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Off the Record: September 2 2015

From celebrating the work of designer Anthony Gilbert to Stockport indie Jake turning 40, it was a busy week all round.

Anthony Gilbert Lady in a Blue Dress

An illustrated life

The work of reclusive fashion illustrator and designer Anthony Gilbert (1916-95) will be celebrated during London Fashion Week with a show at art dealer Messum’s in Cork Street, Mayfair. Active from the 1940s to 1970s, as well as working for Vogue and House & Garden, Gilbert was the creator oficonic marketing designs for consumer goods, notably the rococo mantel clock for After Eight mints. His wife, Ann, was his muse and usual model. The show runs from 14-25 September.


Ernest Shackleton


UK-made Antarctic heritage

When it comes to heritage credentials, the new Shackleton men’s range is well supplied. Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of celebrated explorer Ernest, is a shareholder in and ambassador for the business, which was set up by brand consultant Simon Middleton last year. The Norfolk-based firm started with knitwear (all British wool and made in England) and this autumn is adding UK-made anoraks, parkas, duffels, reefer jackets, trousers, shirts and fine-knit T-shirts, plus boots made by Cheaney. The Natural History Museum is a stockist for the range, which is inspired by Shackleton’s expedition clothes of 100 years ago.

Rachel Wicks Arcadia 30 under 30


Congrats to rising star Rachel!

Having run our Next Generation event and search for fashion retail’s 30 under 30 talent for six years, here at Drapers Towers we know a future star when we see one. And so does Arcadia, clearly. Its senior resourcing partner Rachel Wicks was chosen as one of our rising stars of 2015 and has just been promoted to community partnership manager. She will still focus on Arcadia’s school work experience programmes, but will now also focus on its charitable ventures, including an involvement in its CSR activity. Well done, Rachel!
We are now seeking Drapers’ 30 under 30 for 2016, when the search will be in its seventh year. To qualify, entrants must work in fashion, be aged 30 or under on January 9 and have a proven track record. Email

Jake Bland Jakes Shoes

Up, up and away

We very much doubt the iconic 1967 hit by the Fifth Dimension inspired it, but Stockport-based footwear independent Jake certainly caught the imaginations of local shoppers when it released 40 prize-laden balloons into the sky to celebrate its 40th year trading. Some great prizes were up for grabs, including 10% discount vouchers, free pairs of Ugg Australia boots, Lelli Kelly Kids shoes and Converse footwear – if only you could catch one. One little boy did but was more interested in the balloon, which he then let go to his poor mother’s dismay. Judging by owner Jake Bland’s smile though, it’s been a milestone worth celebrating.

Patrick Grant AnCoc Whiskey

A man of good taste

As if being designer behind bespoke tailor Norton & Sons and ready-to-wear brand E Tautz, judging BBC Two’s The Great British Sewing Bee and appearing as a Designer at Debenhams doesn’t keep him busy enough, Patrick Grant has now teamed up with AnCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky to collaborate on a limited-edition spirit and its packaging. The Edinburgh-born designer will create the label and packaging for the Scottish whisky brand and is asking the public to tell him what embodies AnCnoc on social media, using #ModernTradition, to inspire the final design. We’ll drink to that!

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