The Dark Knot is launching with an inaugural collection of men’s neckties that encapsulate the finest quality along with the full customer experience. Their collection of ties spans 72 unique designs, each hand made from high quality silk and interlined with a double layer of wool and cotton, to ensure that perfect, dimple infused knot every time.
A&H sat down and spoke with Dark Knot founder Rishi Chullani to get a bit behind the scenes of this new menswear brand.
When and what made you get into menswear and designing ties?
Designing ties and creating a brand has been something that I have seriously contemplated for a number of years. After my exit from finance about 18 months ago, I decided to go ahead full steam with the conception and development of a men’s necktie line.
What I found was that luxury necktie brands in the market are charging exorbitantly high prices, driven primarily by brand equity, but secondarily, and quite importantly, driven by multiple cost layers that exist between manufacturing and the final transaction, from distribution, rental lease expense and sales staff to marketing and corporate overheads. I figured that an online store would allow me to streamline this process and bring to the market high quality ties at an affordable price, as I would be running a leaner operation and would not be commanding a significant brand premium.
Rather, I wanted to bring high quality ties to the market at an affordable price, with the customer experience being front and center of our philosophy. While luxury brands are charging astronomical prices, middle market manufacturers often lack the breadth of pattern selection available at some of the higher end stores. And to the extent that they are available, certain elements like packaging are astray.
I wanted to bridge all these elements and truly bring a product to the market that is well presented and gives customers a wide choice, along with maintaining the quality of a high end retailer, while at a much lower price point.
And what’s really driven the conception of the brand has been the focus on customer experience. Each tie comes with matching recommendations for suits and shirts, given that many a man is sartorially challenged with the mixing and matching of both patterns and color. And each necktie also comes with a tie clip that fastens the reverse side of each tie to two shirt buttons, thereby eliminating what can often be unpleasant experiences such as dining or washing your hands.
From the time our product leaves our shelf to the time it’s in our customers hands and beyond, we want to be a contact point for all problems necktie related, from tying of knots to how and what the ties should be worn with. It is really this focus on customer service that we want to build the brand around.
What’s the inspiration behind Dark Knot?
When we were conceptualizing a brand name for the necktie line, we wanted our brand to be a symbolism of masculinity and strength, while still maintaining an aura of chicness. We feel that the brand name and the panther logo embody these concepts and help bring the brand to life. The panther represents strength and speed, and the black and white theme encompassing the whole name and logo demonstrates a level of chicness that is apparent throughout the product, from the final construction of the ties, to the quality of the packaging, suit and shirt recommendations and the tie clip.
The focus on the ‘Knot’ quite literally represents our focus on the quality of the neckties, which ultimately result in a fantastic knot. All our neckties are made from high quality silk, are self tipped and are interlined with a double layer of wool and cotton.
Ultimately, this brand represents elegance and masculinity, and above all else, a fine product, and we are truly excited about the prospect of bringing this rich combination to the market at an affordable price.
What is your opinion on dressing well in today’s society?
Men’s fashion has gone through a revolution over the last few years. I say revolution, not because how men are dressing has changed so drastically in terms of the pieces of the ensemble, but that the evolution has been drastic enough to constitute a revolution. While jeans, khakis and chinos still represent casualness, and suits and tuxedos represent formality and class if strutted appropriately, it is the focus on how pieces of the ensemble come together that has really changed.
Men are more focused than any time in the last 20 years on how pieces of their outfit should come together. The modern day man isn’t necessarily bounded by conformist views, but rather expresses his own identity through how he brings the elements of his ensemble together and how he accessorizes himself. Hence, the proliferation of colorful socks, focus on colorful shoe laces, the embracing of different textures such as tweed and wool according to season, and the re-introduction / focus on items such as boutonnieres.
A well-dressed gentleman today understands the importance of piecing together his ensemble, and is willing to search around for items that complement one another. This doesn’t necessarily have to take the form of high end luxury branding to complete one’s wardrobe, but rather a discerning approach to how one shops when trying to piece together that perfect look.
How do you all set yourselves apart in an industry where menswear accessories are plentiful?
When we worked on creating the brand, we wanted to bridge the difference between high end retailers and middle market retailers i.e offering customers high quality silk neckties with a breadth of selection, at an affordable price point. Our neckties, while very well priced, also offer a range of ties that won’t necessarily be found elsewhere. While we are starting with 72 unique designs / colors, the attention to pattern selection and our workings with factories specializing in woven and printed silk ties is what sets us apart from a design standpoint. Our necktie designs span Solids, Stripes (both British and American), Abstracts, Neat Patterns and Animal motifs.
Additionally, our attention to packaging really sets us apart. From the finishing on the boxes to the ribbons and the entire presentation, our neckties make for the ideal gift for significant others, family, friends and colleagues.
And finally, and most importantly, we really are focusing on the customer experience. We have gone through intricate detail figuring out matching suit and shirt combinations for every tie that we sell, and have also included tie clips that prevent the tie from moving out of place whilst eating a steak dinner or dancing at your friends wedding, for example.
And we pledge that any questions our customers have about any of our neckties or their existing ones will be answered by as promptly. We really do believe that the transaction should never end once the product leaves the shelf. That is the start of the customer experience, and this is where we want to engage with the customer as much as possible so as to make them maximize their experience with our product!
For more connect with them here: The Dark Knot