“I didn’t even know how to tie a bow tie,” says Gregory Allen, recalling his start in designing the classic men’s neckwear. “I had to teach myself.”
The 33-year-old started his design career a few years ago making dress shirts. But when he was asked in 2009 to submit 25 shirts for a celebrity swag lounge at TIFF — without any direction about sizes or which celebrity the shirts might be for — he decided to make something instead that can easily fit anyone: bow ties.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gregory Allen’s funky bow ties
“I just ran with it,” says the married father of two kids. “I went to the library and learned all about the history of the bow tie.”
But he gave the traditional neckwear a twist — some funky, street-savvy personality. The bow tie was also in fashion right at that moment. Droves of young men, while taking up the trend, were also looking for something that did not remind them of their grandfather or a stuffy lawyer.
Allen’s designs incorporate a variety of materials, from luxurious Italian silk to silver snakeskin to perforated leather. He also uses an array of prints from classics like gingham to urban camouflage to the more outré leopard print.Source