Editor's Introduction: This is Part 3 of our Bow Ties to Boots Series, which delves into Dhani Jones' connection to Cincinnati through Cincinnati Fashion Week. Being the world traveler that he is, we feel very lucky to get to take up some of Dhani's time and do our part to tell his story. Part 1 gave a little more background on Jones' own personal story as well as his reasoning for starting his Bow Ties for a Cause organization. Part 2 detailed Jones' fashion sense and tips on how to develop a look of your own. Enjoy! - Michael Sarason, Editor of David's Voice
In my most recent conversation with Dhani Jones, he shared his enthusiasm for an upcoming special event, the Second Annual Cincinnati Fashion Week. This local happening is coined as “the movement to bring fashion, retail and philanthropy to the Midwestern forefront of style.” Jones sees this Cincinnati gem as “another way to celebrate and bring our community together.” The football star compared fashion week to a lingerie show or a film festival—while it may be for different reasons, both men and women enjoy an opportunity to see new forms of expression while having a chance to critique. While his involvement in a Fashion Week-type event seems somewhat natural and obvious given his innate sense for style, Jones is taking his participation to another level. Jones is looking at this culturally inspiring event as a positive opportunity to collaborate with other local, talented entrepreneurs and designers.
An entrepreneur himself, Jones developed Bow Tie Cause, a philanthropic endeavor that partners with charitable groups to increase awareness, as well as to support and spark conversation about a cause. Instead of embarking on a solo project for Cincinnati Fashion Week like he easily could, Jones is partnering with another local business, Artfully Disheveled.
This Cincinnati based-brand features uniquely designed neckties, bow ties and pocket squares. The two teams are joining forces to create a special limited edition bow tie for Cincinnati Fashion Week. Artfully Disheveled’s founders, local businessmen, Chris Berre and Michael Palmer, first met Jones about a year ago. They met again when Artfully Disheveled approached Jones for guidance on their Corporate Social Responsibility program. Berre and Palmer strongly believe that no matter how big or small a company is there is an opportunity for businesses to get involved and give back.
The Artfully Disheveled team understands that they can stay true to their artistic principles of designing for a man who “lives with a certain nonchalance” while also incorporating key pillars of social responsibility. Jones shared that both sides invested a great deal of time and effort so both Bow Tie Cause and Artfully Disheveled can make a big impact on the community. Inspired by Jones’ Bow Tie Cause principles, the Artfully Disheveled team has decided to leverage the four pillars of Bow Tie Cause — self representation, service, critical thought and collaboration — as inspiration for their brand’s social responsibility purpose.
Upon commitment to this Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, both Jones and the Artfully Disheveled partners decided to take their thoughtful collaboration a step further and design a limited edition bow tie for the upcoming May 2011 Cincinnati Fashion Week that depicts these four pillars in an artful and stylish way.
Jones shared with me that, “the importance of Cincinnati Fashion Week is the opportunity for collaboration—it’s a chance to empower those around you who want to participate.” He also explained that this creative outlet provides shared ownership in a creative experience. The Bow Tie Cause founder who also has a wealth of knowledge on Cincinnati textile and garment industry history, revealed the importance for this week of fashion, as it is linked to our local roots. From Macy’s, to the Essex Studio who tailors the famous Master’s Green Jacket to the University of Cincinnati’s Design, Architecture, Art, & Planning (DAAP) Program, Cincinnati is rich in art and design. Jones believes that “Cincinnati is central to fashion and we have one of the best and highest rated design schools in the country and one of the top entrepreneurial programs at Miami University. Cincinnati is a force to be reckoned with.
Mr. Jones and the Artfully Disheveled team are going to unveil their limited edition bow tie the week of May 9th, 2011. The final details of their fashion week event are still in the works, but be sure to check out http://www.cincinnatifashionweek.com/ for the latest details about the event.
Only 100 bow ties are being created for the event, so stay on the lookout and don't miss your chance to catch a unique expression of Cincinnati fashion.
Follow Dhani and Bow Tie Cause at: www.bowtiecause.org or on twitter - @bowtieceo or @DhaniJones or visit Bow Tie Cause on Facebook
Should There be a National Bow Tie Day?
Did you know that Texas has declared a statewide Bow Tie Day? On April 13, 2011 Dhani will join Senator Lucio, who wears a bow tie every Wednesday, at the Austin Capitol to unveil a special Bow Tie Day bow tie.