Baltzar had the great honour to visit the Drake’s team in London to get a deeper insight into who they are, their story, and exactly what goes into making their world-class ties.
Baltzar is very proud to feature an extensive assortment of ties by Drake’s, the favourite tie-maker to the British royal family. In fact, we have recently improved our wide collection from Drake’s with the latest and most popular accessories to complete your spring look.
Now, let us share with you everything we learned during our visit to their factory on 3 Haberdasher Street, East London.
The Heritage of Drake's
Drake’s is hardly the new kid on the block. This accessory maker has been producing quality items since 1977. Creating timeless pieces with relaxed elegance was the main philosophy of the brand’s co-founder, Michael Drake. Michael initially learned his trade at British outerwear expert Aquascutum, together with his co-founders, Jeremy Hull and Isabel Dickson.
Drake’s started supplying scarves and shawls to luxury brands and boutiques, Ralph Lauren, Burberry and that ilk. Later, Michael decided to branch into the production of ties and accessories as a sideline while simultaneously working as the sole agent for Italian tailoring house Belvest in all English-speaking countries around the world.
The men behind Drake's
In 2010, Michael Hill took over as Creative Director. Having been mentored by the founder for over a decade he has since reignited the brand into a benchmark within the menswear industry. This task was however not undertaken alone. Drake’s was simultaneously acquired by the Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, Mark Cho. Mark’s name will most likely ring a bell for many menswear enthusiasts.
Mr. Cho is the co-founder of The Armoury and holds an impressive track record for other retail projects. He was actually born and raised in London, which could explain his passion for British heritage and style. The Armoury and Drake’s have since day one been run separately, but Drake’s has without a doubt benefited from the famous retailer’s exposure, especially in Asia.
“If we can make the most beautiful product we can, then that’s everything to us”:
Handmade in the United Kingdom
THE HQ AND WORKSHOP
When delving into new product categories such as shirts, Drake’s initially outsourced production to Italy but quickly realised that it was not for them. According to Mr. Hill, producing the finer garments of the collection in England was what gave the brand credibility. This is why ever since, both Cho and Hill have been adamant in keeping most of the brand’s production in-house and in the United Kingdom. It is only the brand’s tailoring, outerwear, and complementary products that are outsourced to specialist producers outside of the UK, mostly through Italy.
Headquarter and workshop on Haberdasher Street, London.
Drake’s has its headquarters and core production in the East End of London and owns a second factory in Somerset. This is why Drake’s is not only associated with being one of the go-to brands for quality accessories, but is also a custodian for British craftsmanship. The brand is, as a matter of fact, the UK’s largest independent producer of neckties, and recently received the Queen’s Award for Export from the Queen herself at Buckingham Palace. At Baltzar we are impressed.
Drake’s does not try to be excessively flamboyant, overly eccentric or most importantly, something other than what it really is. It is a brand that creates timeless products without compromising on quality or construction. A valuation well shared by Baltzar as well.
Materials are sourced from the finest fabric makers in both Italy and England. The company wants its products to be distinctive through interesting designs and easy to wear daily. The collection expresses an interesting mid-point between the rougher and more muted nature of British style, whilst maintaining the softness one would naturally find in Italy.
Every tie is hand-cut in Drake’s local workshop by highly skilled artisans. The technique used allows for the tie to drape elegantly. This is achieved through cutting the fabric at a 45-degree angle, which also helps the tie to maintain its shape after use.
THE FINAL TOUCH
The three different parts of the tie, neck, blade, and tail, are lined with pure wool before sewing on the slipstitch by hand. The reason for a woollen lining instead of cheaper alternatives such as cotton or polyester is because of wool’s ability to restore the tie’s natural shape and to limit its wrinkles. The result is a tie of amazing quality, for what is, when you observe today’s luxury market, a fair price. A quality well worth a place in Baltzar’s selection of accessories.
SHOP DRAKE'S SPRING COLLECTION
And so, it’s time to dive deeper into Baltzar’s wonderland of Drake’s accessories and pick your favourite handmade tie. Will it be a more casual and solid brown tussah tie or a more elegant and formal cashmere silk tie? Gentleman’s choice! Fortunately, we have 32 brand new tie’s in stock to charm your every desire. Order your ties now and secure your spring look today by clicking on the pictures below.