is an L.A. based designer with degrees from Cornell and Fashion School F.I.D.M., where he first developed what he describes as his "Ivy League Grit" style. Passionate about supporting the American way and the Los Angeles manufacturing revival, all of his Handmade Patchwork Neckties
are made in a small workshop in the heart of L.A. and each pattern, full of details, has significance and meaning. In the photo above Simms is wearing "Lost Library," which takes its inspiration from dusty broken-spined books filled with a paradox of both intelligence and toughness.
See after the jump for a Luxist Q&A with Simms and then see more of his designs, and the meanings behind them, at hughsimms.com
and in the gallery
What inspired you to create a line of ties at a time when the world seem to be going casual? What do you think is the tie's place in modern dressing?
My ties are really for the guy who doesn't wear a tie. I got tired of wearing ties and looking like just off work, too dressy, and the black skinny hipster tie look isn't really me. I wanted a tie that could be worn not just with a plain white button down but a flannel as well. Modern dress to me will see more ties as a whole. History shows a
recession tends to bring out more ties since that added symbol of intelligence can be an edge. Plus I think guys will start listening to the women more,most I've spoken with love guys wearing ties. One said to me, "Hugh Simms ties are like men's lingerie" and when you think about girl's idea of male sexiness can come from this tough intelligent accessory not a thong. haha.
I noticed that your website says that your ties are "handmade in los angeles" how important was it for you to have your products made locally?
Extremely! I believe, "to have true American style it needs to be made with American hands". I have true craftsmen and women here in Los Angeles who pride themselves on their work they get excited about it and that passion shows off in my designs. My ties will vary slightly and I love that, it shows off that every one is a one of a kind. I don't want complete conformity. I love the heart of Los Angeles I live in Hollywood there's a great vibe to the city a roughness, excitement, and full of people following their passions. I also get to check on the product in person which is important to me in building relationships and controlling quality.
Your ties are decorated with unique patches and numbers can you explain a little bit about the symbolism behind them?
I do all my own pattern and patch designs. I love keeping it custom and the more I keep myself in all aspects of the designs the more it is true to who I am as a designer. I pride myself on a lifestyle brand driven from my days at prep school in Florida, college at Cornell, and work in Washington D.C., The patches have motifs form the secret societies of the Ivy League with the Skull and Bones graphics to the letters 322. The 63 represents the year J.F.K. passed, who has been a big influence to me especially his days as a young
Besides a tie, what other element of modern style do you think sets a man apart?
Timeless pieces for sure. Elements that represent a toughness along with a sophistication. Modern style is really a paradox someone who wears a light military inspired jacket over a suit vest or an old salt dog peacoat but the man checks out the time on his Frank Muller watch. It's having elements that blend then countering them.