The new year is shaping up to be a good one for those in search of affordable, well-made, traditional neckwear. Following on the heels of December’s announcement of Paul Winston’s webstore for Chipp2 comes new source for handmade ties in conservative widths and patterns as staid as anything found on the racks of traditional clothiers.
New York City-based Conrad Wu announced the opening of his eponymous brand in October of last year, but since much of the hubbub is happening over at Style Forum, Wu’s ties have likely stayed below the radar of Tradsville. While not an overtly Ivy or preppy brand, Conrad Wu is poised to have appeal across the spectrum of menswear, and for lovers of matte-finished repps and regimental stripes there is obviously much to like. What’s more, the ties are currently on sale in Celebration of Chinese New Year.
Each Conrad Wu necktie is handmade in New York City and features three-fold construction. The blades are untipped with hand-rolled edges. Widths vary from 8-8.5cm, well within the traditional sweet spot.
In addition to regimental rep stripes, hearty woolens, and small-print foulards, Wu offers a selection of stripes in shantung silk (such as the tie pictured above), that rare, nubby textured silk made popular a couple of years ago by luxury makers such as Drake’s of London.
Wu tells Ivy Style his plans for the brand are modest and focused on value. “My goal for my brand isn’t to make it big,” he says. “I draw personal satisfaction knowing that others are happy with my products. Quality and customer service will forever be what I strive for.”
With prices ranging from $87 for a wool tie to $93 for a shantung, Wu seems well-positioned to capitalize on the resurging interest in artisanal neckwear while offering a price below his competitors. — ZACHARY DELUCA