Diana Chan and Gerald Shen have been selling well-made, handrolled pocket squares to discerning customers at StyleForum for the last two years. Last summer, they began making neckties under the name Vanda Fine Clothing. Whereas most new neckwear companies rely on a faux-heritage image or “Made in the USA” label to sell their wares, Vanda is about quality in the way that I think a more thoughtful customer can appreciate.
Over the summer, I was lucky enough to get one of Vanda’s first designs. It’s a completely handcrafted, half-lined, six-fold tie made out of Adamley silk, one of the best mills in the world. The edges of the tips are handrolled, which give the tie an artisanal feel, and the half-interlining makes the it feel a bit lighter. Most ties you’ve come across have a full piece of wool or cotton interlining. This gives them a meatier feel and heavier drape. Vanda’s ties, however, feel a bit more airy and scarf-like, and they wear in a more unique way.
Admittedly, such construction won’t be to everyone’s taste. If you’ve never worn an unlined or half-lined tie, you may find it’s a bit too light for your liking. However, if you’re an enthusiast of men’s clothing and style, I strongly recommend you at least try one out. For some people, including me, once you’ve worn one, it’s impossible not to get more. I appreciate such ties in the way I appreciate mechanical watches. They take more time, silk, and handwork to make, and I take pleasure in knowing how they’re crafted. I also find that Vanda’s ties yield a deeper, more handsome dimple, and since the edges aren’t pressed flat, they have nice rolling edges, which give them a fuller three-dimensional shape.
I’ve liked my tie so much that I recently ordered another from Vanda’s webstore (I bought the brown glen plaid made of Huddersfield wool). I also recently had a chance to speak to Gerald about the new company, their ties, and Vanda’s future plans.