Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FIGS: FIGS and Bow Ties and School Uniforms in the Developing World

FIGS makes very good bow ties, a bespoke range as well. Not just another bow tie but something very special.  British wools and Italian silks, hand stitched red X bartack and tipped with fine men's shirting. There's a range of neck ties as well. The handwork is beautiful.  But there is more to this story, much more.

FIGS does something else wonderful and unique: With every tie purchased, FIGS provides a school uniform to a child in the developing world. It's called "Threads for Threads" and will expand within the year to provide uniforms to children at over 100 schools across Kenya and Tanzania. This is not Heather's first global goodness. While Heather was in college, she helped 170 Vietnamese children attend school by selling designer handbags.

Bow ties do have a bit of history. King Louis XIV ordered his tailor to make a bow tie copying the design of the uniform worn by Croatian warriors during the Thirty Year War. He fell in love with it and suggested (that would be a Royal Order, I think)  to his Court that they immediately follow suit. It's a debonair sort of thing, very Fred Astaire - Ginger Rogers. Fashionable but certainly less dandy than the cravat. Strange to think that I can now successfully place Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Karl Lagerfeld in the same sentence; all bow tie devotees. Brad Goreski is very cute in his, too.

I love what Heather and FIGS are doing. Full disclosure: Heather and Paige are my cousins. Heather is to the left of Jackson and Paige (PaigeLaurenBaby.com) on his right. 


  1. Joy Miles Gimbel
    you might want a blurb my son wrote re the return of bow ties, at his private school- witty and stylish-proud mum-

  2. I'd love to see it. I googled bow ties out of curiosity and love the history, and that only some men gravitated to it (Einstein, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin, Freud) ... thanks so much.

  3. Heather Hasson
    classy classy

  4. Richard Mauro
    Sorry, no matter how skilled the workmanship and fine the fabrics, pre-tied bow ties are not acceptable. Seriously, if you can tie your shoes, you can tie a bow tie and you should!

  5. Ah ... and tell time on a watch with hands. There is something Cary Grant about this. But the wee buttons make up for it, I think.

  6. They're not pre-tied, the buttons you see in the pictures are just the way you adjust the length for neck size.


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