The pandemic has caused many brands to rethink their missions and priorities. Rag & Bone is no exception.
“The virus lockdown has highlighted the importance of pieces in my wardrobe that make me feel safe and great; [those] I feel are going to last and last and last,” cofounder and designer, Marcus Wainwright explained over the phone. For Rag & Bone, that translates to, “clothes that mean something and will last. They’re timeless but aspirational pieces that are not generic basics, but have been twisted to wear for years to come. It’s what Rag & Bone came from, perfecting wardrobe pieces.”
While the resort/holiday collection was designed prior to lockdown, this renewed importance meant editing down the assortment into what mattered most — fewer, better pieces that are representative of its history and ethos centered around British tailoring, American workwear and functionality.
In the men’s offering, that translates into a short overcoat in a wide plaid Abraham Moon fabric; Fair Isle sweaters handknit in Ireland; a fleece deck jacket; camo cargo pants, and hoodies in a variety of fabrics including a graphic Fair Isle knit. Denim jeans have been reengineered in overdyed cotton and a two-way stretch with moisture wicking and a trucker jacket is offered in a brushed cotton and cashmere blend.
For the women’s offering, holiday includes a robust array of knitwear — cashmere knit joggers or a mid-length cozy ribbed dress — as well as leather and denim separates, a variety of coats and jackets (from a classic varsity jacket to a leather blazer) and a few little black dresses that purposely leaned more timeless than overtly flashy “holiday occasion dressing.”
Many of the fabrics are recycled and organic and are not designed to be seasonal, but instead “last a lifetime,” he said. With all these pieces, Wainwright said the litmus test was that they had to feel safe, good and comfortable.
Wainwright admitted the pandemic hasn’t been an easy time for the brand, which permanently laid off at least 70 employees and furloughed the staff at its 30 stores in the U.S. He said around 10 to 12 stores have reopened so far and he’s hopeful that business will continue to pick up as customers feel comfortable returning to shop.