Lorenzo Cifonelli for The Rake Autumn-Winter 21: The Iconic Collection

Tailored style is back — and so is Lorenzo Cifonelli for The Rake. The French master introduces us to his most personal collection, a beautiful exhibition of his well-honed style and taste, all in Loro Piana fabrics.

  • by Wei Koh

  • photography Davinia Pelegri

Before unveiling Lorenzo Cifonelli’s new, exclusive collection for The Rake, there is an issue I need to address, and that is that we were late on the deliveries for our first collaboration with Lorenzo. In some instances, inexcusably late. As the founder of this magazine, I want to apologise sincerely to anyone who was affected. I hope that when you received your clothes, you loved them as much as Lorenzo and I do, and feel they are an incredibly strong value proposition for garments so elegant and well made, and made with Loro Piana fabrics.

The buying window for this pre-order collection is in its final hours. Garments will be delivered 7-8 weeks after window closes. Please email shop@therakemagazine.com for more information.

The reason the clothes were late was simple: we were overwhelmed by the success of the collection, and our suppliers — in particular, our jacket maker — struggled to get the orders made in time at the quality we insisted on. For example, ours is the only jacket at its price point to feature a handmade Milanese buttonhole in the lapel. This is a time-consuming process to execute perfectly. Our jacket maker, with whom Lorenzo worked extensively to perfect the signature Cifonelli fit, is a small producer that was not used to orders of that magnitude. But it was absolutely our mistake and our fault, and again I want to apologise. We have taken measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again. For example, this time around we’ve taken stock positions in what we believe will be the bestselling tailored garments. These will be offered for immediate delivery on a first come, first serve basis exclusively to clients who ordered from our first collection. This is our way of saying we are sorry and we want to do our very best to show you that your happiness is our priority.

That having been said, the new Lorenzo Cifonelli collection is simply extraordinary. To understand how Lorenzo and I embarked on this journey together, to bring you our exclusive collection of his signature garments, we have to go back to last year. Lorenzo says, “You called me when I was on vacation in Capri and you explained the idea to me. You told me we are in a war for the hearts and minds of the next generation. They might like to wear streetwear or be very fashionable, but at some moment they will need to dress elegantly. And so we need to imprint upon them the culture of classic elegance and the world of Cifonelli.”

 

The buying window for this pre-order collection is in its final hours. Garments will be delivered 7-8 weeks after window closes. Please email shop@therakemagazine.com for more information.

 

What I have come to realise is that these cultures are not mutually exclusive. For example, if you look at the rap community, and individuals like Jay-Z, he might be dressed down one moment but, when it is time to wear a suit or a tuxedo, he is capable of real elegance. It’s the same thing with all the young actors in Hollywood, who might be relaxed at home or during their downtime. But collectively they express a real culture for dressing up in Los Angeles during awards ceremonies, inspired by the classic era or Golden Age of Hollywood. The point is that tailored style is back, and it is here to stay. As such, there has never been a more important moment to widen the appreciation of, and expand the audience for, the classic style expressed by tailoring icons like Lorenzo Cifonelli.

To enable us to reach new audiences, one of the first decisions we made was to offer the clothes at a tremendous value. The hardest thing to achieve related to this was, of course, the jacket. Because the Cifonelli jacket has a very specific cut and a very special shoulder. Also, it is incredibly light. Lorenzo finally found a jacket maker in Naples, and after eight prototypes over the course of a year, he arrived at a point where he was happy with the outcome.

“This partnership is a very personal project for me,” Cifonelli says. “First, because it is born out of our friendship that is now almost 15 years old. We were both young men when we met. And we have grown and evolved as people together. Second, because it is completely a reflection of my personal style and taste. The garments are exactly as I would wear them and how I would wear them.

“The first collection I made, for spring-summer, was inspired by my vacation in Capri. It was about the colours and styles I would wear on a vacation chasing the sun along the Amalfi coast.

“For the second collection, for autumn-winter, I know we had discussed curating what I consider to be the most iconic looks from my personal wardrobe. But I decided to change the story and approach it the following way: I imagined one of my best clients. A man of incomparable style and elegance. He was coming to Paris and staying in his favourite suite for a week. During that time he wanted to wear a new outfit every day, ranging from suits to tailored separates and sports-chic looks. He explained to me the different occasions he would attend and then he left it up to me. He gave me carte blanche to create each look, down to every accessory, which I would design myself. He would say to me, ‘I have complete confidence in you. You choose everything based on your personal style.’ That is my inspiration for this new collection of Lorenzo Cifonelli for The Rake.”

Published

August 2021

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