The second feature of our series of vendors at this Saturday’s Pop-Up Shop highlights General Knot. I had the chance to catch up with Andrew Payne, one half of the brand on what got them on making ties, where they get their unique fabrics, and why it’s important to be a made in the USA brand.
Q. How did you guys meet and what inspired you to start General Knot?
A. Andrew: We actually met on a train platform, heading into NYC to our 9-5 jobs. It’s funny though, it takes guys a while to chat, but after two years of standing next to each other tends to finally break the ice! We realized although being in completely different careers, we shared a lot of common interests. With my background in fashion design and fabric collecting, one thing lead to another and General Knot & Co. was born.
Q. Your ties and bowties are crafted with such amazing fabrics, how do you find them?
A. Andrew: The fabrics and the collecting of them are my favorite parts of our business. I find the fabrics all over the country, from fellow collectors, antique shows, and sales. Admittedly, the whole process is completely random and unpredictable, but is really a lot of fun.
Q. General Knot is manufactured entirely in the USA, which is fantastic. How does this define your brand?
A. Andrew: As someone who has designed for brands with overseas production his whole career, I thoroughly enjoy making all of my product here in the USA. Having the pleasure of personally knowing each person involved in the making of our designs is amazing. The entire process, from fabric collecting to the actual production is a personal experience and has evolved very organically.
Q. Which of your ties and bowties do you think are great options for the many holiday parties that are fast approaching?
A. Andrew: Our versions of “Black Tie” and our Tartan combinations have been very popular and certainly have a great festive feel to them. We love how people are mixing them with casual looks as well as dressing them up with semi formal pieces.
Q. What are your main sources of inspiration?
A. Andrew: The inspiration often comes from the fabrics themselves. Each have their own story and history, which never cease to interest me. Some of our fabrics go as far back as the 1920s. Having the chance to work with fabrics that have been collected and cherished for upwards of 90 years is quite a unique opportunity to have.