1) What does Drake's appreciate about British style? What is Drake's take on traditional British Style?
2) Which items do you consider to be necessities in a well-dressed man's wardrobe?
3) What does Drake's appreciate about American style? How is American style perceived in England?
4) Are there things outside of the fashion world that inspire your work? Are you aware of outside influences being distilled into your work? Is it something that happens subconsciously?
5) We've seen that you are fans of Alden shoes. What is it that you like about the brand and their products? What about Engineered Garments?
6) What are your thoughts on Ring Jacket from Japan? Do you generally prefer unstructured jackets versus structured?
Whilst I recognise that [Drake's and Ring Jacket] are very different businesses, I also acknowledge our similarities, and in our cases, I feel that relates to our shared commitment to local manufacturing. We both care a great deal about how we make and our heritages in that regard. With Ring Jacket it all starts with the product and striving for consistency and excellence with it. As well as that they produce some very beautiful and interesting garments, all the more reason to be proud and happy to partner with them. The softer jacket fits with our hand-rolled ties, button-down or softly lined spread collared shirts and our more comfortable aesthetic in general. It feels right for today.
7) You are experiencing Miami during our hottest and most humid time of year. How do you think you'd dress if you lived in Miami?
We'd certainly need to swap the tweed for something lighter! Super lightweight wool and linen would clearly be the order of the day.
8) Do you drink? If so, what do you prefer to drink when 6 o'clock rolls around?
Gin & French (Vermouth)
9) Are there other London-based companies that are manufacturing clothing or products? What drives this desire to manufacture in London?
It's certainly unusual to be producing ties in London but we make here because we've always made here. It's not just a question of being committed to make here, it's that this is where the company was actually born. In short if we were to move our production then our ties wouldn't be Drake's ties. The craftsmen and women that physically make our ties are what make them Drake's. I feel we would be committing suicide if we compromised on our authenticity, despite the high costs involved. We're proud to manufacture at home and our philosophy is to make it ourselves wherever possible, hence our recent exciting venture into shirt making in Somerset. And knowing the stresses and strains that go with manufacturing we have a tremendous amount of respect for all the great artisans based here.
10) We'd like to hear your thoughts on working with Private White V.C. They manufacture their garments in Manchester. Are there similarities between Private White V.C. and Drake's?
Working [with Private White V.C.] was a great experience. It's always fascinating to look inside another factory and we certainly have a huge appreciation for all they're doing up in Manchester. Their look might be somewhat more casual than ours but I don't think the ethos isn't so different. It's interesting that we're both factories that have come from designing and making collections for a variety of brands over the years but given the way our businesses and the market have evolved we're both forging ahead with our own collections right through to retailing them ourselves. We know that's a big challenge but a very exciting one and we certainly respect what they have achieved in that regard. I think the more of us that can achieve that then the stronger our British-made message becomes and therefore the stronger the British brands across the board can become.
11) If you had a free week in Miami how would you like to spend it?
I'd love to explore Little Havana and the Art Deco District, spend some time by the ocean at South Beach and if my trip coincided with Art Basel Miami Beach then even better!
Interview conducted by Joey Halegua and Jonathan Eyal.
Photography by Kevin Beltran.
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