Tied to a cause Neckwear for the "90s tailored to a message

June 17, 1993|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,Staff Writer

ALL ACROSS America this Sunday, fathers and grandfathers will be greeted with hugs, squirms and smiles and receive into their hands a long, flat gift box in the annual ritual presentation of The Father's Day Tie.

Even when other treats such as a favorite breakfast or new sporting gear are offered, ties seem to turn up as the necessary accessory to mark his day. And why not? Once considered a gift cliche, ties now can be eloquent in style and message.

The newest designer tie to lend a four-in-hand to a cause is "The Label Tie," which supports the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS (DIFFA). Sixty-eight designers in the fashion community, which has been devastated by this fatal illness, gave their names and labels to the cause. Lorenzo Vega, the designer behind the design, says both the red- or black-base color will coordinate with virtually any outfit.

"A gift that contributes to a worthy cause is a gift that gives twice," says Charles Burkhalter of Manhattan Industries, which produces ties integrating the red AIDS ribbon motif to benefit DIFFA. President Clinton has been photographed wearing the ties as well as the company's charming but sophisticated designs for Save the Children.

Ecological concerns also have their say in neckwear. The "Endangered Species" line by Wemco for the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums depicts woodland and aquatic creatures in natural settings, while World Wildlife Fund ties from Manhattan Industries abstract nature's best work.

Gerald Anderson, executive director of the Neckwear Association of America, says baby-boomer dads are naturals for cause ties. "They used to send their message on T-shirts. Now they're saying it with ties." He does urge caution in matching the man and the message. "He may favor the cause, but hate the tie."

Tied to a laugh

If dad's old ties have been a source of merriment, why not give him a new one that's meant to be laughed at?

Movie and animation studios have licensed their silly stars, and the cast of characters can take dad back to old movie matinees and TV toons.

Among the looney lineup are Bugs and friends, Mickey and company, the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges.

Tied to the past

Maybe dad won't stop thinking about tomorrow, but there are ties out there to remind him of his unencumbered past.

The Fillmore Poster Tie collection by Mulberry Ties reproduces original pop posters that drew '60s and '70s rockers to the West and East Coast palaces where Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane and many others played and packed them in.

Balding Deadheads may go for J. Garcia Art in Neckwear from Stonehenge, Ltd., which is printed with the work of the gone-gray Grateful Dead guitarist. For jazz fans, there is the The Art of Miles Davis, printed with the jazz great's abstract paintings.

Elvis, too, lives on in ties by Ralph Marlin, as do images of the legendary Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. And if he gave up a bike for a station wagon, dad's white office shirt could use the rev of a Harley-Davidson tie.

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