March 14th, 2015

Bull + Moose: Ties, Enlisted with Style

In his old job as a legal specialist in the U.S. Army, Diego A. Echeverri wore either camo or a dress green uniform. But in this new gig as the Alexandria-based co-founder of Bull + Moose neckwear company, it’s the Afghanistan veteran’s duty to sartorially mix things up — a button down and a bow tie for a casual event, a striped rep tie with a flat-collared shirt and a suit for a business meeting. “And I prefer a simple four-in-hand tie,” he says. “I don’t like to overcomplicate things.”

He also doesn’t like to overpay for ties, which is what motivated him to launch Bull + Moose in 2013. Echeverri was about to get married, and, when searching for bow ties for his groomsmen, he says, “All the designs I liked were super-expensive, and I didn’t want to pay $75 to $200 for a good-looking one.”

Echeverri started doing his research, visiting factories in Asia that made goods for Brooks Brothers and Calvin Klein, before zeroing in on one that executes their designs with good quality — and at a good price (most designs are $35-$45).

“China has a competitive advantage,” he says. “All silk comes from Asia, and they have factories that can do everything, which keeps the cost low.”

While developing their product, Echeverri schooled himself in what you might dub Cravat 101. “I had to learn everything — the difference between jacquard, twill and grosgrain, everything about fabric,” says Echeverri. Now Bull + Moose’s designs — including its trademark, very popular silk camo bowtie — could be called classics with a twist. Another style stars tiny gray narwhals on a sea of French blue silk.

“I drew them on my iPad and sent it to the factory,” he says. “I try to do fun, inspired designs that’ll still look classic and preppy, but on closer examination, there’s a story.”

Not surprisingly, the ties have taken off — thanks in part to Bull + Moose’s brand ambassadors, sports figures who model the ties and promote them along with their own charities. And the sleek-and-cheeky neckwear has been spotted on celebs, too.

“One of the ‘Duck Dynasty’ guys wore our camo tie to the White House,” says Echeverri. Bull + Moose pocket square and bow ties even headlined in a fashionable (and very funny) promo for Manservant, a butler-like service now trending in Los Angeles.

Overall, Echeverri is thrilled to be part of a men’s style revolution both locally and nationally. “We’re on the precipice of a huge change driven by millennials,” he says. “Everyone is really doing a throwback, JFK look . We’re going through a period where men are taking a lot more pride in how they dress.”



Post by DC Style Factory stylist, Jenn Barger. Jenn has 13 years’ experience working as a fashion  journalist in the nation’s capitol. She has written countless gift guides for The Washington Post and now is working with DC Style Factory clients on their wardrobes. You can read more about her on our website.

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