THE COLLECTIV | Mark A. Mathews

There is nothing in this world that I love more than a well-dressed man! When I encounter a gentleman in suit and tie…Child. Let. Me. Tell. You!!

Hold up…Pause. Where was I? Ah, yes…Dapper Gentleman Style.

There is an art to executing true gentleman style. Having the ability to tap into that gift requires a certain level of boldness in taste that many men today just don’t have. When the personal style of Mark A. Mathews began appearing in the Cold Hard Fash Instagram feed, I immediately paid attention. What stood out to me  was his bow ties. They were nothing like anything I’d ever seen before. The patterns were invigorating and brought so much character to his style. So, you could only imagine my reaction when I realized that he designs his ties, and has an entire line!

Owner and designer, Mark A. Mathews - The Whatknot Bowtie Company | Photo via Mark A. Mathews
Owner and designer, Mark A. Mathews – The Whatknot Bow Tie Company | Photo via Mark A. Mathews

Let’s just say, I knew immediately that it was a must for he and I to have a one-on-one to discuss The Whatknot Bow Tie Company:

How would you define your personal style?

My personal style begins with confidence.  A confident person can experiment with the possibilities of fashion and take chances that create a certain uniqueness. With that being said, I explore color and pattern combinations that express that confidence. I love to mix the formal with the casual.

How is your personal style reflected in the design and patterns you choose for The Whatknot Bow Ties?

My personal style is reflected through the patterns and colors of the fabrics that I select for my bow ties. When I search for fabric, I only select the fabrics that completely knock me out as soon as I see it. If I don’t think, “I can’t wait to go home and make this bow tie so i can wear it,” I won’t buy that fabric.

What inspired the concept of The Whatknot Bow Tie Company?

The inspiration behind the creation of The Whatknot concept was primarily my own supply and demand. I couldn’t find the bow ties that really excited me and when I found them, they were so expensive I couldn’t afford to buy them. I also have a cousin in the Washington D.C. Area who makes bow ties. I would buy bow ties from him as well. One day I decided, “Hey, why don’t I just make them myself?” So I bought a sewing machine from Craigslist, did a little research on how to make them and went for it. 

Describe the most inspiring and challenging moments you’ve faced as an independent designer.

As an independent designer, the most inspiring moments are when I hear about people walking up to complete strangers that have on bow ties so they can tell that person about The Whatknot Bow Ties. The support I get here locally and nationally is incredible. I love that people believe in what I am doing. 

My most challenging moments are being a “one man show.” Because I manufacture all of the bow ties myself, the challenge of having sufficient inventory for everyday local sales, trunk shows, various events and festivals, and Internet sales while trying to maintain the administrative aspects of the business can be overwhelming.


 If I don’t think, “I can’t wait to go home and make this bow tie so i can wear it,” I won’t buy that fabric.

What has inspired your collection for Fall 2013?

The Whatknot fall/winter collection will consist of darker and more vivid colors. Definitely more plaids and less floral prints. The fall/winter collection also introduces the formal collection of bow ties with line of silks and brocades. 

What new developments can our readers and fans of The Whatknot look forward to in the upcoming season?

In the upcoming seasons my plan is to expand The Whatknot to a full men’s accessories line beginning with a line of socks and belts that compliment the line of bow ties. 

My ultimate goal is to create wholesale relationships with as many stores as possible to make  accessories from The Whatknot Bow Tie Company available internationally.


There is no doubt in my mind that The Whatknot Bow Tie Company is on it’s way to becoming an international sensation! Mark’s talent and drive are such an inspiration. He is and will always be a Cold Hard Fash favorite.

To learn more about The Whatknot Bow Tie Company visit, where you can also order a tie that fits your Style Story!

Want to keep up with what’s new with The Whatknot? Be sure to follow Mark and the company:

Twitter & Instagram: @thewhatknot

Love & Style,

Crystal Lariece


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