The swallows have returned to Capistrano. The Twins are already thinking about next year. And we've made a new batch of ties. Ah, spring! This time around, we've got five new additions to the MB catalog, all made from fabrics produced by a mill in Biella, Italy, then meticulously cut and hand-stitched into the ties you see here in a factory in Queens.
Normally, our ties retail for $60. But these are not normal times. Come January, there's a not-insignificant chance that Donald Trump and his Toolbag Militia, which now includes everyone from Bobby Night to Gavin McInnes, will occupy the White House. We admit how wrong we were on this one. Five years ago we thought there was no chance in hell that Trump could credibly contend for the highest office in the land.
But while Trump claims his goal is to make America great again, his track record suggests otherwise, at least when it comes to neckwear. For years, Trump has made shiny corporate ball-ticklers in Chinese factories and fed them to hapless toolbags at approximately $60 a piece.
His alleged rationale: He can't find American manufacturers who can deliver this product at competitive prices.
We don't know if we just got lucky, or if we have great instincts, but it wasn't that hard to find this company. The price they charge allows us to sell our ties at the same prices Donald Trump sells his. And we use fabrics produced in Italy, not China.
Now, granted, Trump sold his ties through retail channels, and we sell ours directly to you. But so could he. If he really wanted to support American businesses and offer good value to American consumers — to make America great again — he could do it. But he hasn't, even though it's incredibly easy to do.
Why not? The only rational conclusion is that Donald Trump loves ugly 100 percent Chinese ties. Just look at his neck, right now, wherever he is — that's all the proof you need.
Our prediction? If Trump is elected president, he will push for a new era of tie control, with regulation that protects his own long-standing business interests by favoring cheap Chinese imports over American-made ties like our own.
Now, in other words, is the time to buy stylish, American-made neckwear. Because when 2017 rolls around, the Toolbag Militia will probably be breaking down doors and confiscating any tie that is not shiny enough to serve as a ribbon on a four-year-old girl's birthday present.
We're not waiting until then to start a resistance movement. We believe it is our duty as Americans to resurrect our Anyone But Trump sale from last summer. What we said then, we say now: Just to prove that good old American know-how and entrepreneurism can still compete with Chinese tie sweatshops equipped with color-blind slave robots, we are offering the following deal, now through July 15 (or until supplies run out): Two Made in USA ties for $60. 4 for $120. 8 for $240. Shipping included. This includes all of our Spring 2016 ties, and every other tie we currently have in inventory. Just be sure to use the code ANYONEBUTTRUMP when ordering. Show your patriotism, and buy now!
(And they are already on sale! Read below for details.)
The five ties in our Fall 2015 collection all share a common pedigree. They start off as wool and wool blend fabrics milled in the Old Country, where the locals have been manufacturing textiles since the Middle Ages. Then, they emigrate to the mean streets of New York, where they are meticulously cut and stitched into the ties you see here in a factory in Queens.
Obviously, each tie in the Fall 2015 Wise Ties Collection stands alone, but we like to think of them all working together, as a crew, collectively adding a range of textures, hues, and attitudes to your wardrobe. To facilitate bulk buying, we're offering a deal you can't refuse. Buy one, and it's $60. Buy three, and it's $120. Use the code WISETIES. (This offer only applies to the five ties in the Fall 2015 Wise Ties Collection.)
Besides the Bocca Al Lupo shown, here are the other four that make up the Wise Ties Collection:
TIME-SAVING BUT LESS ENTERTAINING VERSION: 2 Made in USA ties for $60. 4 for $120. 8 for $240. Shipping included. Use code ANYONEBUTTRUMP at checkout.
We didn't think it was possible for us to think any less of Donald Trump than we already do. Then, he started talking about the economic realities of global menswear manufacturing.
Trump, of course, is a kind of toolbag da Vinci. He makes garish hotels, fussy golf courses, unwatchable TV shows, and generically glitzy menswear. Now that he's stumping for president on a platform of closed borders and trade protectionism, media watchdogs are starting to call him out for his seemingly hypocritical embrace of ill-tailored immigration — most of the clothes that bear his name are made overseas.
A couple weeks ago, investigative tie-wearer Jake Tapper donned a Trump tie for an interview with the candidate. Like most of the shiny corporate ball-ticklers in the Trump line, this tie was made in China.
When Tapper asked him about whether it was hypocritical to complain about losing jobs to China and Mexico while outsourcing the production of his clothing line to such countries, Trump responded that it is "impossible for our companies" to compete with Chinese ones because of how its government manipulates its currency.
Pressing him on the issue, Tapper asked, "What do you say when somebody says why don't you be a leader and make them in Philadelphia? I'd be willing to pay more for this tie..."
In reply, Trump exclaimed, "It's very, very hard to have anything in apparel made in this country." The implication: You just can't find American clothing manufacturers, at any price.
The truth, of course, is that there are plenty of American clothing manufacturers these days. And in many cases, they're not even economically prohibitive.
Take, for example, ties. Tapper encouraged Trump to start up a tie-manufacturing concern in Philadelphia. In reality, Trump wouldn't need to start something from scratch. Nor would he have to go to Philadelphia.
Our Magnificent Bastard ties are made in Queens, New York, which, coincidentally, is also Donald Trump's birthplace.
When we decided we wanted to make ties, we weren't on a quest to find a U.S. production facility or anything like that. We just wanted to find a place that made high-quality ties at prices a small brand like ourselves could afford. And ultimately it wasn't that hard to find such a place — we think we spent a few hours.
No doubt we could find a factory in China or Taiwan that makes ties even cheaper than our supplier does. But the truth is this family-run company in Queens, which has been making ties since 1957, offers very competitive prices. In fact, its prices are so competitive that we are able to offer hand-stitched, natural fabrics ties, including some that come with poetry attached to them, for $60.
That puts us in a place where we're going to have to put our money where our mouth is, so that's what we're doing.
Yes, we're having a sale.
Just to prove that good old American know-how and entrepreneurism can still compete with Chinese tie sweatshops equipped with color-blind slave robots, we are offering the following deal, now through September 1st (or until supplies run out): Two Made in USA ties for $60. 4 for $120. 8 for $240. Shipping included.
With your savings, you could (a) Buy a drink for an illegal immigrant who makes your life better in some way (b) Make a campaign contribution to any other candidate, or (c) Buy more ties from us.
Ultimately, of course, the choice is yours. Just be sure to use the code ANYONEBUTTRUMP when ordering.
If you've been reading Magnificent Bastard for a while, then you know we don't like skinny ties. Mostly, this is for aesthetic reasons — we always think guys in skinny ties look like unsuccessful suicides who just decided to go on with their day — but there's an economic factor at play too. Skinny ties are skinnier than good-looking, fully nourished ties, and yet they don't cost any less. This sort of thing happens in grocery aisles all the time. One day your favorite cheap Jamaican lager comes in 12 ounce bottles, the next it's down to 11.2 ounces, but the price doesn't change.
In the grocery store world, marketers typically try to keep such penny-pinching under wraps. In the apparel world, it's presented as fashion! We think this charade has gone on too long. We think that you, the tie-buyers of the world, deserve some redress. So we've persuaded one of our favorite tie-makers, Mountain & Sackett, to offer a special 16-day promotion. Now until April 30, you can get any tie it offers* for 25 percent off — including the ones that are already on sale — with discount code MB25. For S/S they've got a nice assortment of silk knits (just $44.62 after discount), and for F/W — it will be here soon — we own the Cedar wool herringbone and the Walker silk/wool in black. Handmade in NYC from fine English fabrics, and a healthy 3-plus inches wide, they're both only $55.50 with the MB25 discount. Why spend twice as much on a tie half as wide? Get them while they last!
* "Autism Speaks" ties not included.
The classic Negroni is simply equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. You can do better.
5 parts Plymouth gin
2 parts Campari
1 part Pimm's No. 1 Cup
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part dry vermouth
2 dashes of orange bitters
Quick shake or stir and pour into chilled Martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.