Luca Rubinacci's Valuable Lessons
The Neapolitan tailoring scion explains why he has embraced The Rake Values, an initiative aimed at fostering a new generation of sartorial aficionados.
When we speak with sartorial icon and longtime friend of The Rake, Luca Rubinacci, he is preparing for two notable journeys. First, he’ll be heading to Marrakech to conduct a bespoke fitting for an important client in Morocco. Subsequently, Luca will fly to Hong Kong to host Rubinacci’s first trunk show in that exotic eastern metropolis. He’s excited by these opportunities to build what he hopes will be enduring relationships with new clients — royalty and commonfolk alike. It’s the same reason Luca is enthusiastic about The Rake Values, an initiative he, in fact, helped inspire during conversations with this publication’s founder, Wei Koh. “Our ready-to-wear clothing sells very well through The Rake’s website,” Luca says. “And we are very happy about this. Already, we believe that our ready-to-wear is excellent value — very good quality, good products, good craftsmanship, but a reasonable price. It’s very attractive. But the fact of the matter is, with ready-to-wear, each season you have to clear what you have made in the past so that you can create a new collection.”
That’s where an innovative platform like The Rake Values comes in, helping fine quality, classic garments (whose only crime was to be produced a few months ago) find an appreciative audience. And so, the seasonal cycle may continue. Luca says he has been careful to maintain the exclusivity of Rubinacci product, which is why it is available at just a handful of locations. “We are not the kind of brand that is in many, many retail stores,” Luca says. It is important to him that Rubinacci maintains personal contact with its clientele, old and new. “Every day, many, many people come to see me in the store in Milan, young guys who may come just to make a photograph with me, to say that they met Luca. I always take them to see our laboratorio, our bespoke workshop, because this is the soul of what we do — and then, they understand immediately.” Discovering the Rubinacci brand via The Rake, Luca says, is similar. “Your magazine, your website, for more than ten years, you have been giving to your readers: giving knowledge, expertise, know-how. This is how you build a relationship, with generosity,” he believes. “This is why I welcome everyone into our store, it’s why I show them around our laboratorio. And this is why on Instagram, I make videos on fitting and how to dress, how to do things. The first point of contact is not selling; the first point of contact is giving something. This is my philosophy,” Luca says. “Be welcoming, be friendly, be generous. Give people a good experience and they will tell others.”
It is with faith in the fact that even with the past seasons’ platform of The Rake Values, this publication will provide a high-quality, elegant editorial and e-commerce experience that Rubinacci has so enthusiastically embraced and supported this new initiative. “The Rake is known for many years as the authority on classic menswear. It is known for only featuring and promoting the very best brands and craftspeople. And now, since it has launched ecommerce, The Rake is famous as a place to get Cifonelli, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren, and yes, Rubinacci — these are the type of brands that The Rake is famous for.” With The Rake Values, says Luca, “We have a great opportunity to give to the very new generation the possibility to get this kind of quality, to get great value menswear at really fantastic prices.” Customers on The Rake Values, Luca predicts, “will not be able to believe how lucky they are to find these things at such fantastic prices.” Then, having grown to appreciate the craftsmanship of Rubinacci’s ready-to-wear, Luca is confident many new clients will progress to sampling the wares of the laboratorio. “They will begin to dream of bespoke,” Luca says. “People ask all the time, but we do not make suits or tuxedos ready-to-wear. No, for that, you must make bespoke. Come, Luca will take care of you.”