"Men's styles are much more subdued and conservative than women's. I personally enjoy wearing bright colors and interesting patterns," says Jim Warwick, the designer behind Parvenu Leisure.
Warwick has been an artist his entire life, but prefers functional art. He put this interest to work when he noticed that the consignment galleries in Philadelphia had a black hole where stylish men's clothing should be. So he stepped up to the plate.
Warwick makes custom shirts and blazers for men and women, often times recycling vintage and thrift pieces and giving them an updated flair. But his true stand-out pieces are his unique necktie wallets. These slim, single-pocket wallets are made out of actual silk neckties.
Warwick has a hard time finding clothing that is fun and interesting, yet still masculine. "In order to find great colors and patterns for men, I look toward neckties," he says. The repurposed neckties-come-wallets are another way for Warwick to spice up his wardrobe without getting too girly. "Using neckties as a basis for other accessories offers men (and women) sophisticated, yet playful unisex styles."
The thing that struck me first about the wallet was the distinctive style. But the second thing that struck me was the incredible craftsmanship in this wallet. While there is some amazing DIY pieces out there, there are also a lot of pieces that look DIY.
Warwick is a one man design studio, working out of his home while he holds down a day job, but the quality in this wallet looks as though it came right off the shelves of Bloomingdale's. The stitches are tight and even; the edges are smooth and symmetrical. Attention has been paid to detail – the shiny snap button closure resembles a cuff link. And because these wallets are made from actual neckties, custom orders are welcome.
Warwick does not have an online shop set up. His pieces can be purchased at the Mew Gallery in Philadelphia, or you can contact him directly through his Parvenu Leisure MySpace page.