Months in the making, our new shop on the most famous tailoring street in the world is finally ready to throw open its doors and welcome customers. Though it was a beloved home to us, our spot on Clifford Street had been feeling cramped for some time, so the only option was to find a bigger, better space. Earlier this year we found the perfect place – that it happened to be on Savile Row was a welcome bonus – and began hatching ambitious plans for an extraordinary new shopping experience.
We are careful to ensure that everything we do retains the quintessential Drake’s handwriting – so that it all feels of a piece – and of course our flagship shop is no different. However, we wanted the new shop to be a significant evolution from what we have done previously, something which rises to the occasion of a larger space on a world-famous street.
‘We had an opportunity to start completely from scratch in this terrific space, so we knew we had to do the things that we’d always wanted to do, but never had room for on Clifford Street,’ Creative Director Michael Hill explains. Michael has personally overseen the shopfitting process, which has gradually expanded to include custom cabinetry, vintage furniture, an English garden’s worth of pot plants, and a host of paintings by some of our favourite artists.
‘It’s a long, rectilinear space, so we wanted to soften that somehow. I commissioned a special ‘wiggly’ cabinet to run the length of the shop that would create some contrast in the form of curved edges. All of the fittings were made in East London from a beautiful Austrian larch. We could have them made in Europe, but in the end it felt right to do it locally, given that East London has always been our home.
‘The flooring we’ve inherited from the previous owners, which is a pitch pine parquet. Part of it was damaged, so we’ve dug up some of the parquet in the basement to fill in the gaps. It’s been lovingly restored. Then there’s the upholstery and soft furnishings. The changing room curtains are made from the heaviest weight of Fox Flannel – a little nod to one of the great British cloth mills, and a company we have a terrific history with. There’s a bold, green-and-white-striped awning at the front of the shop: it’s a colour combination you’ll be seeing more of in our branding and products. One of my personal favourite pieces is an enormous oval pouf, made up in orange Casentino, with a slightly smaller one in a complementary green Casentino. It’s a colourful, playful touch, which I think customers will recognise as something which carries through from our collections.’
One of the big advantages our new shop has over the old one is its superior amount of wall space. Clifford Street was all window on one side, and the opposite wall was almost entirely filled by rails and shelves. No. 9 Savile Row, however, has ample wall space, allowing us to feature pieces by some of our favourite artists.
‘Drake’s has always had a strong relationship to the art world. Many of our pieces are inspired by the studio clothes worn by legendary artists, and we’ve been lucky enough to forge some great friendships with painters and sculptors that we’ve admired for a long time, even collaborating with many of them. But Drake’s has never had its own space to hang and exhibit the art we love, so that’s how I see the new shop. We have paintings by Sir Peter Blake, Charlie Schaffer, Jack Penny, Hugo Hamper-Potts, Clive Hodgson, as well as some magnificent sculptures by Dominic McHenry. It’s a chance to support the artists whose work we love, as well as an opportunity to share that passion with our customers.’
And after all of that we’re really just scratching the surface of the new space. We could tell you about it all day, but you’d be better off just dropping by and seeing it for yourself. We look forward to your visit.
9 Savile Row, W1S 3PF