Neckwear Notes: Forsyth of Canada

by Harry Sheff

When it comes to ties, I’m a big fan of simple stripes. To me, regimental stripes and traditional preppy stripes are as close as it gets to the archetypal tie. So many brands try to get creative with stripes by doing too much at once when it’s just not necessary.

So when I saw Forsyth of Canada’s spring neckwear collection (in stores now), I loved it. Forsyth’s Allen Whipple explained that when they designed the collection, they wanted to embrace the bright color palette that’s been getting so much press, but they didn’t want to scare their base of specialty and department stores off.

Forsyth of Canada

The solution was to keep the patterns conservative—simple two- and three-color stripes and checks—and to do a lot of navy warps. This way, the vivid neon greens, cobalt blues and hot pinks are grounded by sedate colors that mix with everything.

And the results are that Forsyth sold them—all of them. “This is the first season ever that we’ve had a total sellout,” Harris Hester, Forsyth’s CEO, told me.

“It’s the color,” added Whipple.

Forsyth also added a new lining to its ties this season, using a recreation of an old lining. The new lining, which has a brushed finish for a slight nap, is actually firmer, which helps create a better knot and a perfect rolled edge. Whipple says customers have remarked on the difference, but they usually can’t quite place why they like it so much better.

These ties, which retail in the $55-$65 range, are typically three-and-a-quarter inches but some accounts have ordered narrower two-and-three-quarters.

Forsyth also created a knit solid collection using the same bright colors; knits now account for about 10 percent of Forsyth’s total, up from zero.

For more on furnishings, including a dress shirt vendor survey, look out for our June issue, coming in…June.