Already getting some press on Sartorially Inclined and Off the Cuff, a brand that is surely making the rounds and leaving a good impression in the style blogoshere is Lumina Clothing Company. Selling hand-sewn ties made right in North Carolina, Lumina seeks to bring a touch of southern charm and class to an over-saturated market of tie makers. So when Lumina graciously reached out to me last month to check out a few of their ties, I decided to reach back with a few questions of my own to find out more about the company.
Q&A with Lumina ClothingCo.:
Every brand has a story that they want to tell, a story that they want their customers to envision themselves in. What story is Lumina trying to tell?
The Lumina story starts back in the early 1900’s. We pulled the name from an old dance pavilion that was in Wilmington, NC. At the time it was the largest and most popular dance pavilion on the east coast. We used this for inspiration, because we want our ties, and eventually clothing, to become worn for their quality and enjoyment, both of which were optimized by the pavilion.
We hope that Lumina can be a diversity of items, from pieces that you only wear once in a while, to those pieces that are worn every day. We want them to be comfortable and at the same time classically tailored to make you look your best.
It is tough to pin down a specific story that we want our customers to envision themselves in because quite frankly, everyone’s story is a little different. We just hope that whether you are downtown for a night on the town, or out at a summer time party, you will feel confident and comfortable in our product.
How are patterns and materials selected?
We select all of our patterns and materials in house before each season. We strive to utilize colors or fabrics that are not being used by everyone else. We started with our cotton ties just before many other companies did and hope that some of our more outrageous ideas will soon become a staple in our consumers wardrobe. We are just now starting to garner enough support to where some of our more interesting patterns and fabrics may be able to be released.
The punch-line of all of this is the fact that we take a lot of time as a group to work with sourcing fabric that we like, taking into consideration, the hand of the fabric, the pattern, and the day to day wear-ability (although obviously sometimes we decide this isn’t as important).
Can you tell me more about the process of making your ties?
We have taken a traditional approach to tie construction; however, this does not mean we are not always trying to make it better. Right now we start with an interfacing and then wrap the fabric around this, finishing the ends with a tip of silk (traditionally most of our ties are not silk). We have also started working with ways to vary the tail of the tie to make it more interesting and more wearable. Some of these more interesting tail variations have not been released yet, but they are in the works so hopefully they will be seen soon!
The most important part of tie construction is the seam that runs the entire back of the tie. This is typically a slip-stitch made from a single thread. We are continually trying to find ways to improve this, and are currently trying a stitch that zig-zags slightly to enhance the give and increase the strength. You can pull and pull, but our ties will bounce back to their original shape and won’t break.
For those who don’t know, what is LuminAction? Why did you decide to start this program?
All three of the founders have worked on fundraising and Non-profit projects, most notably the Krispy Kreme Challenge at NC State. After starting to focus on Lumina, there was not enough time to do everything and some of the other projects began to have to take a back seat. As a result, we decided to start luminACTION, which would work with organizations to give back to the community. Since we have such a strong relationship with the Children’s Hospital from the Krispy Kreme Challenge, we decided to work with them first. Lumina just completed our first event with the Children’s Hospital, and we have a projected $800 donation from the Children’s Promise Gala. We have several other events being planned right now, but we love working with people to incorporate our ties into their event. Often it is a nice way to get some guys involved in charitable work!
Finally, what's one thing that you would like the readers to know about Lumina that is not apparent from the website?
You know, everyone always thinks that fashion is such a glamorous lifestyle, and it can be a fantastic ride. However, the three founders of the company are honestly just hard working guys, who like to look good but are ultimately just love all entrepreneurial pursuits. We want to make clothes that people will truly like to wear. We want to capture the essence of the south and the design principles of classic tailoring and style. In the end, we just try to strive for this everyday. In the end, it is up to a customer base to make us popular and we hope that by working hard and hunting for fabrics and creating new designs, people will begin to like what we are doing.