Tie Designer Vicky Davis Dead at 81

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NEW YORK – Word has been received of the September 5 death of Victoria “Vicky” Davis, 81. The cause of death was believed to be heart disease.

A graveside funeral was held Sept. 8 in Southfield, Mich.

Already a middle-aged woman at the time, Davis relocated to New York from Michigan in order to turn her passion for neckwear and fabrics into a business and succeeded in ways that surprised even her. In the early 1980s, she was among the champions of skinny ties, a departure from the wide neckwear ushered in by Ralph Lauren more than a decade earlier. With the two trademarks included on her logo, a wild mane of curly hair and oversized glasses, a squeaky voice and a pull-no-punches attitude, Davis, already a hit with the fashion press, made serious inroads into the retail world and had affiliations with companies including Humphreys, Brookville and MMG.

She virtually eliminated the line separating designers and their creations, referring to her line as “my ties” and often addressing them with the kind of adoration and attachment one might reserve for a child or spouse.

“She was terrific,” recalled Gerald Andersen, executive director of the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association. “She was like a den mother to the neckwear industry. Hers was always a very comforting and comfortable presence. She had a big following with the press, but she also had a big following with consumers who followed her and bought into what she was doing.”

MR editor in chief Karen Alberg Grossman commented, “Every time a necktie makes me smile, I think of Vicky Davis, who virtually created the concept of neckwear with a sense of humor. More importantly, she was a wonderful friend, in good times and bad. A warm, kind, generous person, Vicky was always interested in her retail accounts as people, not just clients. And it was these industry friendship that truly sustained her through some difficult periods.

“Her passion for the industry and positive energy were contagious. We could all use more Vicky Davis in our lives.”

In recent years, Davis had resided in Greenwood Lake, N.Y.

Survivors include her husband, Larry; two sons, Robert and Kenneth; a sister, Nettie Stewart; and a brother, Al Wolkin.

The family has suggested that those wishing to honor Davis’s memory contribute to the American Heart Association or a charity of one’s choice.

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