I had the pleasure of sitting down with a great tie maker Mr. David Hart and got to know a little more about the man and his great tie company David Hart and Co. He makes wonderful ties that will look good with your upcoming fall wardrobe as well as any other season at that. His ties are fun and different then any other tie company out there today. After you read the interview go and check out his ties. The Southern Prep: To people that have not been introduced to David Hart and your ties. What is one thing they should know?
DH: We make the best ties in the market!
SP: What year did you start producing your ties?
DH: David Hart & Co. was founded in July 2007
SP: What made you want to start a tie company?
DH: I wish I had a more interesting story involving time travel or secret agents, but the truth is I’ve always loved clothing and wanted to pursue a career in design from a young age. After working in the industry alongside Anna Sui, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren I felt it was time to start something of my own. When I was younger, I inherited an old steamer trunk from my great grandfather Isaac Hart. He was a milliner on New York City’s lower east side. The trunk was stuffed with his old neck ties. They were always a big inspiration to me.
SP: What is it like for you to be in some of the biggest and best known stores in the world?
DH: I think it’s phenomenal. It’s something that I don’t take for granted, and I’m so appreciative that these retailers believe in our product and our brand.
SP: Did you ever think you would be in any of the stores you are in today?
DH: To be honest yes, and it is exciting for me.
SP: What is the toughest challenge to owning your own business?
DH: For me it’s balancing a personal life and the business. Because we’re such a small company it can be difficult at times to turn it off and find some personal time for myself and my family.
SP: Do you feel like there are too many tie companies popping up daily or do you like the competition and challenge of being one step ahead?
DH: I think it’s great. My school of thought is that if business is good in neckwear, it’s good for all tie makers. That said, I think the days of being loyal to shoddy manufacturing and fabric because there’s a certain name on the label are over. People appreciate well made products. The challenge now is building something with longevity. Everyone thinks I’m crazy because I don’t have a publicist, but I tell them every other brand on the shelf is my publicist. People often come to a store with a certain brand in mind, but they leave with a David Hart & Co. tie.
SP: When you started your company, was making your ties by hand in New York big deal to you?
DH: I always thought it was important to manufacture locally. This allows us to visit and work with the factories as well as make sure our products are of the highest make and quality. It’s important to us that our factory workers are treated well with proper benefits and salaries. It’s also partially what I knew of manufacturing from working with Anna Sui, who continues to manufacture her collection in New York City’s garment district.
SP: What do you think of the resurgence of United States manufacturing?
DH: I think it’s great!
SP: From the instance I was introduced to your company, I loved the Scottish plaids as I went to college where Scottish heritage was and still is a big deal. What made you want to produce traditional clan colors?
DH: I’ve always had a fondness for plaid. It’s so versatile. It can be worn with so many different options. Also, I love looking at old photographs of my dad from the 1960’s. My Grandparents used to dress him in the best plaid suits and ties.
SP: You have come up with some whimsical silk ties, like the UFO abduction and the sports players. What is your favorite silk?
DH: I love them all. My favorite was from our first collection. It had toy robots on it. I based it off one of my favorite childhood toys so when it sold out I felt encouraged. It’s always special when you share a piece of yourself and people respond.
SP: For you fall/winter collection you introduced a few camouflage ties that created a mixed respond from the public. How to you respond to critism of these ties?
DH: I’m flattered the tie evoked such a strong reaction. They’ve been selling like hotcakes. I actually did a custom order for a group of hip London gents who referred to it as the “Call of Duty” tie. Yesterday I sold a complete set to a WW2 Veteran who was a doctor in the Army. I find that inside most critics there is usually a person who wishes they were daring enough to wear it.
SP: Your Navajo ties are different than most ties as they remind me of pendleton blankets. What was your inspiration behind these ties?
DH: My wife and I took a trip to New Mexico last year and I was inspired by all of the old Navajo blankets from the late 1800’s and the turn of the century. We took traditional Navajo weaving patterns, played with the colors and tried to replicate the weaving style. They are my favorite ties of the fall season.
SP: What is your biggest influence when designing your ties?
DH: I am always striving to create something that is lacking in the market. We always try and do something different than what anyone else is doing. I tend to look to vintage ties for inspiration, and from there we try to modernize the patterns and designs.
SP: Can you discuss the top three clothing brands you will buy for yourself this fall?
DH: I wear a lot of vintage, but I’m excited about hats from Rod Keenan and tab collared dress shirts from Antonio Azzuolo.
SP: What is spring 2012 going to look like for David Hart Ties?
DH: We have a little of everything including our great plaids, but I’m looking forward to our 1960’s inspired barati silk horizontal striped ties.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk to me about your company. Good luck with your fall collection.