In this A2.com piece, Dhani Jones provides the story behind his sartorial neckwear stylings and previews a new tie from his "Bow Ties for a Cause" line that will benefit Mott's Children's Hospital.
It was during his senior year at the university that his childhood best friend, Kunta Littlejohn, had been diagnosed with cancer. Littlejohn gave Jones a piece of unforgettable advice. He said, “If you want to be anybody, you’ve got to wear a bow tie.”
Although at first he was reluctant, Jones wore a bow tie as support for his friend and it became his signature after Littlejohn recovered from his illness. In 2005, Jones developed the company, Five Star Ties. From this company sprang Bow Ties for a Cause, a line of bow ties made specifically to raise awareness for causes.
“Bow Ties for a Cause allows people to speak about their passions and communicate through the bow tie,” explained Jones. “People used to wear those Livestrong wristbands. Here’s another way that people can express themselves.”
One of his goals is to give something back to Ann Arbor, the city that inspired his passions. Jones, in collaboration with former U-M coach, Lloyd Carr, is currently working on a special bow tie for the Mott’s Children’s Hospital. He hopes that people, especially U-M alums, will purchase these bow ties in order to raise funds for the hospital.
“I want this bow tie to be the most visible bow tie in the world because there are so many alumni supporters,” he said. “We need to find cures and heal children from whatever sickness and wounds they have.”
Dhani will also be featured this fall on the BTN's new "The Next Level" show. If you've seen the promos, you know that it appears that Dhani will attribute much of his success to the opportunities he was provided at Michigan.
The Next Level (Thursdays, 8 PM ET):
Each episode of The Next Level, which debuts on Sept. 9, will spend a day with former Big Ten stars to learn about their lives in professional sports and society. Lavar Arrington, Dallas Clark, Joe Girardi, Dhani Jones, Muhsin Muhammad, Nick Swisher and others also will re-live their time on campus and share their personal stories of how competing in the Big Ten helped shape their professional careers.
Nicely done, Dhani.