News / March 2017

Michael Hill on Reinvigorating the Drake's Flagship Store

The Rake speaks with Drake’s Creative Director Michael Hill about their beautifully redesigned and recently reopened flagship store, and discovers how he plans to craft the brand’s future with it.

2017 marks the 40th year in business for Drake’s, and during that time the brand has evolved from a small scarf and tie wholesaler into one of the most distinctive voices in English tailoring. This week sees the opening of Drake’s overhauled flagship store in London’s Clifford Street, and for Creative Director Michael Hill, it represents a culmination of the growth and development that he has spearheaded during his tenure. “It really felt about time,” Hill tells me. “We clearly are a slightly different business in some respects to the one we were back then [when Clifford Street first opened], not least in terms of the different product categories that we now work with.”

Those differences to the business - Drake’s evolution from artisanal accessory maker to fully-fledged menswear brand - are reflected in the changes to the refurbished space. “I think we needed to break up the space and experience a little bit and give ourselves the opportunity to curate some wardrobes, rather than having a bank of shirts, a bank of jackets and so on. If you think of things like tailoring, something as simple as having an area that’s a little more private, a little more intimate and a little softer, frankly, gives that sort of possibility to the customer.” Hill says that the most important factor is that the space balances feeling special with feeling comfortable; a little lived in, perhaps. “I think we’d love it to be a bit of an oasis for customers - something that they can touch and feel and enjoy and sit in. I’m sure they won’t exactly feel like they’re sitting in their sitting room, but it would be nice if they did feel that level of comfort.”

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Ben St George

Ben St George is The Rake's Head of Buying