As legend has it, Rag & Bone came about because founders David Neville and Marcus Wainwright couldn’t find a suitable pair of jeans in New York City. After scouring retail stores, they decided to simply make their denim themselves, and out of their frustration, a label was born. In 2002, they began manufacturing denim in a Kentucky factory and their first line launched officially in 2004. Rag & Bone, they called their new label, after the Englishman who pack-rats unwanted things.
Neville and Wainwright were not designers by training; instead they had their start in investment banking and nightclub-dancing. They met in boarding school as teenagers and led parallel lives, attending University together and meeting up in various cities around the world.
It was only when Marcus Wainwright, a New York transplant from London, desperately wanted a pair of dark-wash denim that the two found themselves learning the craft of clothing manufacture in a Kentucky apparel factory. It took them 2 years, but they finally released a line of menswear in the spring of 2004. A women’s wear line followed soon thereafter, and subsequent accessories, shoes and children’s wear hit the market in years to come.
Now Rag & Bone has an office in the Meatpacking district, a staff and a clothing line worn by Angelina Jolie, Jude Law and Brad Pitt. Wainwright and Neville travel the world and party with rock stars. Their company long since exceeded its menswear roots and now proudly sells to any demographic from its website and in retail stores. You can find Rag & Bone apparel in Barney’s and Bergdorf’s, as well as in various Rag & Bone boutiques in New York City.
Neville and Wainwright are in their 30s, the sort of handsome that comes with an attitude. They work well together, dividing the labor; Neville handles most of the business and Wainwright designs the clothes. In 2007, Rag & Bone won a CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear. In 2010, Neville and Wainwright were named Menswear Designers of the Year by CFDA. They now live with their respective families in New York.
Their style is hip and casual, easy to throw on and run out the door (if running out the door in $400 jean is the sort of thing you do). For women, there are a lot of scarves and shades, flowy fabrics and tight, tight jeans. For men, it’s tight t-shirts and dark jeans, cardigans and hipster button-downs.
So if you’re thinking rock-star chic or hipster casual, if you’re looking for something to wear to the discotheque, or maybe just to stroll around Williamsburg, consider checking out Rag & Bone. You’ll find high-quality jeans, colorful tops and a whole lot of attitude.