Derringer Friday is a duo of transplanted southern gentlemen who like to wear nice things. Like so many independent designers I know, Scott Permar and Lukas Smith got started because they couldn’t find anything in stores that satisfied both their style and quality requirements.
Derringer Friday is about neckties, because that’s what Scott and Lukas like to wear. Although neither of them come from a design background, they know what they like, and they know what looks good. “At the end of the day, it comes down to taste rather than any specific skill,” says Scott, and he’s right. After all, many of the most successful menswear designers never set foot in fashion school.
I first noticed Derringer Friday ties at the Temporium, where their unusual colors and interesting shape caught my eye. As always, I noticed the fabric first: high quality wool, linen and seersucker in bold plaids and florals. The combination of texture, color, and pattern was really interesting, and a far cry from the boring “power ties” on the collars of most men in DC.
The most interesting feature, however, is the guillotine tip, a design detail that really sets Derringer Friday ties apart. They are constructed using an unlined, four-fold technique that Scott and Lukas devised themselves, after some research and trial and error. Their goal was to create a tie that would drape nicely and hold up well over time, all while looking stylish, and of course, not like everybody else.
The company came about as sort of a happy accident. Scott and Lukas have been friends for years, and have always been interested in clothes and style. After talking about starting something together for a while, they took the plunge by experimenting with necktie designs, and Derringer Friday was born. Their first collection debuted in April 2010.
All the ties are handcrafted in Washington, DC by Derringer Friday’s talented local production team. The most popular ties, not surprisingly, have been the brighter, more colorful designs, which also happen to be the ones that Scott and Lukas enjoy designing the most.
There are plans to add cufflinks and tiebars to the collection in 2011, but for now you can find handmade Derringer Friday neckties at their online shop, and at Alter Brooklyn in New York City.