Written by Cesca Janece Waterfield. Photographed by Paul Pugliese.
Dhani Jones is the right man to explain a misunderstood accessory. Before becoming famous for his athletic abilities – playing for the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals – he was a student at University of Michigan known for wearing unique bow ties. Today he is host of “Dhani Tackles the Globe” airing weekly on Travel Channel, and he owns his own men’s accessories company, Five Star Ties. Dhani says a new collection is on its way, and that he’s been instrumental in selecting fabric and patterns. About his ties, Dhani says, “People really take to them.”
Why bow ties?
The way they make you feel, the way they look, the whole history behind them. Bow ties were in the wild, wild west as well as royalty. [Wearing them] makes you stand a little taller. It makes you a little bit clearer. I think it makes you a little more sharp. I’ve always believed in the practice of wearing the bow tie and everything that it represents. I wish to show people that by wearing a bow tie, the gentleman is back. We’ll open doors, we’ll pull out chairs and we’ll be respectful as well.
How do bow ties lend to that kind of behavior?
I think if you’re walking down the street and you’re wearing a tank top or a tee shirt, you’re not going to walk into a bank. But if you’re wearing a suit and you’re walking down the street at the beach, you’re not going to go to the beach either. So it’s about being appropriate for the situation. There are a lot of things that a bow tie can fit. You can wear a bow tie anytime. It shows originality. It’s a lifestyle about respect and one about respecting yourself.
Is it hard to learn to tie them?
No, no. Bow ties aren’t that hard to tie. Read the manual, and it might be too many details. But try it yourself and it’s like anything else. Tying a shoe the first time might be a little difficult, but subsequently, once you get better, it gets easier.
Who are some of your top male style icons?
I like Steve Jobs because he wears all black all the time. He’s not really a stylish guy, but I like his uniform. [He’s someone] I really look up to and admire.
Who is your favorite designer?
John Varvatos is amazing. He’s got everything for the modern man, from jeans to shirts to shoes.
What is your fashion philosophy?
You don’t have to wear that much to make a statement. Sometimes it’s something very simple that catches someone’s eye that makes a statement.