I think of ties morning, noon and night. At night, if I have insomnia, I count ties instead of sheep. I seldom go to the country. For me, the country consists of the jungles of my ties. They are populated with trees, flowers and animals. I try to make my ties colorful, interesting, artistic and gay, rather than showy and spectacular. Shadows I see on the street sometimes give me an idea for a new design.
Countess Mara, known to the government as Lucilla Whitman. Whitman was born Lucilla de Vescovi in Rome; she married a wealthy textile man named Malcolm Whitman, moved to New York and took up tie design in middle age after her husband passed, becoming one of the most famous names in mid-century ties. (Her brand still persists, by the way, though you’re more likely to find it at Ross than Nieman Marcus, these days.)