At a glance: Otis James is a line of beautifully made ties, with a handful of hats and handkerchiefs in the collection as well.
Who’s behind the brand? Otis James himself. After biking all across the United States, he settled in Nashville intent on becoming a craftsman, specifically in the area of men’s clothing. He got his start working in a tuxedo shop and apprenticing under the tailor of the department store Levy’s, and after a few people ordered some custom ties from him (a skill which he learned quickly – after the order was placed!) he realized this was catching on and there was a real future here. Indeed, it’s worked out quite well, his ties sell like hotcakes and he’s now expanded the line and workspace quite a bit.
What do they do? Otis James makes ties. Of all kinds. Bow ties, neckties, ascots, “lady ties”… But he also does caps and hankies. All the accessories a true gentlemen cannot live without, and that the rest of us didn’t know we needed until we saw them. Every piece is hand-made by Otis himself in his Nashville studio, down to each last label and button-hole. The hands-on craftsmanship and the spot-on modern gentleman aesthetic really sets him apart. Otis James makes all of these pieces seem fresh and new again, and far from seeming stuffy and old-fashioned, each tie and hanky feels modern, hip, and totally covetable.
Where are they based? Otis used to work out of his apartment, but upgraded to a shared workshop space in Marathon Village in Nashville, Tennessee.
What materials do they use? The caps are made of wool tweed, lined with cotton and a soft pinwale corduroy inner band, or there’s one with an indigo-dyed cotton canvas exterior. The rest of the stuff is made in silks, cottons, linens and wools, all a little bit luxury, a little bit rugged.
Who do they work with? Otis collaborated with Imogene + Willie, another great locally produced Nashville brand (specializing in denim) to create his caps.
Editors’ favorites from the line? We love the traditional ties, of course, and the idea of the lady tie as well, but some of our favorite items are the deep garnet red ribbed silk bow tie and the herringbone tweed wool cap.
He’s also recently opened up his workshop to the public so you can not only shop the goods in person if you’re in Nashville, but you can see the Otis do his thing right before your eyes.