Photo by Mike Rosenthal
Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his fiancé, Justin Mikita, are taking a stylish stand for marriage equality this holiday season with a new collection of limited-edition bow ties ($25 each). Inspired by Ferguson’s penchant for red-carpet pizazz, the couple started Tie the Knot, a foundation to help fund states that are fighting for same-sex marriage. For the recently engaged couple, the endeavor is personal in more ways than one, with many of the bow-tie designs slyly referencing their home. “That one is inspired by the afghan on our couch!” says Ferguson of one model. “No one is going to know that except for me—and, well, anyone who comes to our house and happens to be wearing that tie.”
Another piece in the collection resembles an upholstered chair in the couple’s living room, while others riff on a book of Scottish tartans Ferguson found in his late grandmother’s house. Although the actor laments that Modern Family creators shy away from casual bow ties on the show, which seems to be the only reason his character, Mitchell, doesn't wear them, he hopes Tie the Knot ties will be worn on the Emmy-award winning sitcom soon—complete with their signature, and significant, owl motif, which appears on several of the designs.
“We think owls are incredibly cute,” says Ferguson. “Owls represent wisdom, but they also represent patience and longevity. People who are in the fight for marriage equality have to take on those attributes.” thetiebar.com; tietheknot.org.