Waste has become an extremely big topic in the clothing industry in recent years as consumers are beginning to wise up to the detrimental environmental effects that fast fashion has had on the world. Here at The Rake, we champion a style that is altogether timeless, largely immune to trends and fads. It's also why we spend a great deal of time and effort finding artisanal brands who share the same principles. When we buy clothing, be it a blazer or coat or shirt, we expect to be able to wear it in 10, 15 or even 30 years time, provided we've cared for both the products, and our collective waistlines, adequately. We like to think of our clothing and accessories as investments - for life, not just for Christmas. That said, there's no better time than Christmas to put your capital to work and purchase true investments, those items that will either hold their value over time, or at the very least hold their own no matter what trend is prevalent at any one moment. This is our pick of investment pieces for 2019 and long beyond...
Ralph Lauren's 50th Anniversary Heritage Tie collection, consisting of 10 ties personally selected by Ralph Lauren and based on his favourites styles from the early days of his career, is a wonderful way to celebrate the icon's 50 years in fashion. The ties - all hand-made in Italy - each have a story to tell, all of which is described in detail in an accompanying booklet, from the "Tapestry Jacquard", representing the style and spirit of the very first Ralph Lauren ties to the one-of-a-kind "Patchwork" of Heraldic Clubs and English Repp Stripes made especially for this collection, one of only 25 available exclusively at The Rake. The Bell & Ross 'Dusty' Chronograph, an exclusive collaboration with The Rake and Revolution, is inspired by the type of watches belly tank racers would wear in the 1940s and '50s. The vintage-inspired sports chronograph carried design influences of military and aviation codes, stylised with thin hour indices, recessed counters, a stepped seconds track and retro typography. Finally, Savile Row maestro Richard James presents this neat blouson jacket in a rich dark olive hue, a classic example of the house’s skill in cut and detail. Crafted from exquisitely warm shearling, it features a plush collar, two side pockets, buttoning cuffs and a front zip-fastening.
The Berkeley model from Edward Green, crafted from supple black box calf leather, has been moulded from the 202 last; a more comfortable shape for wider feet. This Oxford shoe features subtle topstitching across the quarter, a line of punching along the toecap and a five-eye fastening. Keep them regularly resoled and your feet will have friends for life. French label De Bonne Facture offer classic, quality-focussed pieces, such as this rich chestnut trench coat with real horn buttons. Crafted from wool woven in Italy, it is inspired by a vintage coat which belonged to a friend's grandfather. With Raglan sleeves, and half lined in a tonal viscose lining, this double-breasted coat features Raglan sleeves, two front pockets, two inside-welt pockets and a centre-back vent. For cigar aficionados, investing in a good humidor is a given. This Limited Edition World Map Box by Linley has been hand-constructed with a Macassar ebony background and the countries of the map crafted in a sunburst walnut marquetry with nickel stringing. Inspired by the Linley world map that adorns the wall of the Map Room at Claridge's hotel, the lockable World Map Box has an inbuilt humidification system, ideal for storing cigars.
Fine watches are exceptional holders of value, and some, like Rolex's Paul Newman Daytona, have reached astronomical prices at auction. Scarcity is, of course, a significant driver of demand, so when limited run exclusives hit the market, watch collectors would do well to snap them up. But much like buying art, far better to purchase something beautiful, that resonates with you personally, than simply buy for investment. We think our exclusive collaboration with Hublot on the Classic Fusion 'Molon Labe' chronograph ticks both boxes. Using the world’s oldest and most modern alloys, Hublot and The Rake have married classicism and contemporary aesthetics — as well as a passion for cigars — to form a new signature watch. The skeletonised HUB1155 chronograph movement is framed within a bronze bezel complemented with polished and plated 18K yellow gold indices and main hour and seconds hands. The date is visible through an aperture at 6 o'clock. The titanium case takes on a muted look with a microblasted finish and dressed in either a black rubber or brown calf leather strap with matching brown stitching. You'd do well to marry the precious metals with a piece of history, quite literally: Elizabeth Gage's handsome pair of 18ct yellow gold cufflinks set with silver drachm coins of Larissa (344 - 321 BC) in a polished gold surround with four rounded plinths on the outside. The cufflinks are finished with a gold swirl bead back. A rare chance to wear a stunning piece of history on your sleeve. Finally, one of our coats of the season - Motoluxe’s famed Teddy Bear coat has been reimagined for the modern day, using a cotton-backed deep-pile blend of alpaca and mohair that is exclusively woven by Steiff. The double-breasted design is ideal for keeping the chill out, secured tightly with the belted waist, while the collar and peak lapels look elegant flat or flicked up to cover the neck.