Is this the end of the tie?
Men are shunning them, possibly signalling a shift from 20th-century hierarchies to 21st-century adaptability
A few days ago, Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Suntory, the Japanese drinks group, joined a virtual Financial Times conference with other corporate leaders to discuss environmental issues. As I watched him talk about single-use plastics and water recycling, I had a nagging feeling that something looked odd on my computer screen. Finally, I worked it out: Niinami was wearing a tie.
Once that would have been unremarkable; after all, the necktie was a defining symbol of 20th-century business culture. But one consequence of the Covid-19 lockdown is that it seems to have largely killed off the accessory.
I spotted another one last month on the computerised image of Punit Renjen, the CEO of consultancy Deloitte. However, most middle-aged men on video calls in recent months have worn open shirts, albeit sometimes with blazers or suits, despite speaking from home...