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The Humble Tie Becomes Art

You can watch it happen at accessories brand Title of Work’s first New York boutique and atelier.

Though we here at Robb Report are always ready to tout the sartorial value of a finely crafted tie, even we can admit it isn’t exactly the most exciting part of an outfit. It will likely go unnoticed (unless perhaps you’re sporting a full ’80s power tie, which we wouldn’t necessarily recommend) and end up being something you feel obligated to wear rather than something that is actively expressing your sense of style. That is, unless you’re wearing a style from Title of Work. It’s a young accessories brand fresh off the heels of a residency at the 2018 CFDA Retail Lab at Cadillac House that elevates the overlooked accessory to the level of fine jewelry.

And now the line, which was founded in 2011 by artist and designer Jonathan Meizler, is expanding its footprint—setting down the roots of its first flagship on Orchard Street in New York City’s Lower East Side, which opened earlier this week. In addition to charting the brand’s retail identity (its pieces are also available at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and online at MatchesFashion), the sleek boutique—characterized by a striking oil-slick black floor, glowing red neon accents, and large-scale artwork—is a door into the couture-meets-rock-and-roll universe of Title of Work. The art-gallery-like setting puts the brand’s jewelry, ties, and accessories—often pieces of art in themselves—on full display.

Those hand-embellished ties—think a classic plaid style abstracted with deconstructed layers of beading and shredded silk ($750), or a simple black-silk pique tie emblazoned with a striking line of copper beads ($450)—line the perimeter of the boutique. In the center, customers can browse a selection of edgy chain-link bracelets and necklaces on the center island and admire the brand’s intricately designed line of cuff links, which feature playful dinosaurs, astronauts, and anatomically correct hearts. They will also be some of the first to discover new designs and product lines, as the brand will use the boutique as testing grounds for further expansion and collaboration with other labels and artists.

And should they approach the back mirror to check how a silver Long Leg Beetle pin ($400) looks on the lapel of their coat, they’ll discover Title of Work’s atelier—not their own reflection—staring back at them. There, shoppers can watch as the brand’s artisans bring every Title of Work piece to life, molding sterling-silver bracelets or hand-beading a complex geometric design onto a bow tie. And after getting a peek into what it takes for the brand to adhere to the complex couture atelier standards (which provides guidelines for things like material quality and hand-detailing), that tie suddenly doesn’t look so boring after all.

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