Elliott Rampley is a man of many talents, he’s been in the digital marketing industry for years; however, what caught our eye is his latest business endeavour - a fashionable pocket squares boutique with a
Elliott Rampley is a man of many talents, he’s been in the digital marketing industry for years; however, what caught our eye is his latest business endeavour – a fashionable pocket squares boutique with a character and undeniably unique approach. We’ve caught up with Elliott for a chat to find out what exactly drives him to create such beautifully-crafted square pockets.
Considering your professional background, what made you decide to start this endeavour?
To give you some background, I run a digital marketing and social media consultancy on a day to day basis with my business partner Simon. We focus on high end brands and personally I’ve worked in the luxury sector for a number of years which has always required dressing to a high standard. I’ve always worn pocket squares and had a passion for men’s fashion and so a couple of years ago started to look around online for more information on men’s accessories as well as new products and styles. Although there were a lot of people producing pocket squares at this stage, I never felt that one brand really stood out to me and in fact a lot of companies were just producing very similar product along the lines of paisley, polka dots and flat colours (wardrobe essentials but not necessarily inspiring). Conversely, the creativity and experimentation seen in women’s scarves has been truly sensational ever since Hermès started producing them in 1937 and it seemed a shame to me that nobody had produced something similar for the pocket square market given that fundamentally it’s a very similar product at a smaller size. Nobody will doubt there has been a huge resurgence in the trend of wearing pocket squares in recent years and it’s a guaranteed way to lift an outfit and get noticed. Therefore, given my passion for the product and our marketing backgrounds, I convinced my business partner that there was an opportunity to create products that are both beautiful and truly unique.
What was the main inspiration for the product?
Ever since the idea of the brand was conceived, we’d wanted to focus on how we could utilise artists and how this could combine with everyday men’s fashion. I’ve always adored the Tate collection in London, a truly unbelievable institution, and have been going there ever since I was taken there by my mother as a young boy. This seemed the perfect place to draw some inspiration for where to take the brand and it was upon going that we started to identify certain paintings we thought would actually work perfectly as standalone squares, without any alteration. At this stage we made approaches to the Tate and chose three paintings with which to launch our Fine Art Collection, the lead collection for the launch of the brand. To do something so truly unique while supporting one of London’s greatest art galleries (a percentage of all sales goes directly to the Tate) was a superb feeling and we felt a fitting way to launch the brand.
What’s your outlook on the modern fashion for men?
I think the most exciting thing in recent years is that a lot of the stigma around men wanting to take care of how they look is disappearing. Personally, I think this is down to the advent of digital and the accessibility men now have to a variety of styles, products and looks at the click of a button. Social media has allowed distinct communities of fashion conscious men to pop up and people no longer appear to be embarrassed by looking good. On top of this, e-commerce has opened people up to menswear brands from around the world and you are no longer limited to what is found on the British high street. I find the fact that I can be introduced to a brand new tie manufacturer in New York through Instagram and then purchase that product within minutes truly fantastic. On top of this, the most exciting thing for me is the number of small British menswear brands, especially in London, popping up and thriving. This is usually down to a combination of the level of craftsmanship, a lot of interest locally and then global sales caused through social media buzz. It’s certainly an exciting time to be involved in the industry!
What makes you different from other pocket square designers?
There are still a few great manufacturers out there but what makes us different from the vast majority is that we’re trying to do something completely different in the space whilst showing massive attention to detail with the product throughout the process. We took a great deal of time identifying the specific paintings we were going to use and even longer to find the right silk printers, eventually choosing Adamley in Macclesfield, an excellent supplier with a great and rich history. This range is 100% silk and all are hand rolled but what we find more wonderful than anything is that they become a real talking point because of the amount of information and content around each individual painting. I’ve had comments on the square I’m wearing at every single social occasion I’ve attended since we launched in December and people are truly captivated when you take it out and talk them through the details and origins of the artwork. A final point of difference is that we carry out bespoke work for private clients and are working on a number of commissions at the moment to create one-off squares that will all be a one of a kind based on their requirements and preferences.
Do you hope to expand the line into other garments?
Our focus for now is purely on pocket squares as it’s what we love and we’re a relatively new brand. However, we have discussed expansion and we’ll certainly be looking into other accessories over the course of the coming year with a view to 2016.
What could be expected from the future collections and design direction?
I can’t say too much just yet other than we have a couple of very exciting projects coming up as well as being in discussion with a number of partners so definitely watch this space…
What was the best ever style advice you’ve ever gotten and could you share it with our readers?
One piece of advice that has always stuck with me since I was a child was when a family member once told me that ‘you can tell a lot about a man by the shoes that he wears’. I’ve heard it in a number of places since but it’s always stuck with me and, although I’m of course very passionate about the impact of pocket squares, I think there’s really no stronger element of an outfit to determine how you’re perceived by those around you than a finely crafted pair of shoes.