Angel Ramos and Stephen Schweickart, the founders of Angel Bespoke who are set to rebrand their business as 18th Amendment, select a few highlights from their personal style collections.
Here at The Rake, we’re all for tradition. More often than not, the world’s greatest shoemakers, tailors and shirtmakers have several hundred years of history behind them. Nevertheless, sometimes it pays to break the mould. Angel Bespoke have done just that. Founded in 2013 by Angel Ramos and Stephen Schweickart, the pair have built a modern custom tailoring business in New York with a cult following that loves the house’s confident designs, bold use of colour and sharp pattern work. Now they are embarking on a new challenge, rebranding Angel Bespoke to 18th Amendment, and, in the process, changing their approach to tailored menswear.
There is a distinct sense that their rapid success comes from Angel’s and Stephen’s characteristically American ambition. “When I founded Angel Bespoke,” Angel says, “I didn’t have nearly the experience you’re supposed to have — but I just knew I loved classic clothing.” Stephen’s attitude is equally pragmatic. “I can’t stand sloppiness. Gaining an appreciation for tailored clothing really did change my life,” he says. What, then, passes for a perfect watch or wallet in the eyes of these two? Let’s find out.
Angel’s bloodstone ring has been in his family for generations. “I’ve had the ring for as long as I can remember, even before it would fit on any of my fingers,” he says. “It’s an heirloom that my great-grandfather wore, going back to around 1900.”
- “I got the passport cover in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is actually where Stephen and I met, playing baseball at Liberty College,” Angel says. “There’s a place there called Moore & Giles. It’s one of the oldest leather companies in America, founded in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression and the end of Prohibition. The glasses are actually a part of one of my collections. I love vintage frames from the eighties and nineties.”
- The watch is an IWC Portugieser Chronograph Angel won 10 years ago as a prize for being named ‘best dressed real man’ by Esquire. The tan watch strap makes quite the statement. He says: “I found this strap in Florence three years ago. I was wandering around the city with my wife, and we came upon this little shop on some random street.”
- Stephen’s shirt collar is an unusual design: a button-down with the look of a spread. “We call it our ‘hybrid collar’, and it’s really the first collaboration between Angel and I. I wanted to be able to go from my boat in shorts to an elegant dinner on the beach without changing my shirt.”
- Stephen’s ring shares a similar story to Angel’s. “This ring also belonged to my great-grandfather — it’s got great sentimental value to me. The tie tack is actually from my mother’s side of the family. Her dad wore it a lot and it was passed down to me. Family is hugely important to both of us.”
- We’re pleased to see that Stephen appreciates the value of pen and ink. “I found this notebook at a street market in Seattle. It was just important to feel something real. The leather. The paper. It was an old-school counterbalance to everything else going on in my life.”
- This bag is Stephen’s trusty travel companion. “It’s been used as everything from a pillow to a step stool,” he says. “It’s from Saddleback Leather. The brand’s motto is, ‘They’ll fight over it when you’re dead’. I believe it, too.”