It was sheer frustration that spurred Elliott Rampley to found his eponymous accessories business, Rampley & Co. “I’ve always worn pocket squares and loved them as an accessory but found it amazing that women’s scarves have had stunning patterns and designs ever since Hermés in the 1930s — and yet, we felt, nobody was really doing the same with the male equivalent,” he explains. Rampley says he could find plenty of pocket squares in stock-standard paisley, polka dots and plain colours, “Which of course are all wardrobe essentials, but I was looking for something a little different. From the outset we decided we wanted all of our pocket squares to tell a story and have that point of differentiation.”
Imbuing its pocket squares with this essential narrative element, Rampley & Co. has partnered with a series of renowned galleries and museums — including, amongst others, the Tate, the British National Gallery, the Wallace Collection, the Museum of London, English Heritage, the V&A and the British Museum — to reproduce outstanding artworks on its silk products.
“I grew up in London and was taken to these institutions every school holiday I can remember by my mum,” Rampley recalls. His long-held fascination with London’s galleries and museums, he says, “heavily affected my desire to study Egyptian Archaeology and during my studies at UCL (University College London), I spent a considerable amount of time at the British Museum. I’ve always wanted to be involved with these institutions in some capacity and so when I was looking for inspiration for our initial pocket square designs, it seemed only natural to call upon what had been inspiring me since I was a child.”
How did this newly established company go about convincing such venerable institutions to open their archives? Rampley explains, “We started off taking some fine art from the Tate and this enabled us to open dialogue with the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection, which then led onto the V&A and the British Museum and we’re in discussions with many more.” It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, Rampley says. “A percentage of revenue from almost all of our pocket square designs also goes back to the institutions and we love that we can support their ongoing existence and growth while having such a positive brand association,” he notes. “It took a lot of work and time to get all of the licensing agreements in place but we’re delighted and honoured to say we can work with some of the greatest museums and galleries in the world.”