Last Wednesday during the Air Canada Centre’s Drake Night Masai Ujiri, the general manager for the team, gave Drake a custom overcoat made from cashmere which was lined with a Number 6 OVO alternate jerseys that were black and gold. This has become a tradition but what started it and why does Drake receive these jackets?
It all started in 2013, when Drake wanted a custom suit for a New Years Eve party at P. Diddy’s place. Drake went to the top bespoke tailor in the city of Toronto Garrison Bespoke in order to get the custom suit he wanted, and they have been his go to place ever since. Drake discussed a custom suit to wear to the inaugural Drake Night for the Raptors held in January 2014.
According to Garrison Bespoke head of special projects David Tran “What we generally do at Garrison is we find ways to really make every suit represent the man that’s wearing it. We try to think a little bit deeper. We find out how they grew up, what music they listen to, those sorts of things.”
When Tran found out that Drake was a big fan of Vince Carter when he Canadian rapper was younger Tran worked with his team to obtain a rare jersey, and it apparently was not easy to get the Vinsanity rookie item. Tran stated “[Drake] was ecstatic, but even his first comment was, ‘How did you find the jersey?'” Drake loved the jacket so much that he showed off the inside as well as the outside at a press conference the very night that he received the jacket. Tran said that there was some surprise when Drake showed the lining, saying “[The lining] was meant to be his little secret, something we made for him. But it was really exciting for us to see the jacket all over the news the next day.”
After the custom jacket made such a stir in the news Garrison Bespoke was contacted by the Raptors to produce another custom item. This time the team wanted a black jacket that had a red #6 jersey lining and that included the slogan “We the North.” This jacket was given to Drake when the team opened in October of last year. The fabric of second custom jacket, a weaved fabric which allowed incredible movement, was also copied for several Raptor players and Garrison Bespoke made matching trousers.
Tran explained the jacket tradition by saying “[The Raptors] wanted to make Drake a special gift. It’s a tradition now, but he doesn’t actually expect it, so they always surprise him with something fun and unique.” This year on Drake Night the Raptors outdid themselves, setting up a Hotline Bling booth and presenting Drake with another Garrison Bespoke custom piece. This time Drake received a Cashmere overcoat valued at around $25,000. Tran explained the cost was due to the vintage cashmere fabrics used which were sourced in England at one of the top fabric mills on Earth.
Garrison Bespoke receives requests for items that are similar to Drakes custom jackets. The company offers each client the “ultimate couture experience” but the price can run in the thousands of dollars. Tran believes the annual tradition between Drake and the Raptors will continue and he said “It feels really good to know we made something special. It’s a really unique way to show Toronto pride and Raptors pride—in an unexpected, classy way.”