Do ties show we're up to our necks in it?
Is the tie a reliable “economic indicator”? My tie maker, Victoria Richards, reveals that the tie may be a rogue indicator.
I ring her to ask if she has any new ones coming along. Our normal deal is that she bungs her latest “tie run” into a minicab. I then go through them, choose five or six, and return the box with a cheque in the same vehicle.
The future is orange
When we speak, I offer her commiserations. She asks me why. I suggest that in a recession, few men care much about what is or isn’t round their necks.
Not so, she replies. She has seen a surge in orders. Her experience is that men facing straightening times, want to look their best. Far cheaper than the new suit, even the new shirt, is an investment in the other bit that shows: the tie.
Her anecdotal data is mirrored by research elsewhere in Europe and in the US. As the recession bit in America last September, the New York-based Style List reported men spending 8 per cent more on fashion items that the year before (women, interestingly were spending 3.5 per cent less).
Last month a survey in Europe conducted by Viacom Brand Solutions (VBSI) showed much the same: men spending the same, if not slightly more, than last year, women spending a little less.
Personally I can’t wait for my next box to arrive – should be this Monday. In other words, I can’t wait for the latest element of the Snow Economic Index – ties that blind us to the true state of the recession!