My First Tie
I recall that moment quite vividly, the first time I bought a luxury tie, a luxury anything for that matter. I inspected my blue pin-dot find it inch by inch, until I found the label. "Made in Italy," it said, and a feeling of euphoria rushed through my body. Never was I so sure of a purchase in my life util now, even with it costing substantially more than what I would've paid elsewhere. But I knew it was for me.
It was a small store in a deadbeat corner of the mall, but the sheer selection drew me in. I spent the better part of an hour browsing and looking at all the fantastic ties. Mind you, I had no clue about folds, interlining, slip stitch and all, but the beauty was palpable. And sometimes, that is all that matters. All it took was a wedding invitation, and a passion was ignited.
I'd like to pay tribute today to Andrew's ties, for giving me that gentle nudge I so desperately needed. I was unable to get in touch with someone directly at the company, but one person heeded my call - Mr. Henrik Granqvist. He owns the Andrew's Ties shop in Sweden, and I happen to come across him on Instagram where I reached out to him. I spoke with him over over several months, and he was more than happy to oblige us with an interview on his background and the brand.
A chat with Mr. Henrik Granqvist of Andrew's Ties Sweden.
What is your role with the company?
I am CEO and owner of the Swedish AT (Andrew's Ties) in Stockholm. I also do a lot of R&D work for AT in Italy.
Tell us a bit about the ties.
The ties are made in Milano and the fabrics are produced in Como.
The ties are made by hand, however we have some ties that have more details like hand rolled edges etc. For example our grenadine ties (garza grossa / fina) are untipped (partially unlined) with hand rolled edges.
How often are collections released?
At the moment we have a F/W and S/S collection but we bring in new goods every other week during most parts of the year. Our ties are produced in very limited edition which makes it possible for us to have a steady flow of new goods coming into the store. This means we don't get one big shipment in the beginning of each season, but several smaller shipments.
What are your other popular products, besides ties?
Pochettes, bow ties and scarves are very popular but we also sell a lot of dress shirts, belts, etc. During the fall, our 100% merino pullovers are very popular among our customers. These are also made in Italy.
Which ties are your best sellers?
At the moment our grenadine ties are very popular. During the fall we sell a lot of wool ties and in spring time, mostly silk but also blended materials like silk/cotton and silk/linen. The knitted ties are also a popular kind of tie at the moment. Other than this, we always sell a lot of pin-dot ties, like the one you bought, along with other classics like plain navy and burgundy colors. The trend now though, is micro patterns and printed ties along with plain ties in a bit more rough materials. Another thing that has come strong in recent years are ties that have untipped edges. Not everybody likes them but the trend is there.
Tell us about the brand's roots.
The brand Andrew´s Ties originates from Milan, Italy. However, we got the opportunity to change the concept here in Stockholm, Sweden. We have our own collections and in general, higher quality of fabrics, both in ties and accessories but also in shirts. Many of the products that you can see in our Instagram feed are made exclusively for us (the grenadine ties is one example of this). We even make some changes to the basic collections as well. In the last couple of years, we have changed the inner lining. This makes the knot much better and the ties can retake their original shape faster. For the spring, we have made our largest collection to this day and I am very much looking forward to it. We have continued to increase the quality of the fabrics along with changing the inner lining again to get the best possible knots. Also, we are making much more printed fabrics in different materials. We have the possibility to produce in very low numbers, 4-6 pcs, which can make every piece somewhat unique.
In short, Andrew´s Ties in Stockholm is a freely operating franchise with a lot more freedom of expression. We use the same suppliers and factories that AT use, however we also buy fabrics from other companies that the AT factories can turn into ties according to our specifications. What we have in common is the brand name and parts of the basic collections. Also, we have the same focus on Italian-made products.
What is the direction of AT Stockholm?
The objective for our Stockholm store is to be the natural choice for all men in Stockholm wanting to buy ties and accessories. We bring quality goods at a highly competitive price.
In Italy, the brand's objective is to offer the international market exclusive products of the highest quality, manufactured according to the rules of traditional tailoring.
A new direction.
Readers should note this interview took place earlier this year. At the time of publishing, Mr. Henrik Granqvist has decided to take a new direction by leaving the Andrew's Ties franchise to pursue his own vision of starting a stand-alone brand - "Granqvist."
The first collection in production under the label "Granqvist," made in the south of Italy, includes classic jaqcuards and prints, as well as grenadines, shantungs, cashmere and more. They've also brought in some new brands such as Passaggio Cravatte and Malbi (known for their wonderful scarves).
Henrik's vision for Granqvist is to offer premium quality accessories and a wide selection at a reasonable price.
Photos courtesy of Granqvist.