The Rake Travel Journal: Paris Edition with Richard Biedul

The Rake Travel Journal is our new monthly editorial series that delves into the cities from the people that know them. We’re delighted to open our series with the insight from long-time friend of The Rake, Richard Biedul.

  • fashion director Melissa Jane Tarling

  • by Freddie Anderson

  • photography Brandon Hinton

Richard wears: Red slubbed wool unstructured single-breasted jacket, brown, blue and red macro square print tie, both Edward Sexton at The Rake; shirt and trousers, models own.

Paris, the “City of Light” has and continues to be a lantern of inspiration for artists. It has been ‘the’ habitat that has fostered the most noteworthy relationships between muse and artist in history. It is still celebrated for its iconic landmarks, but beneath the surface in Paris, there is a cache of skilled artisans and independent shops, that take you to a bygone era. Visiting for the weekend, it is tricky to get to the root of the romance. It is why for our first editorial feature in The Rake Travel Journal – our new monthly series we have sought the insight from a frequent visitor, and one of the iconic figureheads of menswear, Richard Biedul.

Your pathway into the upper echelons of menswear has been unconventional. What sparked the beginning of this enthralling journey, and what were those early days like?

Serendipity. A job in the fashion industry was never my planned vocation. In fact, it wasn’t even a career I had considered until a chance meeting in London one evening.

My childhood plan (which was, and had been being executed) was to work in The City as a solicitor. However, after an encounter with a model scout at a pub, I was persuaded to pose for some quick and simple Polaroids, which would change the course of my life. Little did I know when I said yes to an after-work drink – a week later I would be closing a show at London Fashion Week (for Oliver Spencer) and six months later, I would be moving to New York.

At the start, I never planned on making a career out of modelling. It was just something I thought I could do on the side. Something that wouldn’t take up too much time, and in all honesty something that probably wouldn’t go anywhere. But I was curious enough to give it a go and see what opportunities presented themselves. So after I closed Oliver Spencer’s show in London, I was invited by Jason Basmajian, then of Brioni to visit Milan and take part in their presentations and then by Alessandro Sartori to do the same in Paris for Berluti. We shot editorials, look-books and campaigns across Europe and before I knew it my annual leave had run out and the images were starting to be published. I had tried my hardest to keep my “side hustle” a secret from work, but when we confirmed main fashion for The Guardian I knew the jig was up – as it was the newspaper of choice at our firm. I had to tell my managing partner what I’d been up to. The next stage involved me scraping time off where I could, working overtime and on weekends to stay on top of my workload, but before I knew it I was unable to juggle the demands of both. I had to make a call and to this day, despite the ups and downs I don’t regret the path I chose.

Contributor

Freddie Anderson

Published

March 2022

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