The neckwear business is up 20% to about $800 million this year from $677 million in 2008, and the bow tie is the rising star. Bow ties represent 7% of total neckwear sales, an increase from 4% last year.
“Where some retailers dabbled in bow ties previously,” says John Kammeier, Randa’s SVP Neckwear, “this year they’re making a statement with a large assortment and this strategy is proving successful.” 2013 trends are, “reversible, seasonal, conversational, novelty, and formal and special occasion.” Randa expects to ship nearly 2 million bow tie shipments in 2013, more bow ties than all the bow ties shipped in the company’s 102 year history, combined.
“There is a cultural trend,” says David J. Katz, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Randa, “with a couple of things attracting attention to bow ties. First there is what is coming from the media, and the television and film worlds. And second, the psychology of counter-generational dressing.”
“The accessory becomes a statement of personality,” says Tom Julian, Director of Strategic Business Development at The Doneger Group. “Rather than the demographic it’s the psychographic. He can be a prepster, a hipster, a geek, a surfer, a rocker. (It’s) a way to stand out; to look distinct.”
Bow ties are hot and getting hotter. For bow tie aficionados, bow tie day is every day.