rag & bone Official Store. Looking for clothing made in the USA? Try Rag & Bone. Rag & Bone is another one of those improbable success stories, and another place that manufactures and sells clothing made in the USA. Their first stores, which opened in 2008 is in the West Village of New York City, a couple of blocks west of Greenwich Village. The store at 100 Christopher Street (The Mens Store) and 104 Christopher Street (The Womens Store) are situated in this well preserved block of historic brick houses and buildings from the 1800s. When you walk into the store, there is an ambiance of quaintness and “rustique” – back to a time when things were less rushed and less complex. The stores are of modest size, caertainly when you compare them to present day superstores. All of these elements add to the shopping experience. The Mens store carries suits, pants, shoes, belts and accessories. The Womens store carries tops, blouse, dresses and accessories as well. In regards to the percentage of US Made, I would say about 60% is US made in the Men’s store, and 30% in the Women’s store.
The Style of Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone’s niche: “Affordable apparel, but with a high-end designer point of view.” Their clothes are made to last. Quality before fashion. The clothes are made to stay in your closet for 10 to 20 years from now. They have a talent for taking that which is timeless and making it cool. I purchased a pair of brown pants – the kind of brown color you do not see in modern day pants, but more like in the 1800s, they tailored the length for me and shipped them to my home address (no sales tax in New York, if they have no store near you) and now they are my favorite pants. They are casual (with the button up fly) yet not jeans, and very comfortable. It is kind of the “Noveau Retro” look that has been so popular the past few years (some would say they are reinterpreting the classics.) Many of their shirts or blazers have a special je ne sais qua: unique buttons on them manufactured from companies that have made buttons since 1812, such as Waterbury Button; or special trimmings or trim which may them great for layering.
Rag & Bone have the two stores in West Village as I mentioned above, but also in SOHO, 119 Mercer Street (both Men & Women’s Store). There are two other women’s store in New York – the upper West Side at 182 Columbus Avenue and, also, 73 E. Houston Street in Houston, New York City. They have now expanded outside of the Big Apple to Washington D.C. and the most recently opened store is located in Tokyo, Japan. Rag & Bone clothing can also be found in many of your upper end department stores: Barneys, Bergdorf- Goodman, Bloomingdales, Nieman-Marcus and Nordstroms. Just don’t expect to see tons of their clothes, as quality is still important, unlike many very rich designers that have moved all their mass produced clothing to slave shop factories. (Who needs a conscience when you got money?) (I know the rebuttal to that: you can’t blame the designer and their MultiNational corporations, blame the people who buy them. Yes, both are at fault, although I am hoping that more clothing will be manufactured here and people will stop buying items made from slave labor.)
The Story of Rag & Bone
First, Rag & Bone is an English term meaning junk or waste, like in a junkyard. So, from that clue, you can assume the owners of Rag & Bone are English, and you would be absolutely correct for $200, Alex. The co-founders, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, first met at a Boarding school in Berkshire, but did not become fast friends until during a gap year, where they both worked at a bar in Portugal. During one of their more productive conversations, they lamented that they could not find any decent denim, and it was from this void that they decided that they were going into the business of making denim that would appease their tastes and sensibilities. (It is kind of like Tom Ford, who couldn’t find suits that would fit him correctly, so he decided to make suits for himself and voila, fashion-designer genius). The first and most immediate problem was that neither had any experience in making, designing or selling clothes. No problem – they went to the U.S. to learn the craft themselves. They visited Kentucky Apparel (now closed) to learn how they manufactured first line jeans. The next step was to move to New York City and start Rag and Bone, that was in 2002. At first, the clothing was only for men and it was denim. Then, at the urging of their wives, they started making a women’s clothing line as well. After a while, denim took a back seat to other materials. They became more and more successful, they: opened their first store in 2008; now have their own model runway shows; have hired some of the top models to display some of their wares; opened up additional stores, including Tokyo; have their designs appearing in multiple fashion magazines; and have even appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show.
From main designer Marcus Wainwright; “Rag & Bone is a function of our English upbringing, wearing uniforms at school and my dad’s handed – down tailor – made suits. This is coupled with where we started making clothes, which was in very old American workwear factories. The source of the aesthetic is English tailoring meets military and workwear.”
Give Rag & Bone a peek, better yet visit the store on 100 Christopher Street in the West Village in New York City to get the full effect.
“I love things that age well – things that don’t date, that stand the test of time and that become living examples of the absolute best.” – Giorgio Armani