Code / December 2019

Drake's ties to London and the world

Lee Osborne gets the lowdown on tie making at Drake’s, one of the few remaining companies to have crafted these items by hand in London since 1977.

Long before its cutting-edge neighbours arrived on the scene – the eye-beguiling M by Montcalm hotel which perforates the Old Street skyline like a Super Etendard, and before the concept of WeWork cohabiting spaces even entered the London equation – Drake’s has been quietly but elegantly crafting gentlemen’s neckwear at its wonderfully apt Haberdasher Street address for the past eight years. The London skyline seems to change with the seasons, but Drake's ties assuredly fly against the winds of change Prior to that, the company were based in Garrett Street in Clerkenwell, under the then stewardship of co-founder Michael Drake.

The brand occupy a renovated 1930s art deco building that once housed the Guild of Haberdashers, at the junction where Haberdasher Street meets East Road, close to Jarvis Cocker’s local The Crown and Vulture, purveyor of arguably the best sourdour pizzas in town. With its iconic 1950s Gensign clock proudly illuminated above the main entrance, Drake’s are the UK’s largest independent producer of neckties, and recent recipient of the Queen’s Award for Export. Former Aquascutum alumni and onetime tie-maker Michael Hill is at the helm – in fact it’s hard to imagine Hill being anywhere else other than Drake’s - such has been the creative influence he’s imprinted on the brand in little under a decade, having spent his formative years under Michael Drake. With the backing of owner Mark Cho, former investment banker and founder of The Armoury, the company’s reputation continues to prosper both at home and abroad.

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