New Work: Drake’s
William Russell and John Rushworth and their teams have collaborated on the branding and store design for Drake’s gentlemen’s outfitters. The store at No. 3 Clifford Street is the first ever Drake’s shop and opened in May this year.
The challenge for this established manufacturer who had previously sold their wares online and wholesale was to create a brand presence in an area containing already well renowned and long established brands.
The interiors brief was to replicate the quality and craftsmanship of Drake’s products in store. To this end Russell and his team clad the walls in European walnut paneling with a herringbone parquet pattern and brass detailing. The paneling provides a rich backdrop to the product as well as concealing shelving for the stock. The team decided to enhance the history of the building by sanding down the existing oak flooring and applying an ultra mat varnish which contrasts well with the richness of the walnut paneling.
The centerpiece of the store is a specimen cabinet used to store cufflinks and bow ties, which originally hailed from the Natural History Museum and was sourced from the architectural reclamation company Retrouvius. The specimen cabinet is lined with a commissioned illustration by Adam Dant. Around this central piece Pentagram designed solid walnut contemporary furniture, some pieces using reclaimed limestone from the floor of Heathrow, Terminal 2. Russell was keen to use reclaimed materials for their patina of age as well as because their use fitted in with Drake’s ethos. The original fireplace was reinstated and a mantelpiece installed. This eclectic mix of old and new ties in well with the traditional yet contemporary nature of Drake’s styling. The use of a specimen cabinet adds a quirky, not too serious touch to the interior. Changing rooms are screened by red leather curtains.
The exterior of the store is clad in blue tiles, which not only complement the red brick of the building but tie in with the Imperial Blue of the branding. The entrance features a solid oak door with glass insert etched with the Drake’s crest. All fittings are in brass and at the threshold a brass strip is engraved with ‘Tie makers and purveyors of fine English silks’. The store is given greater prominence on the street by the presence of traditional blue awnings.