Paul Hanan and David Roma met 15 years ago while skateboarding in their Long Island hometown.
"Basically, we ended up working together because we were part of the original group that formed Graham Withers and were stuck with each other when the other two backed out," jokes Hanan.
Named for the Brooklyn intersection of Graham and Withers streets, where they drafted their earliest designs, Hanan and Roma got started making screen-printed T-shirts for "the mature skater dude," but soon found that their brand offering had to adapt to their changing tastes.
"Along the way, I kind of became obsessed with neckties and necktie construction in general," explains Hanan. "I would look at my ties and the construction seemed so foreign, just not something that you can look at and easily figure out. Really just as something like a goal, I set out to learn how to make ties."
Since then, Hanan and Roma developed Graham Withers into a one-stop neck wear shop for dapper Brooklyn gents, complete with traditional neckties, the ever-popular reversible bow-ties, and pocket squares executed in faintly retro stripes, checks and plaids.
"It really begins with thinking about the kind of stuff that we ourselves would feel great about wearing," Roma explains. "For us, it doesn't make sense to go through all the work and effort of making stuff that we're not 100 percent excited about."