Move over, Nicole Miller. Make room, Jerry Garcia. The latest designer name in men's neckties is John Lennon. Yes, that John Lennon.
The pen-and-ink drawings of Lennon are the basis of a new line of ties manufactured by Burma Bibas through a licensing agreement with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono.
Any doubt about demand for the product flew out the doors along with the merchandise when 3,000 of the silk ties, priced from $35, sold in the first 10 days they were available at Saks Fifth Avenue's flagship store in New York. Saks CEO Philip Miller gleefully proclaimed the Lennon ties "the hottest-selling tie in the history of Saks Fifth Avenue."
Each tie comes with a sketchbook of Lennon's art, including the drawings that form the basis of the tie patterns such as "Embrace," depicting Lennon and Ono, "Peace, Brother," which shows Lennon walking with his son Sean, and the well-known "Self Portrait" of Lennon.
Celebrities spotted sporting the ties include television sportscaster Pat O'Brien, who wore the "Self Portrait" print while doing sideline interviews during the recent 49ers-Washington football game, and television host Bryant Gumbel, who has been wearing a Lennon tie on the "Today Show."
There are five patterns out right now, and manufacturer Burma Bibas is getting ready to launch new designs in limited editions of 2,500 to 5,000 three times a year. The first set is expected in time for Father's Day.
Besides the ties, in the United States Lennon's artwork is reproduced on T-shirts, posters, greeting cards and eye wear, Clifford says.