What do you try to achive in terms of aestetichs?
It’s hard to define an ideal when talking about ties aesthetics. Some things look good on a tie and some other things don’t, but there certainly are some boundaries that can’t be passed (this is maybe the reason why in the last hundred years the men’s fashion is the same with very minor variations). We understand and appreciate the simplicity of men’s style and we enjoy mixing it with the colors, patterns and the texture of the fabrics. This is a big part of our identity as a brand. I guess the secret is to balance the two directions (the british one – more conservative and the italian direction –defined by “sprezzatura”).
What can you recommend someone for distinguising a quality tie from an inferior one?
The quality of the fabric is the first thing you have to look for, because silk may come in very different qualities. Someone with experience could immediately tell the difference between a cheap silk and a more expensive one. The way that the tie knots says a lot about the quality of the interlining used,which by the way should be wool and not other synthetic fabric. Of course, a quality tie should be entirely hand-made. The slip stitch should end with a small loop of silk thread, thus increasing the longevity of the tie. We also appreciate a self-tipped tie or one with hand-rolled edges. It may sound odd for my saying this, but the tie should also have a balanced construction and a well-made execution. I’ve seen a lot of ties with problems of construction that were being sold like this.
What other items can be found at the urban ties?
Besides ties, we also produce hand-rolled pocket squares in silk, linen and japanese cotton. Another item that can be bought from our website is the leather travel tie case. This one has Como silk on the inside and can carry up to four ties. For the near future we plan to introduce scarves, socks, cufflinks and wallets in our portfolio.
Tell more about the customization process…
We make ties in two different widths (7cm and 8cm) but for special requests we can also make 9cm-wide ties. The general length of our ties is 148 cm, and here we can also provide shorter or longer versions, depending on the request. Another service that we offer is the handmade embroidered monograms for our customers. All these services take a few extra couple days for the order to be delivered and they also add an extra 20-25% to the cost of the tie.
Who are your customers?
When we started the business, we thought that our customer should be someone who doesn’t see the tie as an accessory that he wears because he has to, but because he wants to – this is related to the role of the tie nowadays and the argument I mentioned earlier. It’s obvious that we target the people who are genuinely interested in how they look and who also appreciate quality beyond quantity. We also have some interesting collaborations with the most important MTM businesses from Bucharest, and we try to reach the business people who don’t have enough time to build their wardrobe by themselves and they look for professional advice in this matter. Our marketing strategy is based on the idea that our clients will find us as long as we communicate well our values and we generate valuable content through our social media channels (facebook, tumblr, instagram, pinterest) and blogs like yours.
What is the brand direction for the future? Will we see the urban ties in stores in the near future?
Our only presence in physical stores for the moment is in the MTM showrooms mentioned earlier. Our local strategy is not based on an expansion through retail, however we do have some discussions with several boutique stores in Bucharest so in the near future the clients could expect surprises from us. Internationally, we aim for recognition and we hope we’ll become a trusted brand in a few years. We are aware of the loads of work necessary to get there, but we are very ambitious and we believe in our chances.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?
It can be a person, a conversation, a moment, a place, a melody. I would say it is possible to find inspiration everywhere, you just have to open your eyes and your heart and look around you.
What turns you off?
It has to have something with the bad habits of people.
What is your favorite curse word?
Most Romanian curses sound quite weird when translated to English, so I’m gonna skip this one
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of the rain, I think it’s beautiful. I also enjoy listening to crickets.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Almost any sound early in the morning. I’m not a morning person.
What profession would you not like to do?
Being a doctor, I don’t cope well with blood.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?