Bow ties, neck ties and sport coats, all with colorful patterns and designs. All of those items were supposed to be sold in Naples Friday.
There’s one problem: They haven’t made it yet. The designer says they’re stuck at the manufacturers in Asia because of the coronavirus.
For 23-year-old designer Peter Jean Marie, the neck ties he sells represent his fearless pursuit of his dream. He pushed past his naysayers, including a former employer, who said Jean Marie would never be a designer.
“He was like ‘Look Peter, you’re not a designer,’” Jean Marie recalled. “’In order for you to be a designer, you have to be selling your stuff within our stores.'”
That discouragement became Jean Marie’s fuel.
A month later, Jean Marie launched his own brand of neck ties, bow ties, blazers and sport coats and sold them at Coastland Center mall in Naples.
Now, Jean Marie’s designs are sought by the Ritz Carlton to be sold in its local stores next to some of the biggest names in fashion.
“The Ritz Carlton, that’s a whole other league,” Jean Marie said. “It’s just another step to where I’m trying to go.”
Now, it’s the coronavirus standing in Jean Marie’s way. His ties are stuck in China.
“Overseas, the government has shut down many businesses, including the businesses that are in charge of shipping our products to the U.S.,” Jean Marie said. “And, with that, it’s postponed the dates where I wanted to officially release my new line and perhaps announce the big day of the release at the Ritz Carlton.”
Even though Jean Marie’ merchandise won’t be hitting the stores exactly when he thought, he says it’s just a delay.
Jean Marie told us there are no guarantees, but he hopes his ties will be available at the Ritz Carlton in Naples by the end of next week.
“It’s definitely going to feel like a dream come true having my name next to big brands,” Jean Marie said. “We just have to keep on keeping on and make the best out of every situation.”