Senior VP/ Editor-at-Large of Black Enterprise magazine
What prompted you to design a bow tie collection with Windsor Neckwear?
I’ve had a passion for personal style, and bow ties in particular, since I was a child. I believe that choosing to be authentically well-dressed is an asset in business and in life. I’ve always been interested in fashion. Prior to joining Black Enterprise, I was a top editor at a fashion/lifestyle magazine for Black Men; my original career objective was to eventually join the staff of GQ or Esquire, although I ended up with an amazingly rewarding career as a business journalist at Black Enterprise.
Why bow ties instead of neck ties?
Actually, I love all men’s accessories, including straight ties, pocket squares, vests, cuff links, braces (suspenders), shoes, socks, as well as bow ties. But of all these items, the bow tie best expresses my personal style philosophy: To stand out, while fitting in; to be appropriate for any given occasion, but to always be memorable and distinctive from the crowd. No one forgets that one person they know who always wore a bow tie.
How did your personal style influence the prints of the collection?
Again, consistent with my standing-out-while-fitting-in approach to my personal style, our goal was to take classic, traditional patterns–plaids, paisleys, stripes–but apply a challenging, even intimidating, color palette. For example, orange requires courage to wear, especially for men, so it was a color I wanted to use, along with limes and vibrant purples. I like challenging colors because they force me to push the envelope on the accessories for the rest of my ensembles. I like accessories that provoke comments from people on the street or on the train; I know that for every person who voices a compliment, there are dozens of others who also noticed and silently agree.
What do you feel makes your neckwear stand out from other brands?
My collection, and all of Windsor Neckwear’s products, stand out not just because of memorable designs, but the quality of the fabrics. Mike and Mace set such a high bar for the fabrics for my collection. Durability is especially important with hand-tied bow ties, because they are, well, handled, repeatedly, more so than straight ties. The proof of a well-made tie is now how nice it looks the first time you wear it, but is it still fresh the 30th time or 50th time? The Alfred Edmond Jr Collection passes that test with flying colors, thanks to Windsor’s uncompromising stance on quality.
Could you explain your creative process when designing?
Michael McPherson Jr. is the real design genius behind the collection, backed up by Mace Neal III’s tech and production expertise, although my undergraduate degree is in art and I’ve studied fashion design. So it’s a great collaborative process, we work together to choose patterns and a color palette, and the Mike and Mace figure out a way to bring the line to life with great design integrity and quality. One of the best things about our process is much of is done on line, via social media tools such as Google+ Hangouts, where we can actually see the patterns and colors we’re talking about despite my being in New Jersey and them being in Nashville.
With Windsor, we’re looking to expand the AEJ Collection to include pocket squares, and eventually shoes, cuff links and socks. We’re very excited about the possibilities.
Outside of Windsor, my biggest project for 2013 is The Grown Zone, a weekly BlogTalk Radio show and monthly live discussion series hosted by me and my partner Zara Green, produced by our company A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, a media company that promotes “Better Choices, More Self Love and Healthier Relationships.” The Grown Zone is a multimedia initiative aimed helping people to shift their focus from what they may have the adult right to do–destructive as those choices may be, and what is in their best interest to do–grown decisions–in every area of their lives, including finances, relationships, parenting, etc. Our next Grown Zone LIVE event is set for February 20, 2013 at Shetler Theaters and Studios in Manhattan: http://grownzone022013-eorg.eventbrite.com/#
I love the prints and colors of this collection! Each Alfred Edmond Jr. Collection bow tie is handmade from 100% silk with amazing texture and quality. All bow ties from the Alfred Edmond Jr. Bow Tie Collection are limited edition and made only in quantities of 25 pieces per design and color. They’re all priced within a range of $33-$43, and will add style and statement to your accessory collection!
Click the link below to shop the entire collection:
Big congrats, well wishes, and thanks to Mr. Edmond!