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From Rags To Riches

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They may have earned their New York cred—and become, in the process, Yanks fans to boot—but Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright are English boys at heart. “There is a kind of anonymity being here that I really relish,” says Neville, who described his childhood as “classic English boarding school” at a dinner on native soil last night. “When we first landed in America, we wound up in the Midwest, where people would ask us to speak just so they could hear our accents. We certainly don’t get that here in London.”

The duo was in town to celebrate the line’s being picked up by Liberty of London, whose head buyer, Ed Burstell, called it an emblem of “downtown cool.” Guests like Poppy Delevingne and Liberty’s CEO, Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye, listened intently as Neville described the odyssey of the brand, including an explanation of how they arrived at their name. ” ‘Rag and Bone’ basically means a peddler selling odds and ends,” says Neville, who often has to explain it in the U.S., where the expression isn’t much used. “We felt that pretty much described us in the beginning.”

No one would accuse them of being rag peddlers now. Toasted by Liberty with a sumptuous five-course dinner—complete with fine wines and liveried waiters—the boys were feeling flush, too. Guests left with the mother of all goody bags: a scented candle (lovely), a cashmere snood, and a Rag gift certificate for a whopping £500. If word of that generosity gets out, they won’t stay anonymous on this side of the Atlantic for long.

Photo: Marcio Madeira

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