“Be bold with your style.”
Gregory Bruce is known as the man with the colorful bow ties. In recent years, the bow tie has regained popularity among men and women who want to add a little bit of sophistication and uniqueness to their wardrobe. What was once seen as “nerdy” or “Carlton-like” is now considered “cool” and “trendy.” To Gregory Bruce, bow ties are no trendy accessory, they are a staple of his wardrobe. They are essential. Since 2017, Gregory has been tapping into this trend with his unique and off-kilter designs.
He admits where he grew up is difficult to explain. He was born in Pittsburgh but lived all over Europe (Austria, Germany, Belgium, France) for the majority of his childhood. It wasn’t until his teenage years that he and his family returned to the United States. They settled down in New York City. Gregory went on to graduate from the High School of Music & Art.
“Every tie is singular unto itself and embodies a part of my heart and soul.”
He hasn’t been working on his craft for long, but Gregory has been steadily experimenting and putting his own spin on the traditional neckwear piece. “I’m a novice. I have only been creating bow ties since developing my first model (the “Butter Knife” bow) in June 2017,” says Gregory. “My ties then consisted of run-of-the-mill fabrics that—aside from the design shapes of the Butter Knife and subsequent Silver Spoon—had no personality.”
With his artful and unique designs, Gregory wants to change the bow tie game. “My epiphany came last fall when I realized there was a reason bow ties were not appealing—especially to black men and women. They were boring and that’s when I came up with the #nomoboringbows hashtag.” With his bow ties, he wants to challenge stereotypes pertaining to black Americans and other young people of color. He pictures a more “respectable” look for the youth. “What does it mean to be cool?” Gregory questions.
“I developed the asymmetric designs that are uniquely mine. Every tie is singular unto itself and embodies a part of my heart and soul. I think that these days it takes a great deal of soul to stand out, stand up straight and not follow the herd,” he says. “I know many men who are my age and have given up on whatever dream they might have had. What is soul? Mine is still young and aspiring.”
This summer Gregory plans to introduce a line of ascots and cravats and continue to employ fabric from around the world, including various African countries. “I will patiently grow my brand clear in the knowledge that it only takes about ten years to become an ‘overnight success’.” He’s aware it takes patience and grit to become successful in the entrepreneur game, but his passion won’t let him give up.
“I know many men who are my age and have given up on whatever dream they might have had. What is soul? Mine is still young and aspiring.”