Sartorial Ambassador: Jonathan Alexander Edwards

What better way to round off our month of stories surrounding power dressing than explore the formal style of a rakish individual? Permit us to introduce you to Jonathan Alexander Edwards, sartorial explorer and power-dresser par excellence.
Sartorial Ambassador: Jonathan Alexander Edwards
Jonathan Alexander Edwards, Founder of, is something of an enigma - pioneering self-made businessman by day, bespoke authority and all-round sophisticate by night. Thoroughly warm-hearted and generous to a tee, he loves nothing better than connecting like-minded individuals and grabbing any opportunity which life throws his way. He is also a gentleman who thoroughly enjoys his clothes, and who understands the power of clothes to make a deeply impactful impression when required; whether that be an ensemble that hits just the right note at a formal function, a huge fur-trimmed overcoat that means business, or else a strong shouldered three-piece suit to master board meetings. What’s more, he is a great sartorial explorer, travelling the world in search of unusual cuts and cloths; exploring the parameters of both structured English tailoring and the wealth of different Italian aesthetics at the same time. Ever an optimist, the sense of ‘dolce vita’ that Italian tailors capture in their work has a particular appeal: “To me the Italians capture a certain spirit in their work, rather than conforming to a collection of formal rules. There’s more of a focus in Italy on capturing something imperceptible in your personality - I find that Italian craftsmen tend to ‘enjoy’ their work and have an easier approach to style”. Shot in London’s Italian Embassy, (this is the first ever photo-shoot undertaken in these hallowed halls by the way) we could think of no better place than to showcase three of Jonathan's most empowered looks. The Rake would like to extend our sincere and humble thanks to His Excellency the Italian Ambassador, for so generously accommodating this shoot. Jonathan Edwards, Milan Style
This Omega Seamaster was a 21st Birthday present from Jonathan’s family. “It’s very clean and fits my style perfectly” he says.
Jonathan’s ivory spun silk scarf, silver and onyx dress studs and links, and his moiré bow tie are all from Budd Shirtmakers. “The staff at Budd truly understand formalwear and offer a wonderful service,” he says. “These studs were apparently made for Budd by a semi-retired gentleman who’s a one-man-band silversmith in Derbyshire. It’s nice to know that when we invest in such things we help to keep these artisanal traditions alive in the UK.”
Jonathan’s black three-piece dinner suit was cut by Neapolitan tailors Solito, and was inspired by Cary Grant’s dinner suit in To Catch A Thief. “The dinner suit we created together is of course very Italian, but I chose a very old-fashioned heavyweight barathea from Harrison’s of Edinburgh” says Edwards, “Similarly, I edged Luigi and Gennaro [Solito’s father and son team], towards cutting stylistic points that might be considered more English.” The coat’s broad shawl lapels, turn-back cuffs and the accompanying low-buttoning single-breasted dress waistcoat all provide evidence of this.
This coat was cut by Kent, Haste & Lachter on Sackville Street. “It’s a tribute to the style of my late grandparents” explains Jonathan. “I have pictures of them taken just a few years after they’d arrived in England from Jamaica wearing very similar heavy Scottish tweed and fur coats. I love the atmosphere in Kent, Haste & Lachter – their house is for someone who wants a complete ‘Savile Row’ experience, but without the Georgian-era formality that some houses still insist upon.”
Jonathan’s Prussian blue velvet smoking jacket is another Neapolitan creation, this time cut by Eduardo De Simone of Edesim Sartoria. “We followed each other on Instagram”, explains Edwards “and bumped into each other at Pitti and just hit it off immediately. For this jacket, I wanted a strong peaked lapel and Edesim’s signature shoulder cut ‘con rollino’. Eduardo is very open to different ideas and to techniques from English and French tailors – but he nevertheless creates garments with that lightness of touch that Naples is so known for.” His shirt is from another talented Neapolitan craftsman; Luca Avitabile, famed for his super-soft collars, trim cuffs and perfectly balanced silhouettes.
These black suede Belgian loafers are from Rubinacci, and add an attractively louche quality to Jonathan’s second black tie look. As he puts it, “it’s about growing in confidence in what you wear – I learned about how to wear a classical black tie look first, then started to think about experimenting with elements of my outfit subsequently.”
Note the single velvet faced cuff buttons on Jonathan’s smoking jacket – again, an intriguing ‘un-Italian’ touch for a Neapolitan made coat.
“This is the ultimate power suit from Edward Sexton,” says Edwards. “I think it’s fair to say that Edward and Dominic like to make things which allow them to be a little bolder; think super-roped shoulders, broad lapels, wide-legged trousers and a longer coat. I love garments that move you and that have a flow to them, which they are superb at creating.”