Edward Sahakian emigrated from Iran in 1979 with a dinner jacket and a few kilos of caviar in his luggage. A year later he established a cigar shop in Mayfair — Davidoff of London — and a legend was born. To help Davidoff celebrate their 40th birthday, THE RAKE gathered a few close friends to create a fitting memento…
Edward with Dr. Ernst Schneider and Zino Davidoff at the shop’s opening in 1980.

There are certain shops — although the term ‘shop’ barely does them justice — that raise retail to a spiritual, almost religious, level. They are much, much more than places where money is exchanged for goods — it is neither Pritzker prize-winning architecture or square-meterage or contemporary artworks that set these establishments apart. Instead, it is a combination of other factors: superb, authentic products, of course; great staff, who if they were not working there would be among the customers; a heroic resistance to change and fashion; and the presiding genius of an individual who has made it his or her life’s work. The best way I have of defining such places is that to enter them is to enter a world in which it is impossible to imagine anything even remotely unpleasant ever happening.


September 2020


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