A few years ago, Phoenix-based designer Aaron Kimberlin, 28, was working on his master’s degree in urban planning and policy and studying up on trends in architecture. But in October, he set his sights on a new business venture: Dapper+Dash, a hip and modern line of bow ties made from recycled vintage fabrics. The brand burst onto the local fashion scene last month at a kickoff event at Mercantile, a trendy vintage boutique in Downtown Phoenix, where locals instantly fell in love with Kimberlin’s eccentric upcycling idea.
Homepage Image: Jason & Anna Photography
Rethinking sustainable style
The concept behind Kimberlin’s ultra-local business model is fairly simple.
The designer hunts down unique vintage fabrics at estate sales, boutiques and thrift stores in the Phoenix area.
After cleaning and pressing the rescued materials himself, Kimberlin works with a seamstress to cut the fabric into three patterns: Huckleberry, Churchill and Dagwood.
All Dapper+Dash bow ties are hand sewn right in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, closing the loop on Kimberlin’s innovative upcycling idea.
As if to further exemplify the quirky character of his brand, Kimberlin even gives each finished bow tie a distinct name, adding flair and personality to his designs and attracting even more attention from his unique, street-chic clientele.
Witty monikers include Bee Arthur, Full Nelson and The Adkins – named for Jimmy Eat World frontman and fellow Phoenix native Jim Adkins.
“We have so much great material out there, and it goes to waste,” Kimberlin says. “Why make something new when you can make something new out of something old?”