The modern necktie, a symbol of elegance and sophistication, can trace its origins right back to the seventeenth century, at the time of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). It was supposedly the Croation mercenaries, who were wearing their traditional small knotted neckerchiefs, that were responsible and they attracted the interest of Parisians, as they were based in Paris, fighting on behalf of the French. The tie came to be called a cravat (based on Croat).
Louis XIV started to wear a lace cravat in the 1640s and started the fashion. It was not until the 1920s however that we would recognise the tie that we know today. The New York tie maker Jesse Langsdorf came up with a method of cutting the fabric on the bias and sewing it in three segments. There are of course many different types of tie, and it is worn in different ways around the world, depending on culture and what the occasion is. It is a highly fashionable item and designers claim that a good tie can make an outfit, whereas a bad one can break it. Nonetheless, as a luxury product the ties can reach immense prices.
This list takes a look at five of the most expensive neckties in the world in descending order:
5. Christian Lacroix Fantasy Pattern – $1,150
This strange tie from the famous French fashion designer Christian Lacroix can be yours for a mere $1,150. The tie is 100% silk which is of immense quality. This is one of the reasons why the tie is so expensive as well as the quality of the patterns in which the fabric is cut. More than anything though it is perhaps the association with this luxury brand that enable the price to be as high as it is.
4. Stefano Ricci’s Formal Crystal Tie – $1,775
In the current Stefano Ricci collection there are quite a number of formal Crystal ties, and they range in price from $360 to $1,775. All of the ties are 100% silk satin but this one is addorned with a large number of Swarovski crystals. It is the crystals that make the tie so expensive and sought after.
3. EMPA Gold Tie – $8,500
The EMPA Gold Tie is a cravat that goes beyond all other cravats in terms of value, style and importance. After ten years of research, the textile experts at Empa in St Gallen were able to create a thread resulting from a mixture of silk and 24-carat gold. This tie is the result. The project brought togethre state of the art technology and fashion to create something that is visually stunning but also a work of creative and technological genius. This kind of project or substance would have been unthinkable many years ago.
2. Stefano Ricci’s Diamond Plated Tie – $30,000
At a selling price of $30,000, this Stefano Ricci tie is one of the most expensive and over-the-top neckties ever created. It is the diamonds that give it its true value and it is an imopact statement beyond all others. The wearers of this tie can say – look what I can afford! It is much more than just an accessory. It is part of fashion history and goes to the very depths of what extravagance can bring on. Anybody who can afford to buy a tie for $30,000 can also afford a lot of other things. This is the idea behind it. It is catering for a luxury market that only the super rich can really afford.
1. The Suashish Necktie – $220,000
Yes, you saw that right. The Suashish Necktie is valued at a whopping $220,000. It is the most expensive tie in the world is also the most impressive and luxurious one ever made. This incredible piece of fashion history is the work of the Satya Paul Design Studio who teamed up with the Suashish Diamond Group to create a piece of the utmost extravagance. The necktie is made of pure silk, and fashioned from 150 grams of gold, and 271 diamonds, hence the price. The silk material itself is still immensely valuable but, without the gold and diamonds, this tie would be no where near as expensive as it is.
As you can see, the market for luxury fashion items is still booming as it will do, we expect, for many years to come. There will always be people with hige amounts of money who are willing to pay vast sums for ‘fashionable adjuncts’ such as a necktie. As with most fashion, it is not necessarily the item of clothing itself, but it is the expense paid and the way that people will think of you as a result of you wearing it that is the reason why people buy these items.
The range in prices between the number five tie and the number one tie is of course mostly to do with jewels. It is perhaps obvious that if you put a load of high quality diamonds on a necktie then its value is going to soar up. The tie that came in at number three, the EMPA gold tie, is perhaps the most innovative of the set seen above as it actually involved the driving forward of fashion, making the actual material itself more valuable, by embedding the gold within the fabric itself.
Ultimately, fashion is about fabric and the way it is worked, although, for some, the addition of jewelry will always help things to sell. The top two ties in the collection, the Stefano Ricci tie and the Suashish tie, are really overwhelming pieces of jewelry, rather like a fancy, diamond inset gold watch, that fashionable men can show off. The tie is seen as an extension of personality and wealth, certainly in this case.
It will continue to do so although it is doubtful whether a tie quite as expensive as the Suashish will ever be made in the future. Time will tell. Perhaps the designers of the future are already working on it.The tie has developed organically over the past 400 years. Is the future for the tie to be more functional or to continue to be a luxury, high end product. The answer is probably that it can be both. It just depends on who the client is and who is wearing it, as well as what purpose it is being worn for.