Madelyn Somers hand-makes super dapper bow ties for women. The 23-year-old LA based designers mission is to inspire women to be empowered individuals and part of the proceeds go to Women for Women International. Tycoon Neckwear uses recycled men’s ties with a feminine flareand her designs have so far caught the eye of Janelle Monae and Ellen Degeneres.
Twin spoke to the LA born and bred designer about her style…
What’s your fashion background?
Fashion is and has always been something I’ve taken an interest in, but never thought of it as a career. My mom has a degree in fashion design, so she taught me how to sew and I took a few sewing classes in college.
I love thrift shopping at flea markets, the goodwill or my favorite, the Jewish thrift council store which are all around Los Angeles for great designer finds, but I’m not the one who keeps up with fashion blogs and collects fashion magazines to keep up with the trends for the seasons. I dress in what I like which is usually in the realm of quirky menswear chic with some funky pattern or pop of color.
Where did the idea come from for Tycoon Neckwear and what’s it all about?
It came out of a little boredom and what to do after college, but I was thrift shopping one day and found a basket of men’s ties that brought on an immense curiosity to reclaim them in to something cool for women. Since classic menswear always inspired me, I wanted to figure out how to incorporate menswear into women’s fashion without feeling like I was borrowing from my dad’s closet.
I bought a few ties and the next day I started sewing them. I found a box of vintage buttons my mom had stored in her studio and incorporated them. It seemed to all come about pretty organically. I came up with a whole ad campaign. I loved building the brand from the ground up, it was inspiring to not only have a product, but create a product that came with a pretty effortless statement that I felt strongly about.
Tycoon is a neckwear line that inspires women to be empowered individuals. Tycoon uses recycled men’s ties with a feminine flare to create a force of confidence, individuality, and style. I loved the idea that Tycoon is sustainable because salvaging something old and turning it into something new is a part of an eco-friendly movement that I’ve always been passionate about which also contributes to the fact that they are all one of a kind creations.
What does style mean to you?
Style to me is really is about individuality and making a statement about who you are and what you want to say to the world without being vocal. It’s our first impression when you walk out the door and who doesn’t want to give off an impression by making a declaration to the public that “I am a confident individual and this is how i chose to express myself, no one can tell me otherwise.”
I loved what street fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham said, “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” It’s a chance to be uniquely you and it gives us the joy of being able to reinvent ourselves a little bit each day. There are no confines necessary to the immense possibility of what is style and lady bow ties are just one of those possibilities.