After a wonderful year (or thereabouts) down the road, we wanted to expand our space and further the vision for the Drake’s Open Studio in New York. Located in a prime spot, on 327 Canal, our brand new shop delivers just that. A large, bright and beautifully curated new home in the city, built from scratch by the Drake’s team and some of our long-standing friends and partners, feauturing a full Drake's offering, with an increased focus on tailoring, and a rotating programme of art, collaborations and New York exclusives all in the piepline.
“The concept takes inspiration from the functional fittings of the artist studios that once used to occupy the buildings of Soho & Tribeca,” says George Massoud, one of the founding partners of Studio Abroad, the architecture and design firm behind several Drake’s stores, including 9 Savile Row. “Canal street is iconic and is still home to many shops that supply materials and industrial products - in fact the flooring at 327 is from Canal Rubber, a few doors down.
“We worked with the history of the context, and the world of industry behind the clothes: the elements of industrial spaces, their storage units, trolleys and materiality,” adds George. “327 is down the road and will continue to host a diverse programme in a bigger, more versatile space! The installations at Canal Street spin, slide and pivot to allow for the varied occasions. Proprietary industrial trolleys, platforms and storage units have been manipulated to display and arrange the collection. More permanent features like the reception bar invites the community to socialise and hang out. The new made-to-order pavilion transports you to our flagship in Savile Row with a bespoke display of suits!”
Alongside George and the team at Studio Abroad, we worked with our friend Yudai Kanayama, best known for being one of New York’s hottest restaurateurs, the man behind Drake’s favourite, Dr. Clark, in Chinatown, but that’s just the beginning of his talents. Yudai has set up his own building firm titled, simply, Serious Construction Company. We wanted some serious construction done, so we asked Yudai to make it happen. Below are Yudai’s Ten Commandments for doing great, and serious, construction business.
1. Never waste time but enjoy lunch and coffee time
2. Never escape
3. Never lie
4. Never betray
5. Never yell at customers
6. Never fight
7. Never rip off
8. Customer first
9. Safety second
10. Love and respect
For the fittings and original cabinets at 327 Canal, we turned to our friend KG MacKinnon and Līmen Studios, a Brooklyn-based design and fabrication studio. KG AND the Līmen team custom made many of the cabinets and fittings that you’ll see throughout the Drake’s Open Studio. “I was drawn to the immediacy of the materials for this project,” says KG. “The industrial steel blues and raw birch veneers feel humble and direct, we wanted to maintain those qualities while elevating them with clean lines, soft transitions and attention to craft. I really appreciate how tactile the space is, it’s casual and energetic but still feels sophisticated."
“The key to bespoke woodworking is planning, adds KG. "Every job is a new challenge and the quality of the work is always determined by how well we plan for and visualise the challenges in order to discover the most clever solutions. I can be really obsessive, but laboring over when, and how, to reveal or highlight a process, or a detail, anticipating how the materials will interact and patina in the space over time are what makes the work not only seem effortless, but also what makes it truly yours in the end.”
Finally, we sourced vintage furniture from the good people at Lichen in Queens and asked the brilliant Christopher Fenimore to take the photos that you'll see below of the Drake's Open Studio, now that it’s ready for business. We hope that you enjoy visiting us at our new home on Canal and we can’t wait to keep building.