rag & bone
American casualwear. English tailoring. Rock and roll swagger.
Like its founders (Marcus Wainwright and David Neville), the name “rag & bone” hails from England. The curious term refers to those 19th century scavengers who collected unwanted rags and scraps of metal or bone to sell during their journeys through the English countryside. Though neither wealthy nor powerful, these individuals were, for the most part, honorable.
Such is rag & bone today. Avant-garde. Masculine. A little rough around the edges. And entirely respectable.
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The English-inspired but NYC-based clothier has spent the last decade and a half reinterpreting key staples in a way that’s informal yet refined. And full of badass swagger. It’s American casualwear elevated by English tailoring with a decidedly rock and roll attitude. Comprised almost exclusively of black, gray, white, and dusty earth tones, every rag & bone collection feels like it could seamlessly integrate into your existing wardrobe (note: it probably can). And yet, every piece is distinctly theirs. Be it their concave buttons, contrasting shirt cuffs, or the desaturated color and unique texture of their knits, it’s hard to misidentify a rag & bone garment once you’re familiar with the brand.
From unique seasonal videos to chunky-soled duck boots, rag & bone just does things a little differently. It’s been that way from the start. Neither Wainwright nor Neville (who first met in boarding school in Berkshire, England when they were 14) had any formal training in fashion design or tailoring before launching the brand. And yet, due to years of hard work, their timeline reads like a dream: move to NYC in 2001, launch in 2002, men’s full collection in 2004, women’s collection the year after, CFDA “new fashion designer” awards in 2006, first retail locations in 2008…and on it goes.
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Now in their 14th year of business, rag & bone is headquartered in a 115-year-old, Meatpacking District building, has several hundred employees, and runs 23 stores across the U.S., as well as stores in London, Tokyo, Japan, and Hong Kong. Wainwright still leads much of the brand’s design while Neville handles the business side of things. From our perspective, it seems to be working. Every men’s collection introduces diverse new takes on ready-to-wear apparel, as well as shoes and accessories that are unmistakably rag & bone. Meanwhile, their core collection of jeans, tees, and oxfords is one of the strongest in the industry. And while being nearly synonymous with upscale urban casual, they even make the occasional appearance on the red carpet (see: Oscar Isaac’s custom tux for the Golden Globes).
All success aside, why does Classfare love rag & bone? There’s just something about this brand that feels effortless. Effortlessly designed and effortlessly worn. The dark and moody muted color palette makes for easy mixing and matching. Soft fabrics and democratic yet tailored cuts drape with a casual refinement that’s much harder to achieve than it looks. Brands like rag & bone make it easy to dress well without having to dress up. Pairing worn-in jeans with a Peruvian cotton tee and unstructured blazer has never been so easy (or looked so good). And if you stick to their black and white basics (of which there are many to choose from) it’s the perfect rocker uniform.
Start with a tee or oxford (and throw in a pair of black Fit 1 jeans if you don’t already have a great pair of super slim black denim). After you’re sold, their jackets and boots are particularly worthy as investment pieces. But once you pull the trigger, just be prepared for the other items in your wardrobe to see a lot more time on the bench.
About the model: Andrew Stonestreet
Andrew Stonestreet has awesome hair, rockstar swagger, and is a producer and the lead singer for Wake Up Cult.
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