I do! Nicholas Ruiz. I make each and every bow tie you see here from found and recycled materials that I come across in my day-to-day life. I moved to Forest Hills, Queens in March 2010 after graduating from Drexel University with a degree in Design & Merchandising. Several interviews later, I started my first job at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in the Special Programming and Events Department. There’s a story behind each bow tie I create - keep reading to learn more.
My first Collection, titled: Bow Tie Collection, started the night before the MoMA exhibition gallery opening for Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914. In 1912, Pablo Picasso cut, folded, threaded, and glued together a guitar from different materials including paper, string, wire, and cardboard. In 1914, Picasso constructed a sturdier version of his original guitar made from sheet metal. These two pieces were gifts to MoMA from the artist himself. Inspired by Mr. Picasso and wanting to look sharp for the event, I sat down and crafted my first bow tie out of multicolored guitar picks, a wooden hanger, and super glue.
I handcrafted 11 different bow ties. The designs were inspired from the Exhibitions and Events at The Museum of Modern Art in 2011. A bow tie made of Legos from when I was a kid for The Armory Show 2011 after-party, to a bow tie for German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse made from wine corks from the restaurants of my favorite chef, Jose Garces. And that was just the beginning!
Absofreakinlutely! I wore every bow tie in the Collection to the exhibiton opening or event for which it was inspired. My bow ties are not limited to being worn around the neck though. They can work as brooches, necklaces, and even hair flair. I also like to think of them as wearable art, that when framed - even the wall can wear.
The bow ties in my Bow Tie Collection are not for sale. Yet. Check back here for updates on my new designs. A series of Made In Forest Hills bow ties are being designed and pieced together as you read this FAQ. The first, is made from a classic children’s toy and is a symbol of the beauty in good ol’ Forest Hills, Queens. Can you guess the material? Think trees. Give up? Well you’re just going to have to wait and see. You can also check out my Bow Tie Blog for all things having to do with the magical world of bow ties.
The first edition of a bow tie design was usually being sketched in my head for over a month. I'm constantly playing with every day objects and always trying to make the undoable, doable. With my work schedule/personality, I usually had a crunch time of a week to finalize and fabricate my creation - giving me hours (or minutes) to let it dry before heading off to MoMA in the morning. There’s a lot of constructing, deconstructing, gluing, snapping, pinching, prodding – well, you get the idea. One thing's for sure though - every bow tie is made with 100% love.
Another year – and more Collections! More designs. More materials. More bow ties. Got an idea for a bow tie? Have objects or materials you think would make a great one? Let’s chat!
1. Work at MoMA in the Special Programming & Events department.
3. Re-watch every episode of Brothers & Sisters. It is preposterous to have been canceled.
4. Bake “oatmeal, corn flake, coconut, peanut butter M&M, chocolate chip, Craisen, walnut” cookies
5. Explore #FoHi