Someone recently asked me to name my top five favorite designer clothing brands. Sounds easy right? Imagine you could only wear those five brands, meaning they would have to encompass every look and piece in your closet, from casual wear and swimsuits to black-tie events and workout clothes, as well as shoes, jewelry and handbags for good measure. It took me a few days, but I narrowed it down and have my five selected. Among my five, you will find rag & bone. They have been designing clothes for a few years now, but their F/W 2011 sealed the deal. I loved it and have been hooked ever since... rag & bone was founded in 2002 by two Englishmen, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, whose sole intention was to create a line of clothing that their friends would wear. With no formal design training, the fashion neophytes began by making jeans and expanded to menswear in 2004 and womenswear in 2005. The dynamic duo was named Menswear Designers of the Year in 2010, an award given by the CFDA.
Wonder about the moniker? An interesting, and historical, concept delivered the name to the designers. The rag & bone man, found in England over a century ago, was the country's first foray into recycling. He would circle the villages, in a horse and cart, and collect scraps of metal, wood and old furniture that he could reuse. Garbage collection filled the space of the rag & bone man, with very few remaining today. Wanting to tip their hats to his conservation efforts and historical creativity, the men names their company after the age-old working man.
The opening of the Washington, DC store, situated amongst the hustle and bustle of M. Street, was the company's second store opening stateside, its first in Soho. The space, with its clean lines and industrial appeal, exposed brick and two-floor layout, was packed to the gills with VIP DCers. Also in attendance were the rag & bone brand ambassadors and the two designers, fresh off their runway presentation in New York's Fashion Week. The DIY Project focused on the brand ambassadors and found the individuals photographing themselves while wearing rag & bone, doing what they do, everyday. A wearable line of clothes, captured on film, by local residents and tastemakers, an idea as unique and evolutionary as the designers themselves. (As we were leaving the party, Doug and I talked with David Neville for a bit, who was as down-to-earth and as kind as they come. The passion for the brand and his fondness for the space and its new store was apparent and heartwarming.)