designer: Vicky Davisabout

Already a middle-aged woman at the time, Davis relocated to New York from Michigan in order to turn her passion for neckwear and fabrics into a business and succeeded in ways that surprised even her. In the early 1980s, she was among the champions of skinny ties, a departure from the wide neckwear ushered in by Ralph Lauren more than a decade earlier. With the two trademarks included on her logo, a wild mane of curly hair and oversized glasses, a squeaky voice and a pull-no-punches attitude, Davis, already a hit with the fashion press, made serious inroads into the retail world and had affiliations with companies including Humphreys, Brookville and MMG. She virtually eliminated the line separating designers and their creations, referring to her line as "my ties" and often addressing them with the kind of adoration and attachment one might reserve for a child or spouse.