Photo courtesy: David Ricci

Rye students start tie company at the Fashion Zone

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By Victoria Shariati

TIEmsquare is a tie and pocket square company that was launched in 2015 by Ryerson’s own David Ricci and Marta Lehzdyn.

Last April, the company won TRSM’s Next Top Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition, and has been based in the Fashion Zone ever since.

The company works on a subscription-based model, which means that for $39 a month, customers receive a coordinated tie and pocket square combination delivered to their door.

The idea for TIEmsquare was born out of Ricci’s love for ties and pocket squares. Being a fourth-year business management student, he often attends meetings and presentations where other students see his combinations.

After being asked repeatedly where he bought his ties or how he put the two together, Ricci realized there was a market.

“The [four] things that I love are New York City, ties, pocket squares and business,” Ricci, 22, said.

He then turned to Lehzdyn, whom he has known for several years. Prior to forming TIEmsquare, the two had discussed going into business together.

“Our strengths and weaknesses work well, so that’s why we’re such an effective team,” Ricci said. “When we combine, it fills all the gaps.”

Lehzdyn, a fourth-year architectural science student, has been a fashion designer for approximately six years. While Ricci handles the business aspect of TIEmsquare, Lehzdyn oversees the designs.

The ties are inspired by the styles of New York City combined with current and predicted fashion trends, Lehzdyn, 21, said.

“We specifically draw inspiration from Wall Street,” she said. “It’s important for us to be away from the old and boring and into the modern.”

Ricci said the pair decided to work with this model after studying research that demonstrated a growing trend in men’s online shopping.

“Men generally don’t shop the same way women do,” he said. “Men want everything done for them and don’t want to spend eight hours trying something on.”

TIEmsquare gets most of its exposure through its Instagram account, which has over 30 thousand followers.

The two turned the Fashion Zone because of its resources and environment, Lehzydn said. When they have questions concerning design or business, they can easily turn to other students who occupy the space.

“It’s an incubator,” said Ricci. “It’s introduced us to people we otherwise wouldn’t be introduced to.”

The ties and pocket squares are made in Shengzhou, China and are made with cotton, wool, silk, linen and polyester blends.

Every tie has a different pattern on the front and back. The design on the back end of the tie, Lehzdyn said, matches the design on the pocket squares. This reveals that the tie and pocket square are a “perfect set.”

According to Lehzdyn, TIEmsquare is looking to step away from the classic look of ties and pocket squares in order to design a “completely new, avant-garde” concept. These products are expected to come out within the next two years.

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