Walter Gropius was one of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century and one of the founders of the Bauhaus movement in Germany. He was head of the Bauhaus school from 1919 until its closure in 1933 by the Nazis. He was also an avid wearer of batwing bow ties. Six of his batwing bow ties are housed at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Frances Loeb Library.

In 1934 he fled from his native Germany ending up in the United States where he began teaching architecture at Harvard in 1937. Gropius was a nonconformist visionary with modernist views who favored the clean lines of the batwing bow tie over butterfly or diamond point bow tie. He liked bow ties that were made from natural materials like cotton, often wearing earthtones and bright colored bow ties with large prints, stripes and dots. His wife is quoted as saying that her husbands only vanity was his batwing bow ties.

Olaf Olsson batwing bowties are very much along the lines of the bowties that Walter Gropius wore. The ends are 2" making for a small understated bow. Our current collection of batwing bow ties are made from natural, heavily textured cottons that are printed with earthtones, colorful prints, and natural indigo patterns. So if your only going to allow yourself one vanity in life, let it be a batwing bow tie from Olaf Olsson.

"Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society." Walter Gropius

Check out our Pinterest board on Walter Gropius, Modernism, and the Batwing Bow Tie

January 22, 2017 — Olaf Olsson