Wall Street analysts and during Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting that the company had followed the normal process for getting the plane certified by regulators. But by then Boeing — in response to a subpoena from federal prosecutors — had already found documents indicating that it didn’t disclose key facts about MCAS to the Federal Aviation Administration, the SEC charged.

Boeing reached a separate $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department last year. Most of that money went to airlines whose Max jets were grounded.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Bespoke Tailor Stitches Together A Legacy

Bespoke suit-making for men is a dying art form — thanks to fast fashion, most men don’t wear such clothes to work anymore.

Leonard Logsdail is a one-of-a-kind craftsman, like the suits he makes. 

“When I have the fabric on my board, I can see in my mind’s eye what it’s going to look like on the on the client,” said Logsdail.  

A bespoke tailor by trade, Logsdail has spent over 50 years creating custom clothes based on each customer’s unique request and body measurements. 

“Bespoke tailoring comes from the word bespoken. Somebody walks in and talks an order. They say, ‘I would like such and such a blue.’ And I go to the fabrics and show them the fabrics. And they talk their way through,” said Logsdail. 

It’s an artform considered the highest level of tailoring. 

“I make a suit particular for one person and it only fits one person. And I fit it to that body,” he said.  

It requires meticulous attention to detail. 

“Somebody walks through the door, and I stand up the front here and watch them as they come from the elevator to me. So, I’ve got their body figuration in their stance, because as soon as you get the tape measure out, they remember everything their mother ever told them about standing up straight and holding in their stomach, which is not how you make the suit. You’ve got to be the body that they are,” said Logsdail.  

Logsdail’s Manhattan shop in midtown is tucked above the bustling streets on a quiet, but busy floor, with fabrics and finished suits on display. But his career began along Savile Row, the section of London famous for producing the best bespoke tailors. 

“So, I come from one of the poorest areas of London where, you know, we were taught to be fodders for industry. It’s the best way to describe it. Trash collectors, road sweepers, work in factories. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew everything I didn’t want to do. I had no idea. So, I went to a tailoring school as a stopgap. And it’s like I was home when I went there,” he said. 

But learning the trade didn’t come without hurdles. 

“I had about seven or eight suits that were thrown back at me. I’d paid for the cloth, I’d paid for the making, and then I had to give the deposit back and it really hurt. And that’s when I learned it’s not my suit, it’s your suit. I think that was one of the real pivotal moments, because I learned if I needed to earn money and feed myself at the time, that I had to get paid for what I did,” said Logsdail.  

Logsdail says that lesson proved invaluable in helping him hone a skill that ultimately caught the attention of Hollywood. 

“I was sitting on one of those chairs out the front one day, talking to a friend of mine from San Francisco, the phone rang and when I picked it up there was this lady on the phone, and she said, my name is Michelle and we’re working on this movie called The Good Shepherd. And we wondered if you be interested in making a suit for Robert De Niro,” said Logsdail.  

Since that call, Logsdail has gone on to tailor suits for dozens of movies, some of which have led to incredible encounters. 

“One of them was “Wall Street 2,” because I really enjoyed working with Michael Douglas. I thought he was a sweetheart and the other one was “Mary Poppins 2,” because I got to make a suit for Dick Van Dike. I mean, I’ve worked with DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, you name them, I’ve worked with them. He’s the only person I was interested in having to photograph,” he said.  

But despite how popular Logsdail’s work is with clients in Hollywood, New York and abroad, he says it’s an art form with an uncertain future. It’s a labor of love in desperate need of a new generation of tailors with the patience and fortitude to quite literally stitch on. 

“It’s been a challenge to keep business going. And now it’s been difficult to get workers because it’s much easier to go and start earning money sitting at the computer than it is learning how to sew with a needle and thread,” he said.  

Joining this fraternity of bespoke tailors would be membership in a very small club 

 “I believe I’m the only person that does exactly what I do in New York. And I think there’s only four or five in the whole United States now. It’s a dying breed. So, anybody who is looking, needs to start coming round and seeing all these guys because they ain’t going to be around for much longer,” said Logsdail.  

Logsdail cites growing competition from companies making “made to measure” suits that cost less, and take far less time to produce. 

“For a bespoke suit, pretty much all the fabrics I get out there are $1,800-$1,900 for a two-piece suit. But as I said, I’ve got some other ones [that] will cost you $35-$40,000 for a bespoke suit,” he said.   

And his cheaper competitors can deliver their suits quicker. 

“When somebody comes in now, I’m telling them to probably three months at least before they’ll see the suit, because, you know, I have one pair of hands… I’m sitting talking with you now, which means I’m not cutting my suits out. And so, the tailors have got one pair of hands. I can only work on one suit at a time. So, you know, it’s finite the amount of clothes we can make on any given week.”

While a bespoke suit is steep in price and time commitment, Logsdail swears it’s an investment customers you can truly wear for decades to come. 

“You know, I say this all the time, that fashion goes out of style, but style does not go out of fashion. So, if you have something made here and if you want a fashion forward, yeah, I’ll do it. But when the fashion changes, that suit’s old. But if you have something that’s made with style, you can wear it and it’s relevant from 1993 up to here,” said Logsdail. 

Source: newsy.com

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