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Deco-Industrial: The Rake x Mo Coppoletta Collaboration

Posted 13.10.17  - Craft

What was seen initially as an unexpected collaboration between two respective industries has blossomed in to an ongoing partnership with Mr. Mo Coppoletta, owner of The Family Business tattoo salon in Exmouth Market, and The Rake, a friend to both establishments and barometer for modern luxury.

This year we have collaborated with Coppoletta and The Rake once more, following the success of our previous project culminating in the ‘Furious Eagle’ pocket square and the sartorial ‘Mega-Square.’ This latest partnership, Deco-Industrial, sees the creation of three denim shirts, each of which are stand-out pieces in their own right. “It made sense for the next collaboration to be in the area of shirts,” says Head of Design, Dean Gomilsek-Cole, “as we are renowned for our skills in this area and we had plenty of ideas left over from our initial discussions. Mo and I had been looking at many different inspirations from industrial shipyards to art deco and old propaganda posters, and if you look closely at the design you will see many of these ideas hidden within Mo’s artwork.”

Gomilsek-Cole decided on three styles of shirt to showcase the design. The first, an “informal, slimmer-fitting shirt featuring our classic T&A collar and signature three button cuff, showing our shirt craft and Mo’s artwork in their purest forms.” The second, a 1950s short-sleeved style featuring a distinct resort-style collar designed to be worn open; and the third style being an evening shirt with a hand-pleated front panel.

Inspired by the docklands and factories of the 18th Century movement, Coppoletta discusses the thought process behind his designs. “The Industrial Revolution began in England and most of the technical innovations of this period were English in creation. I wanted to create artwork that evoked steel beams, construction, steam engines, docks - things that forged the future. I looked at the Italian futurist painters like Balla and Boccioni and incorporated that rhythm and surface tension into my design.” Opting to use denim, the material itself is an additional nod to work and labour, with a natural association to the Industrial Revolution.

“We used a higher end variation of denim that uses two-fold 120s yarn, which is unusual to find in denim, to give the shirt a robust yet elegant feel.” Gomilsek-Cole says, “Once worn in, the shirts will have a superior softness but will remain strong due to the longer-staple yarn cotton we used to weave the cloth.” Due to the subtle colour variations and intricate detail of Coppoletta’s artwork, each colour needed to be laser etched on to a separate drum in order to create the overall piece. The artwork appears to be obscured at first due to the deep indigo of the shirts, but the more you wash them, the more the design is revealed. “These are more than shirts - they are living artworks.”

The T&A x Mo Coppoletta range will be available soon online and via

Ruby Burns - T&A Editorial Team

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