Fashion was a second career for Rag & Bone cofounders Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, but the New York-based Brits, who started making cult denim, now oversee one of the world’s hottest lifestyle brands. It’s a very American tale, the kind Ralph Lauren could relate to.
The duo approached the Kentucky Apparel factory to produce their first denim collection in 2002, employing craftsmen whose process was essentially unchanged for the last 50 years. It would become a bedrock of the Rag & Bone approach: cuts and fabrics reflective of our time, but a construction and utility that evokes an earlier one.
These days the Rag & Bone gents, who also oversee a thriving women’s line, are pushing beyond their early workwear influences, drawing on everything from surf culture to cholo gangsters to Samurai. It’s working: last year they won Menswear Designer of the Year from the CFDA.