100 Greatest Rakes / July 2019

Ben Phillips: The Nicest Bloke In Menswear

Drake’s store manager Ben Phillips shares with us his love for Drake’s, why seersucker is punk and how Brazilian jiu-jitsu is more than a martial art.

Ben Phillips outside Drake's on Clifford Street, Mayfair, London.

Ben Phillips is without a doubt the nicest bloke in menswear and there's no two ways about it. If you've met him, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, well, you only need to pop into Drake's on Clifford Street in Mayfair, where he's the Store Manager, and you'll find him and his warm smile. Not only is he a terrific guy, he's also a very interesting one, too, and is living proof that larger men can look fantastic in tailoring, and that you don’t have be the archetypal #menswear guy to work in menswear. We caught up with him in the store and took him out for a burger to find out more.

On growing up in Wales

“I grew up in south Wales and was born in Swansea, in a pre-Internet era, so my only access to information was magazines and I used to buy everything - GQ, Esquire, The Rake, The Face, ID and Dazed & Confused. I lived in Brighton for a couple years though, which is where I met my wife. I then moved to London in May 2016 and shortly after joined Drake’s.”

On his love for music

“As long as it's good, I'm into it. I’ve always listened to rock, jazz, soul, hip hop and played in a punk rock band when I was younger. Punk rock is very much about being true to yourself, and the same can be said for how you should dress. I'm actually going to a gig tomorrow night, and I am going to wear a seersucker suit. It's quite a heavy band, they're called Neurosis, like an evil Pink Floyd. But I'm going to wear what I want.”

On his background in tattooing 

“I worked in tattooing for about 13 years and owned a tattoo shop in Swansea called Swansea Tattoo Company. My back ink took 50 hours, and I reckon my arms took about 20 hours each. I recently got the Drake's hand with a cocktail stick tattooed on my leg.”

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Benedict Browne

Benedict is The Rake's Associate Style Editor.