OUR EARLY YEARS
The Robert Daskal Group began life in the 1930s as a retail company called Besleys. With 3 retail stores in downtown Chicago, Besleys made it's reputation by importing hundreds of yards of printed Italian silk, then making ties, pocket squares and jacket linings for loyal customers who wouldn't buy a suit without first making sure they had a Besleys tie to match! Besleys was well known for its variety of patterns and designs, making ties for most Chicago business men from 1930 until... well, as the Robert Daskal Group, it still does!
Robert Daskal bought the original Besleys in the early 1980's. Closing the retail tie stores was the first change to the business. But importing fabrics and creating a printed collection of neckties for department stores and private customers kept the company going.
Besleys had always maintained the capability of hand painting silk, as they produced many in the 30's and 40's when hand painted silk neckwear was extremely popular. In 1988, a leading menswear store known for cutting edge designs approached Robert Daskal and asked if the company could design a complete collection of hand painted silk ties to see if the genre would hit a responsive chord in the well dressed man. 25 ties were created, painted and hand sewn, with delivery to the store on a Friday. By Monday morning, the ties were almost completely gone, and a NEW way of doing business was born!
To keep up with the demand, Daskal hired students from Chicago's famed School of the Art Institute to help design and produce the collections. Soon, many other retail establishments jumped on the craze and Besleys became known as the Robert Daskal Group, creating 4 new collections a year for stores like Marshall Fields, Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus. Student artists couldn't keep up with the production demands and full time artists filled their spots, many of whom still work for Robert Daskal Group, almost 20 years later!
The Robert Daskal Group Today
A lot has changed over the past 20 years! We are proud to be one of a handful of high quality designers and manufacturers of fine silk accessories that are still based here in the United States. The Robert Daskal Group is an established leader in the world of unique quality hand-painted silk neckwear and accessories. Our products sell in fine stores around the world, providing a fresh and colorful alternative statement in men's fashion. We are successfully carried in both large retail establishments as well as small and personal men's stores. We have gone beyond just silk neckwear. We produce a wide range of custom hand painted silk items such as pillows, vests, cummerbund sets, bow ties and more.
Robert Daskal passed away in 2003 - leaving a colorful legacy behind. His wife, Arlene, who joined the company in 1994, continues to run the company, true to his vision. Robert was born and raised in Chicago and was determined to always keep his company in Chicago. Over the years, the temptation to produce off-shore was compelling, but Robert Daskal just could not nor would not take the business out of Chicago. The designing, painting, and fabricating continues to be done in the city of Chicago, in a lovely north side building located in what is known as an "artist's corridor". Our integrity and commitment to producing the highest quality hand painted silk products in the USA for the world continues, unwavering, to this very day.