When asked what they were doing before they started their men’s accessory company The Knottery, Jack Fischman (left) and Jay Arem respond, “Nothing.” It’s as if life before designing ties isn’t worth commenting on. Truth: Jack worked in the online realm, and Jay comes from the energy world.
The two nice Jewish boys met at a Brooklyn synagogue—they’re both the type to sit near the back, looking for people to joke with. “We became friends very fast,” says Jay. “We find each other very funny and ourselves very funny. The more he made fun of himself, the more I liked him.” Jay followed fashion blogs, they both loved ties, and they both had a natural curiosity when it came to getting to the bottom of how things are made. So they did copious amounts of research, sourced some deadstock fabric, and, in June 2011, decided to build their own label of ties and pocket squares.
“I’m the brains, and Jay is the brawn,” quips Jack. While they joke about being “terrible craftsmen,” both men are obsessed with details. Every item sold starts with a handmade prototype, but, as dads with growing families, they also get that clothing budgets can get overtaken by fancy things like diapers. “We have a very classy, very contemporary look, and you’re probably surprised that the price tag is not,” says Jack. —jackie varriano