Introducing a collection of painstakingly hand-embroidered ties, made in collaboration with the master embroiderers of Jupe by Jackie.
As even the most casual follower of Drake’s will know, craft is at the heart of what we do. We are proud to be able to say that our ties are still made by hand from start to finish in our factory in East London – a part of town we have called home for forty years. The intricacies of this process, such as the hand-rolled edges, and the slip-stitch – a single piece of thread running the length of the tie, which binds the fabric together around the interlining – are reliant on a type of handwork which is sadly now a rarity in a world of mass-produced garments.
As such, high quality craft and true handwork can be hard to come by, so when we encounter a fellow proponent of these crucial principles we naturally pay attention. Jupe by Jackie – a Netherlands-based brand with a workshop in Uttar Pradesh, India – is nothing if not a champion of craft. Founded in 2010 by the eponymous Jackie Villevoye, Jupe has sought out some of the world’s most skilled hand embroiderers to embellish their range of products. These master embroiderers were found in Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India where this craft is passed down from generation to generation.
A chance meeting between Jackie and our creative director Michael Hill planted the seed of an idea, to create a collaborative collection of embroidered ties: ‘It was at Pitti Uomo, in Florence, that I met Michael, when he came to admire my embroideries,’ Jackie says. ‘When he told me his name, I immediately told him that a collaboration with Drake’s was on my wish list. He was thinking the same thing, so we set up an appointment to make it happen!’
From there, we chose some of our classic silk qualities – repp, grenadine, shantung and cashmere – to act as the canvas to Jupe’s intricate embroidery. Together with Jackie we devised some elegant, timeless motifs – paisleys, medallions and polka dots – which were then applied to the ties by master craftspeople in India. ‘Most of the designs come to life during my stay in India,’ explains Jackie. ‘There, I sit with the master artists, experimenting intensively and devising new techniques. This works much better than drawing a design at my office back home. The inspiration over there is magic.’
The resulting collection is something truly special – a celebration of skill and craft from two separate continents. These are ties to be worn and cherished, for many years to come: ‘A hand-embroidered tie is for life! It’s paying respect to the artist who went through a time-consuming process. Someone who admires these items is an admirer forever – that’s been my experience so far. I think we’ve made a lot of people happy with our embroidery.’