Southern Methodist University grad David Novak is changing the way we see the pocket square with his new online retailer Quixotic. These glorified hankies, made from high-quality cotton and linen, are not only handsome, but they also inspire gentlemanly behavior. At least that’s the plan.
Quixotic references Miguel de Cervantes’ character Don Quixote, to describe someone exceedingly idealistic or extravagantly chivalrous. These are two traits Novak and team would like to promote in the world.
Inspired by the many buy-one, give-one models that exist today, Novak has built on that idea by engaging customers beyond the point of purchase. Ten percent of Quixotic’s sales support U.S.-based women’s shelters, but there is also a campaign called Square for Square: If you lose your pocket square during an act of gentlemanly valor, the company celebrates your actions by sending you another.
Chivalry can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including using your pocket square to wipe away tears, dry sweat, clean a scrape, dust a seat or shine a shoe — the list goes on. Just share your story with the company, detailing the chivalrous act in which you lost the square, and Quixotic will send you a replacement.
“I wanted the customers to own an element of the social good and become the primary part of our story,” Novak says. “Our Square for Square model does just that, and I am very excited to see how our customers’ stories of gentlemanly action inspire more and more men to act.”
Pocket squares are 12-by-12, except for the Classic, which comes in 13-by-13. Prices range from $35-$55. Instructions for wearing one are simple: fold, place in your jacket and be chivalrous.
Quixotic sold out its supply during the soft opening, but the site officially launched this week with a replenished stock — and high hopes that this social fashion experiment will prove once and for all that chivalry is not dead.