“I just turned this thing I’d never wear into something I can wear,” Joshua said, but there was a steep learning curve for Joshua.
“Not even a button!” he said about his sewing skills when he began, but he had a special knack for tailoring ties. With a lot of fat ties in his closet, which are not becoming on his slender physique, he transformed them into skinny ties, which is how his tie tailoring company SKINNYFATTIES was born.
“There is a big value in tailoring,” Joshua said and his service costs less than buying a new tie and better than chucking an old tie that might hold some sentimental value.
The tie that Josh was wearing as we enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the backyard of Cafe Edna was the first tie that he ever tailored.
To think about ties as objects they can seem like peculiar accessories, narrow pieces of fabric wrapped around the neck, but Josh is passionate about ties and what they mean to men who only have this one small opportunity in an otherwise formal uniform to show off some personality.
“I’m gay,” Joshua said, “So I wear crazy ties, but most straight men wear a very conservative number and they put on a pink tie and they are Ru Paul, it’s like a feather boa. It’s the way men express themselves.”
At the time Josh began learning to tailor ties, Men’s Wearhouse was having a National Suit Drive for men in need and he donated his first tailored ties to that cause. He continues to give back with SKINNYFATTIES via Career Gear, a non-profit that has helped over 30,000 men who are low income move from poverty to self-sufficiency by giving them skills to reenter the workforce. For every tie SKINNYFATTIES tailors, $1 is donated to Career Gear, which has amounted to 1000 ties and $1000 for men in need.
Aside from his new tie line, other plans for SKINNYFATTIES include transforming fat ties into bow ties.
The story of SKINNYFATTIES’ began and continues in Greenpoint.
“It’s a great place to be creative, I find a lot of inspiration here,” Joshua said.