Feels good in the hand, easy on the eyes, incredibly useful, nicely constructed, stylish … yes this is “The Rake”
It seems an odd time to launch a men’s magazine when magazines and newspapers are dropping like flies. But consider the wealth of sartorial brilliance that “Apparel Arts” and “Esquire” gave us in their heyday. And that heyday was…. the 1930’s, in the midst of The Great Depression. Whatever Arnold Gingrich knew, these folks seem to have tapped into it, too. Hard times don’t mean that we have to throw in the sartorial towel.
It would be nice to be really offensively rich. I say that not because The Rake features high-end clothing, shoes, watches and the like, but because it is only distributed in Singapore and Hong Kong and chartering a jet to haul back a box of the magazines to liberally spread around to my friends would be costly. But I’d do it, or at least have FedEx do it, if I could.
Where to start? “The Rake” is sort of like a cross between the late “Men’s Vogue” and the excellent “Esquire’s The Big Black Book.”
The editors take as their role models Gianni Agnelli, Cary Grant, Steve McQueen and Edward, Duke of WIndsor. They seek to educate (how to make a good first impression, “Ask the Tailor”, modern etiquette) and believe in artisanal products that will stand the test of time and give you a good run for your money.
Come to think of it, that may be the best way to describe “The Rake” — educational, handcrafted to stand the test of time and a very big bang for your (SGD) buck.
It is a big publication. Think 200 pages. And the stock! It is printed on a linen effect cover stock, the inside pages must be 20# glossy text (or more.) Full colour, except for the odd fashion shoot of course. Regardless, the photography is top-notch (did I mention that a certain well-known street photographer/blogger‘s work is featured?) You can actually see the clothing, which isn’t always the case with other magazines. The writing is well-done. It is an enjoyable read. When was the last time that you read the articles in a magazine from start to finish? I did. Some of them twice. The advice is spot-on. Imagine a men’s magazine that gives you the knowledge that you need to make sure that your coat and trousers are correctly fitted! Best of all are the features “Pocket Guide” that shows some of the accessories that stylish men haul around each day and the “Rake Incarnate”, which showcases an icon of style. But honestly, there is something in each one of the six sections — Arbiter, Atelier, Academy, Articles, Compendium and Code — that is of considerable interest.
This is truly an elegant publication and if you are lucky enough to be able to get your hands on an issue, treasure it.
My tailor has asked to borrow the two review copies that were sent to me… I hate to let them out of my sight. I wonder if they have a corporate jet…?