Breaking the Tie

04.04.2011

STYLE

Everyone from the modern man to men who wish they were on Mad Men knows that the right tie can pull together any outfit. Whether tucked neatly behind a blazer of a sleek suit or prominently displayed on smart shirt, it punctuates sartorial structure with the right amount of panache. Keeping with this concept, Los Angeles-based men’s accessories brand Gentry launched its collection of premium neckwear and accessories including tie bars and pins for the discerning gentlemen. We recently caught up with Annie Imamure, one half of the founding team, to get the skinny on its pieces.

Life + Times: Where did the concept of Gentry come from?
Annie Imamure
: [My partner] Greg and I were sitting around looking at his tie collection one day and we thought, “We should make these.” Honestly, that’s how it started. My mom cut our tie pattern and Greg’s uncle, who is in the jewelry industry, made our first molds. Our goal is to make men’s accessories for today’s modern gentleman. We wanted our pieces to be accessible to a generation that wasn’t taught to wear accessories such as a tie bar or tie pin. We use non-traditional materials for our neckties but choose material that still has a classic undertone.

L+T: What’s the concept behind the name?
AI
: We like to think that our brand is not only a menswear brand but also an aspirational lifestyle. The “gentry” class is thought of to be one of well-bred, wellborn people; aristocracy. There’s something about a throwback to tradition that comes with the name and we work very hard to uphold its definition.

L+T: Why ties?
AI
: We just love them. A tie, as well as accessories, can polish an outfit. There are many ties on the market so we work hard to produce neckwear that walks the line of fashionable and classic. We use a classic cut with non-traditional materials.

L+T: Can a tie really pull together or destroy an outfit?
AI
: I think it can do either depending on the tie. A great tie can do wonderful things to an outfit.

L+T: What’s the idea behind the packaging?
AI
: We wanted to present our pieces in a way that consumers would appreciate all of the offerings, but also we wanted to give our generation a guide in accessories. Our fathers were taught how to wear everything from a collar clip, to a tie pin, to a pocket square and the tradition of these pieces was lost in our generation. We wanted to make accessories that young men may not be familiar with accessible. Every box set comes with a guidebook with instructions from how to tie a tie, to how to fold a pocket square.

L+T: What materials does Gentry focus on?
AI
: As far as neckties we look at everything except silk. We love our linens for spring and wools for fall. As far as jewelry, we focus on metals like steel and copper, as well as precious metals such as silver and gold.

L+T: Outside of fashion, what are your inspirations?
AI
: 1950′s and 1960′s culture, art and literature. All of our box sets are named after authors from that time period, like Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Salinger.

L+T: Who is the ideal Gentry customer?
AI
: Anyone who is interested and has an appreciation for classic menswear with a modern twist. (Gentry)

  • http://edwinaowenselliott.com/ Edwina @FASHION+ART

    It’s a clever concept but I can’t help feel a bit sad that young men today require a prepackaged tie/clip/pocket square combo. The good thing is, the tie/clip/pocket square is still being worn at all :-) .

    This is a very interesting site! Kudos to Jay-Z and crew.

  • http://edwinaowenselliott.com/ Edwina @FASHION+ART

    It’s a clever concept but I can’t help feel a bit sad that young men today require a prepackaged tie/clip/pocket square combo. The good thing is, the tie/clip/pocket square is still being worn at all :-) .

    This is a very interesting site! Kudos to Jay-Z and crew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jona.crooner Jona Crooner

    classic debonair.

  • http://twitter.com/boardroombboys Ronald Gaineous

    LOL everyone commented on the Rolls post but it got It got REAL quiet on this topic. I like this post. The art of men killing it with accessories has been lost. I love a good tie, pocket square, clip (pins sometimes), links, and you gotta have the brass collar stays so you don’t kill the look with a wild collar that won’t stay put. The Robert Talbott collection is killer too.

  • http://twitter.com/boardroombboys Ronald Gaineous

    LOL everyone commented on the Rolls post but it got It got REAL quiet on this topic. I like this post. The art of men killing it with accessories has been lost. I love a good tie, pocket square, clip (pins sometimes), links, and you gotta have the brass collar stays so you don’t kill the look with a wild collar that won’t stay put. The Robert Talbott collection is killer too.

  • http://twitter.com/boardroombboys Ronald Gaineous

    LOL everyone commented on the Rolls post but it got REAL quiet in here on this one. Ties+pocket square+clip+links+brass collar stays=NICE! The Robert Talbott collection is fierce too.

  • http://twitter.com/boardroombboys Ronald Gaineous

    LOL everyone commented on the Rolls post but it got REAL quiet in here on this one. Ties+pocket square+clip+links+brass collar stays=NICE! The Robert Talbott collection is fierce too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661110143 Byron Tse

    agree with edwina below.

    you should be able to walk into a store and learn how to pick out your own tie/clip/pocket square. with that said, this is still pretty classy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661110143 Byron Tse

    agree with edwina below.

    you should be able to walk into a store and learn how to pick out your own tie/clip/pocket square. with that said, this is still pretty classy.

  • Nicole Phillips

    In some words, “Breaking the Tie” peeked my interest so I had to click to satisfy my need to know more, and I wasn’t disappointed by the content. At first glance, the picture was striking because of presentation like good food and after finding out that Gentry creators included a guidebook with instructions I was more than impressed. Impressed more with the learning opportunity of the guide more than the idea of the brand name. Young boys, young men, or even a man who decides to upgrade his dress code should have an option to be as discrete as possible. The guide is right, but the name doesn’t match the concept of connecting with men who are not first cultured to wear ties, pins, and such. Rising would have been better or status for ballers on the come up. Class can separate, irritate, and even be a bother to maintain, so I say dress less to impress and more to express. It’s something about a man in a suit, but when he takes off his tie the game is just beginning.

  • Nicole Phillips

    In some words, “Breaking the Tie” peeked my interest so I had to click to satisfy my need to know more, and I wasn’t disappointed by the content. At first glance, the picture was striking because of presentation like good food and after finding out that Gentry creators included a guidebook with instructions I was more than impressed. Impressed more with the learning opportunity of the guide more than the idea of the brand name. Young boys, young men, or even a man who decides to upgrade his dress code should have an option to be as discrete as possible. The guide is right, but the name doesn’t match the concept of connecting with men who are not first cultured to wear ties, pins, and such. Rising would have been better or status for ballers on the come up. Class can separate, irritate, and even be a bother to maintain, so I say dress less to impress and more to express. It’s something about a man in a suit, but when he takes off his tie the game is just beginning.

  • http://twitter.com/16pies bego

    very cool, the perfect gift, i love it

  • Anonymous

    Ike Behar is the way to go. Awesome fashion and great quality.

  • Anonymous

    I love the way these people have approached their product: I really admire that concept-to-creation-to-market trajectory. Alas, being thoroughly English (and deeply trad I’ll admit), tie pins and bars are utterly spoilt by my long-held beliefs about what’s correct and what’s irredeemably naff. In the back of my mind there lingers the thought that a guy in a tie-pin or tie bar can never attain the dizzy heights of being a gentleman nor yet dressing like one! Kate Bernard UK

  • Anonymous

    I love the way these people have approached their product: I really admire that concept-to-creation-to-market trajectory. Alas, being thoroughly English (and deeply trad I’ll admit), tie pins and bars are utterly spoilt by my long-held beliefs about what’s correct and what’s irredeemably naff. In the back of my mind there lingers the thought that a guy in a tie-pin or tie bar can never attain the dizzy heights of being a gentleman nor yet dressing like one! Kate Bernard UK

  • Kolette Allen

    Outstanding. I appreciate the presentation of the items. That all alone from the magnificent gift inside is a prize. I want to collect the packaging too.

  • http://twitter.com/jojoknihili jojoknihili

    punctuates sartorial structure with the right amount of panache.

    I dunno, dude. I call bullshit. Boring contrived bullshit. Hova think about his sartorial structure much?

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