Max Freeman: Tributes to Leeds tailor who was a real cut above

Louis Armstrong and Max Freeman.
Louis Armstrong and Max Freeman.
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TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of Max Freeman, the famed tailor whose mastery of his trade made him a favourite with celebrities, politicians and the stylish people of his home city of Leeds.

Max, who was 93, created clothes for everyone from jazz legend Louis Armstrong and entertainer Frankie Vaughan to the ambassadors of Japan and Syria during a career that spanned six decades.

Raised in Chapeltown, he later lived in north Leeds and spent the last 10 months of his life in Moortown’s Donisthorpe Hall care home.

He died peacefully at St James’s Hospital after a short illness, leaving his wife of 65 years, Ella, two children and three grandchildren.

Max’s daughter, Michelle Hirst, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “My father was certainly a character, he loved his job and he loved people. He was at his happiest holding court wherever he went. The local paper shop had a chair ready for him when he ‘popped in’ most evenings on his way home.

“He loved music and had a fabulous singing voice. He never really saw himself as being old and kept his sense of humour to the end.”

Max Freeman.

Max Freeman.

Max set himself up in business after a stint in the Royal Navy and over the years had premises in places including Roundhay Road and Armley’s Park Mill House.

He gained a reputation for quality bespoke tailoring, with Louis Armstrong describing him as “the greatest” after taking delivery of one of his suits.

Speaking at the time of his 90th birthday, Max said: “In those days in Leeds we had the finest cloths available and traditional tailoring, where the cut was everything and the devil was in the detail.”