Bit of History on UPI 'Victory Neckwear'



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Here's how former Unipresser Michael Keats remembers how the UPI "victory" neckwear came to be in 1986:

A bit of background which might interest holders of a UPI tie. The idea for the neckwear came from Luis Nogales, Vasquez Rana's CEO, via Sylvana Foa (then foreign editor) around 1986 or whenever they took over from the dauntless duo of Ruhe-Geissler.

I was in Hong Kong as vice president/Asia-Pacific and was asked to come up with a selection of designs, as Hong Kong was, and still is, a great apparel centre. The rub was that the cost was coming out of Asian budget, so I steered the popular choice toward the one as shown on Lowry's website. What nobody ever knew is that it is actually the same tie as used by the Pakistan (field) hockey team of Hong Kong, except where the UPI motif is on the tie, the Pakistanis had their club crest.

The manufacturer also made Club Med ties and simply changed the letters on the retaining band at the back to read "Club UPI" instead of "Club Med".

The 3-inch-wide ties were for men and the 1-inch-wide for women which, as someone pointed out, made them like like air stewardesses. The complaints led to the scarves -- hardly Yves St Laurent, but better than the skinny ties.

The cost per article for the 3,000 odd order was about 70 cents -- so not a bad return if you can get seven bucks today. As a footnote, I believe the judge that ended the Ruhe-Geissler bankruptcy, clearing the way for the Vasquez Rana acquisition, was given one of the first ties, but later gave it back -- it is said -- because of the fear of accepting "gifts." Maybe that has historical significance worth seven green ones.

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