How was the urban ties collection born initially?
Well, this is the moment when I should say “it all started when…”. It wasn’t like that entirely, I mean of course we do have a tracking history of interest for accessories and clothes in general, but for a long time we didn’t think to be on the entrepreneurial side of the business. The main thing that drove us into this project was our passion for accessories and the idea behind them – the tie is not a mandatory item in the general business wardrobe nowadays, and as the dress code became more and more casual (unfortunately I would say), its role became mainly an aesthetic one.
It defines the personality and the style of the owner. It’s more or less the same situation as with the watches – you don’t need them anymore but they do tell something about you. We were also inspired by all the possibilities that lie behind a tie – think not only of silk, but also of wool, cotton, linen, raw silk and this in terms of fabrics, never mind the colors or the patterns.
What goals did you set for yourself in the begining ?
The idea was to have an international online store, but we considered that a one year experience in the Romanian market would be a good lesson to learn, and we started locally. Our main obsession though was the continuous improvement of the product. We wanted to have some of the best quality ties in the market but we also didn’t expect for things to happen overnight. We believe in an organic growth and we take it step by step.
What are the hallmarks of a UT piece? What makes them different from any other ties?
As I said before we do aim for the high quality of the product, and this can only be the result of a detailed and careful handmade process. We try to have good prices for our ties and pocket squares, it’s a myth that a good tie must cost you a fortune.
We also think that the way in which we structure our collections and the models that we choose to make tell something about us and our vision.
What are some of the key pieces you are selling online ?
It’s obvious that a classic like a navy printed silk tie with a small floral pattern or a burgundy one with similar pattern are best-sellers. These are the first choices for a customer that wears a tie in a formal, day-to-day business situation. However, the not so usual models like the matka and shantung silk ties, or the japanese cotton ties were highly appreciated by our clients. So, I would say that in the best-seller list we have both kinds of products, classic pieces and innovative ties for the aficionados as well.
Do you have a personal favorite?
It’s quite hard to pick a favorite, but if I have to choose from all of them, I must admit that right now I’m into the new brown ancient madder model and I also have a weak spot for the navy polka dots model.
What insipires you in chosing the material?
From the beginning, we wanted to use the best fabrics that we could find, so we travelled to Como in Italy and Macclesfield in UK. These two cities are well known for their rich history in manufacturing silk. With a tradition of a couple hundred years old, the manufacturers from both cities make some of the finest silk in the world. In Macclesfield we found a more than 100 years old silk mill that still uses the same hand-printing method that they used back when they started the business.
The result of this hand-printing process is a silk with rich and deep tones, and with a dry texture which is the total opposite of the shiny, slippery cheap silk that many are accustomed to. It feels pretty special, believe me. We also work with some of the oldest silk mills in Como, whichare now at the 4th generation of silk-makers. From here we take our shantung and grenadine fabrics and all the woven silks from our collection.
To be conntinued…