ALL TIED UP
Byline: Anita J. Finkelstein
CHICAGO — Robert Daskal has given new life to hand-painted silk ties and scarves.
Fourteen years ago, when the he bought Beasley’s, a manufacturing company with retail outlets, its reign over the hand-painted tie market had dwindled as consumer demand for the ties fell.
Now, although Daskal has closed the stores, he has strengthened the manufacturing business by reintroducing the ties and scarves and is again selling to specialty and department stores.
While 80 percent of his business is in men’s ties, the 20 percent in women’s is going strong.
He now employs 28 artists, most graduates of the Chicago Art Institute, who design and paint each item and sign the pieces.
“They even get commission on the number of pieces sold of each design,” said Rebekah Chisholm, who has represented the line at the Chicago mart for the past 12 years.
She says she’s seen solid growth since the beginning: “We started when women were doing the power suits with bow ties, but now women wear [scarves] all the time.”
Right now, Chisholm says the most popular scarf shape is oblong.
For fall, the best-selling scarf is called the patchwork, a tubular fringed scarf made from remnants of the tie line. “They sell great for holiday because no two are exactly alike,” she said.
The line is updated six times a year and wholesales from $29 to $84.