It’s not often that corporate businesses team up with smaller local ones, but on Thursday, Urban Outfitters at CityScape will host a pop-up shop with Dapper + Dash, a thriving Phoenix-based company that sells handcrafted bow ties.
Since its inception in March 2012, Dapper + Dash has become increasingly popular in Phoenix, emphasizing the classic look of a bow tie that signals “independence, confidence (and) defiance against conventional fashion whims,” according to Dapper + Dash’s website.
These bold accessories will be the focus of the impromptu boutique in the Urban Outfitters store, located on Washington Street between First Street and Central Avenue. The event will last from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and customers will have the chance to learn all there is to know about bow ties, including how to tie them, from Dapper + Dash.
Mercantile, a vintage clothing store and salon in downtown Phoenix that carries Dapper + Dash bow ties, will also be present, styling women’s up-dos in charming ways using Dapper + Dash products.
Customers who enter from the Washington Street and Central Avenue entrance will see the the pop-up shop set up to the right of the doors near the elevators, said Mike Reinert, store manager at Urban Outfitters. After submitting the idea of collaborating with Dapper + Dash to the main office, Reinert said the store is excited “to have a fun time with our customers, support a local designer and have a cool, local community event in our store.”
Urban Outfitters is not the first store to collaborate with Dapper + Dash. Frances, a Phoenix boutique on Camelback Road, is one of several stores who buy Dapper + Dash bow ties at wholesale and sell them to their customers.
Sandy Conte, a buyer for Frances, said they were instantly interested in working with Dapper + Dash owner and founder Aaron Kimberlin once they saw his ties.
“He’s doing something new, something not everyone in town is doing,” she said.
The idea for Dapper + Dash was sparked by a neck tie collection Kimberlin received from his grandfather. The neck ties he used had been around for 30 to 40 years and were a little too wide to wear, he said.
“They were very, very wide at the base and looked kind of funny,” he said. “I had a thought process, well what if I were to get them cleaned, recut, refashioned, utilizing the same material, just giving it a different style?”
Each bow tie sold by Dapper + Dash is unique, handmade from vintage material and packaged sustainably with minimal waste. Presently, there are three styles of bow ties to choose from: Churchill, Dagwood and Huckleberry, sold at $42 each.
“We’re finding ways to build new products, but we want to make sure not to get overzealous and just focus on one thing at a time. I know we are coming out with at least one new product for 2013,” Kimberlin said.
Kimberlin’s success seems to be progressing. Dapper + Dash bow ties are sold by four different boutiques in the valley, two in Chicago and one in Los Angeles. The unique product made national news when former Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash sported a Dapper + Dash bow tie at the Lakers’ 2012-2013 season opener on Oct. 30. Kimberlin attributes that sighting to be one of the company’s most significant accomplishments.
“That was really big news for us that he was wearing it,” Kimberlin said. “NBA.com took a photo of it, and it started spreading like a wildfire. In addition, Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World caught on to us. I think it’s just these small, little victories that are local. You know, Steve Nash is local, Jim Adkins is local. I think they want to see good things happen in Phoenix, and having them support a small company like mine goes a long way.”
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Correction: Dec. 6, 2012
A previous version of this article misspelled Jim Adkins’ last name.