Ralph Lauren was the inspiration for The Rake when it launched a decade ago. So it makes perfect sense that to celebrate both the designer’s 50th anniversary and the magazine web site’s 10th birthday that Lauren would be the logical cover subject for the fall issue.
The two brands celebrated their history at an event at the Madison Avenue men’s store on Wednesday night where Wei Koh, The Rake’s founder, said Lauren helped inspire him when creating the mission for his magazine, which is to be “the modern voice of classic elegance.”
But the American-raised, U.K.-based Koh said it’s not only the designer’s timeless fashion that makes him relevant today. He also represents what’s good about America in a time when the country is causing a lot of divisiveness. “What Ralph represents is inclusiveness, hope and optimism,” he said.
To further celebrate the partnership, The Rake also worked with the designer to select his 10 favorite ties from the early years for a limited-edition collector’s set that is available for purchase on The Rake and at select Ralph Lauren stores.
“I’ve always wanted to travel back in a time machine, because I never knew what those ties looked like,” Koh said. So together they worked to create this collection — only 67 of which have been produced — that are numbered, packaged in a leather case and accompanied by a booklet that tells the story of the collection.
“When Wei Koh suggested I create a special 50th anniversary collection of ties with The Rake, it made perfect sense,” Lauren said. “After all, it was a tie that started me on this journey 50 years ago. My ties were different, made out of fabrics that I found myself. They were handmade and, in those early days, Ricky and her parents would sew in the labels. I worked out of a drawer in the Empire State Building, and then I took them to the stores myself wearing my jeans, driving my vintage Morgan. Those ties were more than just ties, they were the beginning of a world and a way of living that I dreamed of and believed in.”
The limited-edition collection retails for $2,600.
The Rake is further celebrating its anniversary in New York this week with events at Turnbull & Asser and Drakes.