Penguin Michael Joseph will publish Stephen Fry's new book about neckwear, Fry's Ties, inspired by his rediscovery of long-forgotten clothing in lockdown.
Louise Moore, m.d. at PMJ, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Fry’s Ties: The Surprising and Colourful History of Neckwear from Anthony Goff at David Higham. Fry’s Ties will publish in hardback and e-book in November 2021, alongside an audio edition read by Fry. The audio edition will publish in both CD and digital download format.
“A blend of history and memoir, Fry’s Ties, which began as a series of hugely popular Instagram posts in March 2020, tells the remarkable stories of 100 pieces of neckwear from Stephen’s glorious collection,” the blurb reads. “Each tie has a story: a tale of the garment itself – the shops, makers and designers – as well as of Stephen and his reasons for choosing it. Through fashion and politics, art and war, Fry’s Ties shows the history, politics, scandals, influence and creative genius of the humble tie.”
Fry revealed how the book had been inspired by sorting in lockdown. “Oh how surprising life can be,” he said. “March 2020, a month that will live long in the world’s memory. A week into that first lockdown, I found myself at home foraging in long-forsaken wardrobes and chests of drawers, in the course of which I uncovered drawerfuls of ties, bow ties, cravats and scarves whose existence I had forgotten.
"One bright spring morning I photographed a green silk necktie, composed a brief text on its design and history, and posted the result on Instagram. #FryTies had begun. One hundred ties later, many enthusiastic followers had been egging me to turn these posts into a book. And so I have. I hope that in these pages you’ll share with me a sense that the humble — and sometimes very fancy — necktie yields endlessly rich and fascinating stories about design, fashion and all the social fads, fancies and fluctuations of human history and culture.”
Moore said: “I am delighted to be publishing this captivating book, which could only have been written by the inimitable Stephen Fry. Alongside some brilliant anecdotes and reminiscences, Fry’s Ties is a genuinely surprising look at the social and cultural history of neckwear. From the rise and struggle of the British high street, from the First World War to European high fashion and Hollywood royalty, this is a history of who we are through what we wear – in this case, Stephen’s colourful, beautiful and well-worn ties.”
The final cover is still to be confirmed.