Bedford resident Andrew Payne has always had a thing for neckwear—his personal collection includes more than 200 neckties—and vintage fabrics. After several years designing knitwear and wovens for such fashion labels as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. Parsons The New School for Design grad decided to combine his two loves. A year ago, Payne launched General Knot & Co. in order to offer limited-edition, handmade neckties, bowties, and pocket squares, all of which feature vintage fabrics sourced from collectors, estate sales, and auctions across the country.
His hip styles include a fresh variety of sophisticated checks, plaids, prints, seersuckers, and stripes. And, because these textiles are long out of production—all are more than 40 years old, and some go back as far as the ’20s—designs are of very limited quantity. Some of Payne’s current designs were inspired by tartan plaids he recently acquired from California. “I’ve always loved tartans,” he says. “They just scream fall and the holidays.” Next up for the designer? Skinny, two-and-a-quarter-inch-wide ties and long-sleeved, cotton shirts with vintage detailing for spring.
Made in the United States, bowties range from $58 to $68 and neckties from $88 to $118; pocket squares are $28. Neckwear can be customized for weddings and other special events for an additional $20 each. While sold as far away as Great Britain and Japan, General Knot is not yet offered at any local store. To order: generalknot.com.