Originally Posted by Braker
Greetings SFers, Christian Barker here, editor-in-chief of The Rake. Just wanted to drop in, say hello, thank you for reading The Rake, and let you know that we have been looking in on this thread periodically to take note of your comments on the magazine. We do take your feedback seriously – to wit, I’d be very happy to receive criticism (or, heck, even compliments) directly. You need only PM me via SF, or drop me an email – my email address is listed on the magazine’s credits page, and on our website. Wei Koh and I have also been discussing holding drinks sessions / group discussions with SFers in Singapore and Hong Kong (and further down the track, London, NY, and elsewhere), as we’d value your opinions on how we might refine the magazine to better serve our readers – and perhaps, may also be able to help you better understand certain of our editorial decisions. If anyone’s interested in meeting up, please do get in touch. Finally, we’re opening up something of a “speakers’ corner” in the magazine – a page that will be known as A SINGLE VENT. Basically, it’ll be an offline forum where one reader per issue is given free rein to vent on a sartorial topic of their choosing. Submissions are open: email me 500 words or less and we’ll consider your copy for publication. All the best, and again, thanks for reading The Rake. --Christian Barker
Christian, thank you for posting, and welcome. I enjoy your magazine, and unlike many of the occasional readers but full-time bellyachers
here have actually put my money where my mouth is and purchased a 2 year subscription. I still stand by my comments made earlier in this thread, that I do not refer to your magazine for recommendations on what to try/buy per se
, but rather use it as a somewhat lavish lookbook. Here are some further comments. ALL IMO: 1.
At times various issues have had a central sartorial theme - the shirt, the double breasted jacket, go to hell style, sprezz, etc. Keep this up - there are so many more options: the knit tie, the chesterfield, the full brogue, the briefcase, etc. I would recommend that you take a cue from the Japanese men's magazines and stuff your magazines full of what I call 'practical stuff'. Advice on matching, advice on garment care/storage, advice on selection, advice on the various difference between the various offerings from various companies, etc. E.g. if there was - say, a feature on "The Full Brogue" - photographs of the various offerings from Santoni, Berluti, Church, Trickers, C&J, EG, Lobb P, Lobb, Cleverley, etc comparing lasts, colour, finishing, etc would be INVALUABLE
, and would vault you into a whole new league. 2.
Take a leaf from LEON, and remember always that to KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE CLOTHES
. It's no use mentioning in size 7 font in the lower left corner that there were a pair of Cleverleys there if... they are out of focus or completely absent from the photo because they are hidden behind a prop of some sorts. 3.
That's not saying your focus should be narrow and restricted to clothes only - interests salient to 'a rake' are great and fair fodder. Recognise that your readers are as likely to care as much about the heritage/history of a company as they do about its products. The Daytona article was IMO great, perhaps another one on vintage watches would be fantastic, as would more the history of
type articles on more iconic items of clothing or accessories - the Omega Seamaster, Rolex bubbleback, the AO Royal Oak, the Hamilton Pacer, stuff like that. Tie it in at the end with the present by ending off with the manufacturer's present descendants/offerings to keep your advertisers happy. Which is a fine line to walk, because... 4.
...you need to please stop the poorly disguised pure advertising slash puff pieces. They are embarrassing and only discredit your magazine. e.g. the article about Church was a little over the top, the one about the BOSS TAILORED LINE was definitely over the top, and so is the article on Prada in the current issue. And don't get me started on the one on Ralph Lauren timepieces... 5.
Make sure your proofreaders scan the content
, not just the prose
. You may pull the wool over the eyes of your dilettante readers, but you will alienate your more knowledgeable ones. I remember this photo of a 'master tailor' conducting a 'bespoke fitting' who had pinned what must have 1.5" from each
shoulder and another perhaps full inch in the centre back seam on a completed
jacket. Anyone who has been to a bespoke fitting knows that isn't what happens. Alteration of poorly fitting RTW - maybe. Bespoke - no. 6.
Nix the little photo gallery section at the end. I very much doubt that many readers care about, let alone attended, the Prada opening at Shanghai. This bit strikes me as very oh look at us honey we're in an issue of The Peak - we're important!
- and is out of step with the rest of the magazine. 7.
The more avant garde bits are a good idea in theory, but featuring clothes that are unwearable by 99% of the general population (and possibly 100% of readers of The Rake) and photographed badly, is a... bad idea
. "Dior's Allure"...? No, not really. What was that? Unwearable and distinctly non-rakish clothing on 'men' more fey than Christian Siriano with what can perhaps be best described as Impressionist photography? That article would have been great... in Dazed & Confused maybe, but not
The Rake. Anyway, that's just my 2c worth. I'm in for the long haul, and am keeping my hopes up.