Conversations The Bureau

The Bureau: The Rake's Aleks Cvetkovic

By Drake's

Jul 13, 2022

The Bureau: The Rake's Aleks Cvetkovic

Online Editor, Style and Craft Writer

I've always been interested in classic style and heritage brands. As a teenager I was desperate to work on Savile Row in some capacity, I still have a dream of owning a bespoke tailors and building up the business one day. To get myself a foot in the door (or doors) along Savile Row, I founded a blog entitled 'Thoughts of a Student Tailor' during my first year at University. This became 'The Sartorial Journal' when I graduated but its now long gone. I used the blog to reach out to, meet with and write about as many tailors and craftsmen as I could - both in Britain and overseas, I told the stories behind just about every tailor and shoemaker of note in London. Approaching finals, I realised that in spite of all this, I hadn't got myself a job on The Row. Fortunately, fate intervened and I met The Rake's Founder and Fashion Editor at an fashion show early in the summer. They were generous enough to take a few minutes to talk with me and I was offered an internship in the brand new London office a few days later. That was two years ago and I've been writing on luxury menswear ever since.

Craftsmanship has always held a fascination for me. I love the genuine quality and perspective that goes into artisanal products. Tailoring in particular fascinates me because its a proper geek's fiefdom - I could talk about shrinking canvasses and swelling edges all day. I am also drawn to those craftspeople that take an artistic approach to what they do. When you find an object, whether it be a pair of shoes or a leather-bound book that a craftsperson has used to express himself with, it ceases to be a mundane object. It takes on a character and energy of its own. Those things in life which are truly luxurious are inevitably made by people that pour a little part of themselves into each and every piece that they create, who treat their work as an art form and approach it with love and care. Luxury has nothing to do with expense, and everything to do with tangible quality.

Drake’s ticks all of the above boxes; its uncompromising, passionate, handmade product and there's nothing else like it in luxury menswear. I've tried dozens of tie makers, and there's no comparison for the quality of silk used, the quirkiness of cloth and pattern, the solidity or the handle of a Drake's tie. They knot and recover beautifully and behave themselves for year after year of use. Drake's shirting is the same story, I only got into Drake’s shirts at the start of this year, but I love the combination of comfort, easy-styling and softness of collar and cuffs that the Drake’s workshop achieves. These are products which feel like they have been made by craftspeople, and that is a rare thing.

I'm very lucky to have had a number of suits made by Edward Sexton, and the first ever time I went in to be measured up, Edward didn't hold back. One shouldn't expect anything less of a bespoke-legend really should they? I was wearing a pair of very old, rather strange trousers that were cut too high and were a little too short. Edward's opening gambit over my shoulder to one of his tailors was 'bloody funny pair of trousers he's wearing' - which I'll never forget.

I’ve made sartorial faux pas plenty of times, I think everyone does. Last summer, I turned up to a boat party (as one does), being genuinely the only person to have not got the Black Tie memo. I arrived clad in a battered-up navy silk smoking jacket (which I call my 'aged rockstar' jacket), an open-necked navy linen shirt, plenty of man-jewellery, midnight blue mohair-linen trousers and dark blue suede slippers. The plan was to look louche and sexy but in a room full of penguin suits I just looked like an arse. I'm not sure if I did recover. I just drank lots of champagne.

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