Trainee Maurice Sedwell tailor is shortlisted for Mappin & Webb Young Ambassador of the Year prize at The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards
Former drug dealer tailors himself a new life on Savile Row - Reported in Evening Standard
Londoner Tanguy Viaud won a place at the Savile Row Academy via The Prince's Trust
A former drug dealer and addict has turned his life around to become an apprentice tailor on Savile Row.
Tanguy Viaud, from Stratford, first got involved with petty crime aged 11. In 2011, aged 21 and a heavy cannabis smoker, he was caught with 1.5kg of the drug. He was sentenced to eight months in Belmarsh Prison for supply of Class B substances — but served only three due to good behaviour.
He told the Standard that when he left prison he was “determined to change” and pursue a worthwhile career. His mother encouraged him to approach The Prince’s Trust, where he won a place on the Savile Row Academy.
For the past two years he has been training at Maurice Sedwell — which has made suits for Samuel L Jackson.
Mr Viaud, 25, became a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador last year and will complete his training in December, four years to the day after he was imprisoned. Describing his time in jail as a “wake-up call”, he said: “I wanted to do something worthwhile. My dad was an art dealer and my mother a milliner — so I am creative and always loved fashion. I couldn’t believe it when I got an apprenticeship here on Savile Row. It was a dream.”
Now he has been shortlisted for the Mappin & Webb Young Ambassador of the Year prize at The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards.
The ceremony recognises young people from London and the South-East who have succeeded against the odds, overcoming issues such as abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and depression. It will be hosted by AJ and Neev from Kiss FM.
Mr Viaud added: “I am so grateful to The Prince’s Trust. I don’t know where I’d be without their help. I now have the grounding and skill to work in fashion which is a world away from where I was four years ago.”
The awards, sponsored by the Evening Standard, take place at the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court next Wednesday.