Silk or cotton, wide or skinny, plaid or plain, the necktie is an accessory that has broken cultural boundaries and survived centuries of the fashion world. The accounts of the past will tell you all sorts of things about the necktie. Rulers wore it and the average man wore it. They wore it with contempt and at other times with pride. Though many people have reserved the necktie for special occasions only- and some despise wearing it altogether- the tie is an accessory that evidently reflects the inner drive of a man. It gives us a visual of the refined and re-introduced cultured male.
One of the cultural tastemakers whom I am sure is inspiring gentlemen to wear a tie, is a beautiful artist and tailoring loyalist by the name of Ashley Nicole Dedin. I first caught wind of her necktie brand AENDEE when I strolled into her studio in downtown Fargo. Her studio is adorned with all kinds of sketches, art, paintings and books lining the walls. From a simple glance of her studio you can tell that she is a respectable student to art, and definitely a polymath.
AENDEE straddles the modern and the vintage. The Brand emphasizes great fabrics, delicate tailoring and creates thoughtful accessories. AENDEE’s bow ties and neckties draw attention to the idea of returning to style as a source of dignity, a theme that has run through generations of an ever changing world. The ties that Ashley sews invoke flavor and discipline in a man. The neckties themselves bring feeling, texture, and tone in its raw format.
Ashley is such a clever creative crafter. She believes in minimizing waste in the process of production and giving vintage things a new life. The fabrics that are used to make these ties are cut from vintage ties and XL men’s shirts. Each tie is a statement of its own. Most days the actual business of Ashley is spent sorting through racks at thrift stores trying to find that right fabric and then running back to the studio to cut, sew, and stitch her new imagination.
To bring back the elegant coolness of a tie like the 1940’s would almost be an impossible task. It’s something like the law of diffusion of innovation. It’s something that you just can’t convince people to start doing. The late majority will always get their cues from the early majority. And the early majority is staring at the early adapters who are constantly making their fashion decisions from the innovators. The keyword here is innovators. These are people like Ashley, who spend hours sifting through bins in thrift stores winnowing to select something that satisfies their taste. They are the kind of people that won’t settle for a generic, off-the -rack garment.
Great designers and brands such as AENDEE often draw inspiration from all sorts of cultural heritage, and none so consistently and vibrantly like Ashley, she designs and sews some pretty killer neckties for a honed gentleman who has eschewed things of the youth.