Canadian Fashion Connection – Gentry Inc. neckwear

Butterfly bow tie, c. early 1970s

Neckwear manufacturer Gentry Inc. began operations in Montreal in 1955. Two years later, Italian-born Rocco Polifroni joined the company, and in 1978 he purchased Gentry Inc. from the original owner. Polifroni’s children have since joined Gentry, keeping it a family-owned business that has grown into a 36,000 sq. ft. facility. 

In 1990, the new NAFTA agreement encouraged the company to branch into the U.S. By 1999 they were offering both their own established Polifroni brand, as well as higher-end Italian-made ties under the Serica brand. In the 2000s, the company expanded their product line to include shirts, sweaters and scarves. 

The company’s products are sold under the brands: Polifroni Milano, BLU by Polifroni, Domenico Franco, Nino Zotti, Serica, Serica Elite, Serica Elite NY, and Enrico Fiori, as well as various private labels for independent stores and chains, including Simon Chang Concepts.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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