Q&A with Michael Hill of Drake's conducted by Derek Guy of StyleForum (Part 1 of 2)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dieworkwear, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

    Messages:
    4,032
    Likes Received:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    

    For some reason this reminds me of the pubic hair knit tie debate from a few months back...
     


  2. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    33,499
    Likes Received:
    8,862
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City


  3. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

    Messages:
    4,032
    Likes Received:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Quite.
     


  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Likes Received:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    

    Naturally, some places have better stuff than others. That goes without saying. But I can't sign onto the implication in this thread that a brand's label can substitute for good taste cultivated from within.

    If you buy Charvet ties, is that good taste? I'd say most of those are horrible. What about Brioni's gaudy ties? Hermes' cute patterns? This number from Jay Kos? This Drake's? Or this handsome specimen?

    Dangerous business, trusting the tastes of others instead of our own.
     


  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    33,499
    Likes Received:
    8,862
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    

    All wonderful examples.
     


  6. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    

    My good doctor, I see that you've decided to be ornery for Christmas. I approve.

    Nevertheless, I stand by what I say: Drakes (or Drake's now, I guess) offers (1) very well made ties that (2) reflect a degree of curation that is excellent. In any given season, Drakes offers nearly all of the basics of the Atlantic style classics in a wide range of appropriate colors, patterns, and widths. And that Atlantic, Anglo-American style comprises not only the soporific but the wild. Their knit silks are unsurpassed. They make fine bows. There are madders. There are slubby Shantungs. There's the tipped and the untipped.

    In a normal store carrying nice items, one in which you walk in and look at physical ties sold at retail, the Drakes rack will always be the smartest. A dud here and there? Sure, but it's not nearly all duds like brands that you name above. And that's it: it's not that Drakes is 100% good; its that so many others are 100% bad (or, if you prefer, 97% bad.) Those are good odds favoring Drakes over, oh, Hermès or Brioni.

    If you are armed with personal good taste, knowledge, and confidence, sure, you could do as well shopping out the best options from historical re-enactment sellers like Ralph Lauren, or if you are unimpressed with marginal differences in the quality of make, Brooks or Press or Silver or Lands' End. You can snipe eBay; you can summon your innner Dr. Seuss and speak for the Yoox. You can seek out that chick on Etsy who weaves her own shephard checks.

    So, how much is this Drakes difference worth? The necktie, the sock, the square: the three are the gateway drugs to get the high, real or only perceived, of possessing the plateau product. Attrition is the main enemy to your wallet among all three.

    That attrition might not disappear with a set of Drakes ties, but I still think your lucre in the form of neckties will find safer harbor there than elsewhere.
     


  7. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,374
    Likes Received:
    4,569
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Well stated, FC...although my only problem with Drakes is their widths. Currently seemingly everything seems to be 7 or 8 cm, whereas I much prefer something around 3.5"/9cm...
     


  8. iroh

    iroh Senior member

    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    The White House
    

    you are trying too hard to convince yourself that spending more money for clothes is worth it. you must be overcompensating for something...
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011


  9. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,502
    Likes Received:
    1,568
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Doc makes a good point, but I agree w/ Vox in the main: the probability is that the designers of a company like Drakes will have better taste than the average guy, or even an above average guy.

    Those with a well-formed sense of personal style are better off not blindly following Drakes or anyone else. But such men are rare. Very few, if any, have good natural instincts for such things. More importantly, no matter how good are one's natural gifts, one will benefit tremendously from the example and teaching of others. Such learning takes a lot of time and effort, and few again have the ability or the inclination to devote such resources to clothes. (Note that nothing has been said about money, which is also required.)

    The same is true for almost anything: sports, music, science, religion. Trusting those regarded as experts is generally a wise move. Of course, trusting is not worshiping. And whom one regards as an expert will change. One may simply outgrow a mentor's ability to teach. Or the mentor may be revealed to be fatally flawed. But even if they aren't perfect, we will always need our mentors, models, saints.

    Imo, Drakes makes some wonderful ties, and along w/ others (Hober, Panta, Vanda, Howard Yount and others) they can definitely be trusted.
     


  10. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,502
    Likes Received:
    1,568
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    
    Actually, I think it's more that here and elsewhere, you are trying too hard to convince yourself that spending money is not worth it. Whether you're compensating for something by this I leave to your conscience.

    Speaking for myself, I am a cheap bastard. Truly. Ask anyone I know. I think long and hard before I spend my money. But imo, relative to the price of other ties, Drakes, etc. are well worth the money. But really such "worth" is relative to one's life situation. If I couldn't put food on the table, ties at any price wouldn't be worth it to me. If I had ten times the income I currently have, I might have ten times the fancy ties I have. Or I might expand my "table" to the global table and spend much more to help feed others. Or maybe a bit of both.

    In any case, I think you're very wrong about Vox. He's not perfect either. But you're way off base with this criticism.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011


  11. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    

    True, but I'm pretty close.
     


  12. iroh

    iroh Senior member

    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    The White House
    Who is this Vox you speak of?
     


  13. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    

    It's really better that you don't know.
     


  14. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Likes Received:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    

    Now that Iroh has thrown in his lot with me, I presume you've seen the error of your ways.

    Fundamentally, I agree with what you say. Drake's makes a nice tie. But I don't think the justification for buying them needs go further than that.

    I would suggest guys would be better off learning about, say, Atlantic style than counting on Drake's to do it for them. Look at all the WAYW train wrecks featuring "tasteful" brands being punished for having been on sale.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011


  15. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

    Messages:
    2,512
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    

    I see what you did there. :satisfied:
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by