On a recent excursion to the capital, your correspondent headed straight to Savile Row to visit one of his favourite haberdashers, Drake’s. Your intrepid reporter in the field spoke with Liam, who described himself as the “made-to-measure guy”. Sundry Style’s star writer found the store to be light, bright, and inviting to both the monied sartorialist and impecunious student alike.
Your Correspondent: How long has Drake’s been around?
Liam: [Since] 1977
YC: And it’s British?
L: Indeed, yes. It was started by Michael Drake. You get a real idea of the aesthetic of the brand from the way he dresses and wears his clothes, the style that runs through the brand.
“A real mixture of textures, and a huge palette range of colour.”
YC: And what would you say that is, if you could sum it up in a sentence?
L: [Laughs] I’m not sure if I can sum it up in a sentence. It’s a real mix, so we take inspiration from American styling, Italian styling, British styling, and then a real mixture of textures, and a huge palette range of colour, and throw it all together in a way that really works.
YC: Would you say colour is something that you necessarily haven’t needed to bring but has always been there with, kind of, Ivy Style?
L: Colour has always been there. I would say that Drake’s started as a tie maker. The ties were the main focus for Drake’s as many people will know. And because of the nature of ties, their colour and pattern, they come very much as a focus naturally. So, I think starting from that point, it’s given us a big focus on colour and it’s stayed with us all the way through. But I wouldn’t say is particular to Ivy League Style. More for Drake’s, the colour comes from the origins.
“Drake’s started as a tie maker. The colour comes from the origins.”
YC: Drake’s is known for using fabrics for ties that are quite unusual, like Selvedge.
L: Yeah, and also we use a lot of colours that are a little bit unusual, fabrics that are a little bit unusual, in particular, madder silk. We use ancient madder silk in some really, really unusual colours and variations that work beautifully.
YC: How do you see Drake’s progressing in terms of style? Do you think it’s always going to be similar or are you tweaking it to fashions?
L: The main thing that is changing is that we’re growing. The categories that we make are growing. That’s part of the reason why we have a new, larger store. Previously we were on Clifford Street, I think we were there for about eight years, but as the brand grew and the product categories group, we grew the store. We are a real lifestyle brand now. We do everything from made-to-measure formal suits to swimming shorts.
“We do everything from made-to-measure formal suits to swimming shorts.”
YC: And are you doing face masks?
L: Not for sale yet. But maybe. These [the masks worn by Liam and his colleagues] were made by us, though not for sale yet.
YC: As a more personal question, do you prefer single breasted or double-breasted suit jackets?
L: Very interesting. I would say single breasted first if you’re looking for a starting point for a wardrobe. But I’d say once you got 1 or 2 pieces, there’s definitely room for a double-breasted option in there. It depends who you are, your physique, what style you like to wear. For myself, I like double-breasted, for some gentlemen it doesn’t work so well, some people always wear double-breasted.
YC: And with trousers, are they always high waisted?
L: Not always. I would say never particularly low rise, that’s me speaking personally. Particularly low rise isn’t flattering. High-rise is generally more flattering for there are, it makes you look taller and makes your leg line look slimmer. So, personally, yes, higher is better, but each to their own.
YC: Cool, well, thanks for your time, Liam.
L: No worries at all.