by Karen Alberg Grossman

The entire MR team is proud to present our August 2023 issue. Haven’t gotten your copy, yet? Feel free to page through a digital copy at Issuu, and we’ll continue to post individual stories on If you haven’t been getting MR in print, be sure that you are on our mailing list for future issues by completing this form.

Without much fanfare, neckwear sales are slowly but surely creeping up. Imagine what could happen if we shouted a bit more.

“We’ve had the best neckwear sales in more than a decade,” says designer Edward Armah, whose wholesale accounts include Nordstrom, Harry Rosen, Oak Hall, Mr. B, Andrew Davis, and many other fine stores. What’s selling, he confides, is all about innovation. “I pride myself on testing and experimenting with innovative fabrics in order to achieve a modern but elevated look. My direction is a fresh take on texture, such as lightweight silk intertwined with chambray. The look and feel spell luxury, achieved only by hand printing and hand finishing.”

Designer Ruth Graves from STEP USA has recently checked in with several of her key accounts. At Halberstadt’s, Bryce confirms that ties are doing well. “Consumers appreciate a good tie and are willing to spend $195 for one great tie, versus $195 for three mediocre ones. I love the rich colors of Ruth’s grenadine ties; anything out of the ordinary is selling.” At Leddy’s in Fort Worth, Ruth’s neckerchiefs are selling like mad, but regular tie business is for special occasions. At Shaia’s, Ken Shaia says ties are doing well, but pocket squares are selling even better. Boozer McClure and his wife Julianne at Square Threads report strong tie business, thanks to the strength of custom suits and shirts. Selling best are contemporary classics in rich colors.

Greg Shugar of Beau Ties Ltd. points out that the neckwear business is cyclical. “It’s been down for years; our last slight surge was in 2009–2013 so we’re clearly past due. It would be great if the major players in the tie business did some impactful advertising to get the word out. Young guys these days care about clothing and they don’t want to dress like their dads. A neckwear comeback could be imminent.”

Here and top, Edward Armah’s fresh take on neckwear and pocket squares, innovating through fabric.

Says Danielle Mandelbaum from Bespoke, a key supplier of quality neckwear to major department stores, “Will we get back to the good old days of men wearing ties all the time? I don’t think so. But in just 10 years, our business is booming. Secret: we hired good people! We have the right licenses—Michael Kors, Ted Baker, Penguin, Perry Ellis, and more. We know all the best mills and makers. Clearly, young people are moving away from streetwear to more elegant, quiet luxury. Guys in their 60s and 70s are not wearing ties: it’s a fresh look for young guys who care about fashion these days.”

Best sellers at Bespoke are elegant black ties in cashmere, wool, or silk. Fun and funky styles in silks, cottons, linens, wools, and even sportswear fabrics. The go-to width at present is 2.5 to 3 inches, with nothing wider. “And don’t underestimate the Instagram phenomenon,” Danielle reminds us. “Guys want to wear a different tie for each photo/video they post!”

Gold Standard: Edward Armah’s fresh take on neckwear and pocket squares, innovating through fabric.