Loyola theatre arts alum, Sherard Briscoe, A'13, has created a booming bow tie business
Sherard Briscoe, A’13, is the face behind Sir Vincent Designs. He designs and sells bow ties, a project he started a year ago. SARA FELDMAN/Senior Staff Photographer
Sherard Briscoe's night at the bar turned into a business epiphany when a man offered him $40 to purchase his hand crafted giraffe bow tie right off his neck.
Briscoe, A'13, has been acting since he was eight, so it was no surprise when this performer continued his studies in theatre. However, his career path took a turn during his senior year when his bow tie making hobby transformed into a promising business venture named Sir Vincent Designs.
Briscoe said he started wearing bow ties in spring 2010 when he joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, but always prided himself on standing out from the crowd. He said he couldn't find unique bow ties, or "beauxs" as he calls them, so he traced ones he owned and decided to make them himself.
He said the process of making them was far from easy.
"I still have that first one I made, that one was horrible," Briscoe said. "It was terrible looking, and it probably took me 10 hours to make."
He said that after hand making hundreds of ties, he cut the crafting time to an hour and a half. Briscoe said he only taught himself how to sew a tie and nothing else.
After six months of hand-making beauxs, he partnered with a New York manufacturer that works with department stores, such as Barney's and Macy's.
Although Briscoe appreciated the affordability of the manufacturer, he felt like his business wasn't on the top of the manufacturer's priority list. Luckily, he linked up with a local hand-making manufacturer that now mass-produces his product here in New Orleans.
"I found one [manufacturer] locally, which was even better because I want to brand New Orleans," Briscoe said.
Briscoe launched Sir Vincent Designs website on Nov. 17, 2013 and said the date will be forever be engraved in his memory.
"I remember that day, I was so happy," Briscoe said.
He said it's still hard to pinpoint his favorite beaux, because they're all like his children. He described the wonderful feeling of picking out fabric and seeing it transform into the creation he envisioned.
"I remember when this was a big 60-inch sheet and all of a sudden it's my first diamond beaux I ever put out," Briscoe said.
Briscoe said the name Sir Vincent is still under debate. Vincent is his middle name and "Sir" added the sophistication.
When Briscoe went on WUPL interview show "The 504" with Sheba Turk, he credited his sister with the name. However, as his family watched the interview, his mom swears she was the mastermind behind it.
Briscoe said he's thinking forward and would love to dabble in the realm of pocket rounds and maybe even socks. However, he's content with taking a step back and enjoying his accomplishments.
"I never took a business class, ever. It's something that fell in my lap. It's a blessing, because I enjoy doing it and it's successful," Briscoe said.
He said he's amazed at the growth of his company and seeing his product being rocked in states he never imagined reaching.
"Somebody showed me a picture of someone wearing a Mardi Gras beaux in Oakland. I was expecting it to be a big seller in New Orleans, but it still sold every other place," Briscoe said.
Briscoe said he wore a Sir Vincent Design to this year's Grammy's. Although he hasn't officially sold any celebrities a beaux, he said Janelle Monae has a Sir Vincent in her closet that he customized for her as a gift.
"It's black and white with script in a language I can't read," Briscoe said. "I was freaking out when she got that, because I'm a huge fan."
Parker Mulherin, music industry junior, said he enjoyed modeling Briscoe's beauxs during the 2012 Black Student Union's Fashion Show and said Briscoe's presentation was far from ordinary.
Mulherin remembers how their simple outfits allowed the beauxs to take center stage.
"We walked out barefoot over rose petals to show the ties; the showmanship was undeniable," Mulherin said.
Mulherin describes Briscoe as a well-dressed gentleman with a contagious positive aura. He said Sir Vincent Designs can transform any outfit.
"He has some truly unique designs that take your classic prep style to a different level, making it a little more edgy," Mulherin said. "Some of the colors and designs he chooses are so unorthodox that you could literally find a bow tie for any occasion."
Mulherin said the giraffe print beaux is his favorite hands down.
"I don't think I've ever seen giraffe print on a piece of men's clothing before," Mulherin said. "It is so simple, yet iconic at the same time."
Courtney Williams, assistant director of student programming and advocacy, said Briscoe is a "charismatic and creative" young man.
"He is very passionate about what he believes in, and he works hard to achieve his goals," Williams said.
Williams is a big fan of Sir Vincent Designs and said his favorite is his customized maroon and gold beaux. He said he wanted something special to represent Loyola at the annual Maroon and Gold event, and Briscoe came through for him.
"I knew Sherard would create something perfect for me. I was so happy that I ordered a few extras and gave them away as gifts to some students and staff members," Williams said.
William said he loves the versatility of the brand and said, "They are great for pairing with both casual and professional wear."
Brisoce said there's a certain kind of character that can pull off a beaux tie. He said his product is geared toward young sophisticated fashion forward people that enjoy standing out of the crowd.
"Wearing a bow tie is a way of expressing an aggressive lack of concern of what people think," Briscoe said.
Diana Mirfiq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More loyolamaroon News Articles
Recent loyolamaroon News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR LOYOLAMAROON NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST LOYOLAMAROON NEWS
RECENT LOYOLAMAROON CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Erase Strokes From Your Golf Game -- No Pencil Required
- Boomers Find Reason to Celebrate With Vacations
- Shave Strokes off Your Golf Game -- Without the Eraser
- Stay Cool With a Ceiling Fan as Stylish as It Is Functional
- Have a Blast With the Family This Summer, but Stay Safe
- Chiropractic Careers Are on the Rise
- Choosing the Right Home Health Care Agency
- Pop the Champagne Diamond for Your Seasonal Fashion...
- Managing Pain: Are You Reading Your Medicine Labels?
- Does Your Garbage Want to Be Recycled?