Neckwear sales tank in 2009. Which stylish star should stick his neck out?
On Wednesday, our Tribune colleague Sandra M. Jones reported on another casualty of the economy: men's neckwear sales. The upshot of it is, although suit sales rebounded to end 2009 nearly unchanged, the number of ties sold in the U.S. fell 18% in the same period -- more than double the 7.3% drop the industry saw in 2008.
Jones cites market research firm NPD's figures indicating revenues from neckwear sales in 2009 were just $418 million -- down from about $1 billion in the mid-1990s.
What the industry really needs is a celebrity willing to stick his neck out for neckwear -- the way they've appeared in ads touting the appeal of California (Jay Leno, David Beckham and Vanessa Williams, among others) and, more recently, British Columbia (Michael J. Fox, Ryan Reynolds, and -- who knew -- Kim Cattrall).
If there's one stylish fellow who could single-handedly put the four-in-hand back in our hands, my money would be on the ever dapper George Clooney.
Any other suggestions?
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Actor George Clooney wears a jacket and tie during a visit to the United Nations in December 2006. With neckwear sales down 18% in 2009 from the previous year, the industry could use some star power to make the neck knot popular again -- and not just as a workplace fixture. We think Clooney's just the the kind of guy who could do it. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times