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The Bow Tie Perfected

William Kissel

Growing up in India during a time when it was heavily influenced by England, Anit Patel garnered a lifelong passion for all things British, right down to the colorful bow ties that have become his signature over the past two decades.  Patel, who now makes his home in San Ramon, California, has transformed his enthusiasm for bold neckwear into a business with the creation of Cravate Royale, which hand-makes one-of-a-kind bow ties, ascots, and pocket squares in the U.K. from fine English fabrics.

“The vast majority of bow ties droop and look horrible,” says Patel, a pharmaceuticals salesman who started Cravate Royale with his artist/designer wife, Sonal. Together the pair spent years dissecting the linings of high-priced ties in hopes of finding the secret to building a better bow.

“While in London I got my hands on a Turnbull & Asser woven bow and loved the way it felt. So I opened it up and brought the lining to my factory in England,” says Patel, who improved the Turnbull prototype by adding a bit of weight to the lining to prevent the tie from flopping at the neck. The couple made similar adjustments to their pocket squares, which have double hand-stitched edges, and ascots, which feature a double-stitched pleated back, for a more bespoke appearance.  The collection, priced from $95 (pocket squares) and $150 (bows) to $195 (ascots), is available through Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco and Stanley Korshak in Dallas, among other men’s shops.

This past fall the couple expanded their offering with the launch of Royale Jewels, a capsule collection of customizable cuff links and bracelets made from 18-karat white and yellow gold and incorporating diamonds, emeralds, and other precious stones. The genesis of the jewelry, which is priced from $750 to $18,000, derives from a horseshoe and polo mallet cuff link design created by Sonal and given to her husband on their wedding day. “They were inspired by a similar set that belonged to a maharaja,” says Patel, noting the Royale Jewels links are made by India’s oldest court jeweler, a company that has been around since the 18th century. (925.548-0123, www.cravateroyale.com)

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Photo by Ted Morrison