March 11, 2013 – Charleston, SC – Social Primer, founded by K. Cooper Ray, is pleased to announce its first tailored clothing collection, SP Smoking, on March 22. On the heels of five successful seasons designing the Social Primer for Brooks Brothers collection, Ray is debuting a line of tuxedo separates and accessories that is an ode to the city of Charleston and the social swirl that surrounds its winter formal season.
An invitation to the winter formal of young Peter Ashley (the protagonist of Charleston’s DuBose Heyward’s novel of the same name and Ray’s muse for the collection) sets the tone for a menagerie of ensembles that take this young aristocrat from waterfowl hunting in the marshes to winter formals in the ballrooms of historic homes. With SP Smoking, Ray welcomes you into his refined world of cocktail parties and cotillions. “With Charleston as the backdrop and Peter Ashley as the muse, I was inspired to create a collection of formal wear that can be worn all four seasons – it’s impeccably tailored and crafted from fabrics that wear beautifully dancing the shag in summer or foxtrot in the fall.”
Although he plays with the boundaries of traditional tuxedo attire by introducing midnight blue, ‘Reagan red’ and oyster in his suiting, Ray remains true to the hallmark of evening wear, the black tie. It is always black and ties proudly at the neck. In addition to ties made from his signature silk Repp stripe, Ray will introduce evening slippers, needlepoint cummerbunds and silk Repp boutonnieres along with whimsical accoutrements featuring the brand’s signature chanticleer. The SP Smoking separates include jackets, trousers, waist and top coats that play with pattern – from aristocratic tartan to the utilitarian camouflage.