Correct Placement: Around Your Neck

Feng shui: It’s an ancient Chinese tradition, it’s a New Age lifestyle — and now it’s a trademark.

Irwin Sternberg, the neckwear maven who gave the world Jerry Garcia ties, told a business conference at the University of Baltimore yesterday that he has trademarked the words “feng shui,” which mean “wind and water” but describe the art of placing objects in accord with principles of energy and balance. “It’s a wonderful mission that we’re on, for people who really understand feng shui, and for those who want to learn about it,” Sternberg, a 1968 marketing alum of the university, told us. “This is something very precious and very dear to millions of people around the world.”

He spotted a business opportunity a few years back when folks started to apply feng shui practices to their homes and offices. His new venture, Feng Shui Synergies, will brand men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing, accessories and shoes. It also extends to “everything from linens, sheets and comforters,” Sternberg said. “It’s a way for people to find their balance through fashion.”

His necktie collections also have included tributes to Miles Davis and Gilda Radner, and benefited philanthropic causes, with donations exceeding $3 million. He vowed the new line would include “ecologically sustainable fabrics” and some proceeds would be donated to environmental causes. “Nobody here is going to do something that is not with the highest integrity,” Sternberg promised.

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