Tuesday, November 19, 2013

4 Questions For....Titanic Alley


While contemplating Columbia’s contribution to the national bow tie trend, I engaged in a pleasant discussion with Russell Sox (pictured below, with a glass of bubbly), who has recently launched his own line of bow ties under the Titanic Alley label.

He takes the name of his company from a mysterious street that is depicted on Columbia maps of yore but has sunk into oblivion today.  How appropriate of the street, no?

Mr. Sox’s tie endeavor, however, is sailing along, with an online shop, inclusion in the juried show Crafty Feast, and demand that keeps him busy.  (He makes every Titanic Alley tie himself.) 

Fortunately, he stopped cutting and sewing long enough to indulge me by answering four questions.  I liked the outcome so entirely that I intend to question more local style influencers in just the same way.

4 Questions for Russell Sox of Titanic Alley:

1. In free association exercises, when I say "bow tie" the responses range from "naughty English professor" to "Orville Redenbacher".  What do you make of this?

It makes me wonder with whom do you engage in these free associations?

2. Columbia is home to a bow tie 5k, a bow tie festival, a bow tie workout video, and several bow tie designers. What should this tell us?

It tells us that Columbia is fully engulfed in the bow tie renaissance and should be considered a new center of contemporary bow tie design! We're seeing the bow tie embraced by a new generation. 
 
3. Your company name makes me think of both the ship and that diagonal alley in Harry Potter. If Titanic Alley were to mysteriously sink after hitting an iceberg conjured up by a wizard, what sort of bow tie would you like to be wearing?

I hope to never be involved in such a calamity but if I am, I will be wearing a diamond-point argyle wool bow that also inflates into a life preserver.

4. What do you wish I had asked?  And would you mind terribly answering it?

Not at all. Here's a good question: Bow ties can have a reputation of being stuffy and old fashioned. What are some new trends that make bow ties appealing for today's man?
  
Reversible bow ties have been very popular among Titanic Alley customers. One side is a complimentary fabric or color for the other - so when it's tied, you see a peek of contrast from the fabric on the back. It gives the wearer options for which side to tie as the "dominant" side - and it's like buying two neckties for the price of one.

I also encourage gentlemen to look beyond the traditional "butterfly" shape. I particularly like the diamond-point. The ends taper to a point and create an asymmetrical bow that has a young and modern look.

Thank you, Mr. Sox!

As I post these notes, I see that I've failed to ask the most obvious question:  
Has the gentleman ever considered designing hosiery?

And did I mention? On occasion, you'll also find me rambling on about things for Fig Columbia.

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