The Rake Tailored Beverages Negroni No. 1 and the Ralph Lauren for The Rake ‘Bearfoot Negroni Bear’ watch
Whilst the ‘Bearfoot Negroni Bear' continues his adventure in the Maldives (not for long), there remains a few Ralph Lauren for the Rake ‘Bearfoot Negroni Bear’ watches available. Not his first foray into far-flung territories with Negroni in hand and certainly not his last, we delve into our little ursine hero's inspirational contribution to The Rake Tailored Beverages.
As soon as the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear came into the world in 1991, his innate passion to inspire, encourage and bring comfort, stretched and reached people in unimaginable places. He’d only been dressed in his first outfit, before he was sold out in a single weekend at the Madison Avenue flagship store. If people in 1991 thought it was the end of our little ursine friend, they were duly mistaken. No ordinary character – he doesn’t like to appear in a single guise and be gone, he senses before anyone else what the people in this world are yearning for – and because he was brought onto this earth as a source and symbol of optimism – he likes to reappear in a new mask that alleviates worry for individuals, whilst representing a positive outlook on the cerebration processes – some of which we all share during a global phenomenon. It is precisely why in 2019, in anticipation of these collective aspirations the inimitable Polo Bear made his first appearance on the dials of three timepieces in the Ralph Lauren Polo watch collection. Post launch, The Rake’s Founder Wei Koh secretly harboured a dream of a Rake Bear timepiece. After finally summoning the courage to request it, Wei was overjoyed to learn that Mr. Lauren had given his personal assent in recognition of the launch of the Ralph Lauren Polo watch collection. Cultural events had already dictated the rapid rise of the Negroni, but what it didn’t foresee is its spiritual role in lifting us out of the dark times that we found ourselves in. Perceptive to its abating capabilities, the idea of creating The Rake x Ralph Lauren ‘Negroni Bear’ Polo Bear watch was put into action. It reinterpreted the iconic Polo Bear motif on the watch with a Tuxedo Bear holding a Negroni. And to incorporate some mild old humour the dial of the watch featured hands as well as the 5 o’clock index in distinct Negroni orange. Why the number five? Well, because it is always 5 o’clock somewhere… Videos by Marcus Ebanks Part 1
The watch proved extremely popular, but as is the case with the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear he likes to reappear sheathed in an equally empowering veneer. Recognizing that people's aspirations for freedom had become somewhat stunted in spring 2021 he emerged again on the dial of a second Polo Bear watch. This time the result was the Ralph Lauren for the Rake ‘Bearfoot Negroni Bear’ watch. The reason it was named the ‘Bearfoot’ watch is that in anticipation of travel resuming our furry friend had arranged to fly to The Maldives, where he would roam around barefoot resplendent in black tie. It is after all a style that Ralph Lauren himself is often seen perpetuating at his home in Round Hill, Jamaica — in his white dinner jacket or cream suit, but with his feet bare. The Polo Bear has been enjoying himself so much, he’s helped inaugurate The Rake’s two brick-and-mortar shops in the Fari Islands, and is yet to jet off to another destination. For this reason, a small number of the Ralph Lauren for the Rake ‘Bearfoot Negroni Bear’ watches remain available on TheRake.com.
The Ralph Lauren Polo Bear, as mentioned before is always a step ahead, in the fact that not only do his actions kindle a romantic nostalgia, but they truly resemble something we’ve been missing. In light of these revelations, the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear must take great credit for his influential role in the creation of The Rake Tailored Beverages. What the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear ignited is candidly theorized by Paul Feig: “The Negroni has moved beyond being a beverage and has become a community symbol for those of us inspired by the past. It’s the drink for people who love the glamour of old Hollywood embodied by Bogie and Bacall. It’s the tipple for those of us enchanted by the incredible poolside imagery of Slim Aarons. It’s the calling card for the classic elegance and perennial style championed by The Rake. When I drink a Negroni I hear Chet Baker playing in Paris. I think of sitting with Laurie and our dog, Buster, on the terrace of Venice’s Gritti Palace, overseen by the head barman, Cristiano Luciano, or ensconced in my favourite corner at Dukes bar, helmed by my dear friend Alessandro Palazzi. I imagine myself dressed in a midnight-blue evening suit by Anderson & Sheppard. The Negroni for whatever reason has become the calling card for civility and civilisation.”
Whilst a connoisseur of the Negroni, you can’t underestimate the wider role the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear has had in inspiring a triumvirate of bon vivant friends and Negroni lovers to alter the course of Negroni history. Together, Wei Koh, Paul Feig and Ravinder Minhas have masterminded The Rake's first bespoke cocktail, the pre-made Negroni No.1, which is not just a drink, but the start of a scheme that is set to transform the Negroni into a global men’s lifestyle brand and culture.