Ones to Watch: David Hart

by Harry Sheff

David Hart launched his Brooklyn-based tie business, David Hart & Co., in 2007. “I had reached a point working for other businesses where I felt that I was no longer growing as a designer,” he recalls. But those other businesses—Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Anna Sui—taught him a lot.

“Of these three companies, Anna Sui proved to be the most insightful,” he confides. “It was my first ‘real’ job out of FIT and it was fascinating to see a fashion house operate. Everything from the initial design/sourcing to patternmaking, making the sample, sales, shipping, etc.—which was all done in house. I always admired Ms. Sui for her dedication to New York City’s garment district and her consistent support of local manufacturing and vendors. She’s one of the few left.”

Hart has carried on that dedication to local manufacturing in his own collection, making all of his neckwear in Brooklyn.

Hart’s tie collection (retail: $98 to $130 for four-in-hand, $98 to $115 for bow ties), sold at Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and other stores, has been lauded for its creativity. The current season features slubby silk shantungs in horizontal stripes with square bottoms. His wool tartans, perennial best-sellers, will be back for fall. He’s also working on unlined Harris Tweed ties for a Japanese client.

Unlike Bloomingdale’s (where Hart’s ties enjoy 60 to 70 percent sell-through on the furnishings floor), Saks has been merchandising his neckwear with sportswear. It was a risky idea, but Hart acknowledges that it introduced him to a lot of loyal customers, and his neckwear sales on the sportswear floor are increasing every season.

“Saks Fifth Avenue has been very creative with their floor space and the merchandising,” Hart says. “Last season they rigged out a ladder and an old chest of drawers with our ties.”

“I think neckwear has evolved since we started in 2007,” Hart adds. “The re-introduction of seasonal fabrics into the market has led to more adventurous ways of dressing for guys. I also think that the ‘shiny silk tie’ guys are looking for new options as well. When we started I had a very specific market in mind, but five years later I want to reach as many people as possible. I believe that our hand-make is the best; our ties are so unique that no one I know has worn one without getting a compliment.”

Hart is branching out beyond neckwear and pocket squares, launching his first hosiery collection for Father’s Day at Saks. “We’ve decided to go novelty with the socks and have fun…there are hidden details that I think most men will appreciate.”

One Reply to “Ones to Watch: David Hart”

  1. 4-in-hand is a tie knot that is used to tie a neck tie.. I guess a “long tie” would be a more accurate descriptive for the tie that can be tied with a 4-in-hand knot (more on that, if you wish). However, as far as I know, there is traditionally only one way to tie a bow tie. One way is hard enough. Whereas as neck tie can be tied using a four-in-hand, a windsor, and a half windsor, or any other of over 80 knots.

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