In another example of the high cost of manufacturing in the US, Hardwick has filed for bankruptcy after a federal pension protection agencey ordered the Tennesee-based comapny to replenish its underfunded retirement plan.
Founded in 1880, Hardwick is the oldest privately held clothing manufacturer in America. Ivy Style has discussed the company as the maker of Crittenden Rawlings’ recent updated Ivy sportcoats, and we featured a gallery of vintage Hardwick ads about a year and a half ago. — CC
His brand image draws largely on WASP iconography, and he himself, of course, is a Jew. But that didn’t stop Ralph Lauren from being a fashion-industry trailblazer in the early ’90s when he hired African-American model Tyson Beckford as the new face of Polo.
Since then black models have been a commonplace is the brand’s marketing imagery. And you’ll soon be seeing Beckford again, who recently told Esquire he’s making a return to representing the brand.
Ivy Style continues its proud tradition of being the only WASPy/preppy blog to celebrate Black History Month (we like to think of it as “tradition with a twist”), and herein presents a gallery tribute to the black models of Polo, who wear the clothes as well as anybody, and maybe even a little better. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD (Continue)
J. Press sent out a mailer today introducing its new spring items. It’s business-as-usual with the main brand — for better or worse. The jacket above looks straight from a vintage catalog. Tough to tell what the shoulders are like, however, without in-person inspection.
But certainly what you’re most interested in, you anonymous hate-reading snarkers, is York Street. I shouldn’t be encouraging you, except that so much of York Street feels not like the younger brother of the main brand, nor even a distant cousin, but a totally random stranger — possibly an extraterrestrial. (Continue)
There’s the preppy way of doing things, and then there’s every other way. Case in point, above we have a turtleneck worn under a buttondown. Verdict: preppy.
Below (from a Valetmag.com feature yesterday), we have a buttondown under a turtleneck. Verdict: something else.
Honor your forefathers. Defend tradition. Avoid forced foppery. And finally, go forth and multiprep. — CC
The new year is shaping up to be a good one for those in search of affordable, well-made, traditional neckwear. Following on the heels of December’s announcement of Paul Winston’s webstore for Chipp2 comes new source for handmade ties in conservative widths and patterns as staid as anything found on the racks of traditional clothiers.
New York City-based Conrad Wu announced the opening of his eponymous brand in October of last year, but since much of the hubbub is happening over at Style Forum, Wu’s ties have likely stayed below the radar of Tradsville. While not an overtly Ivy or preppy brand, Conrad Wu is poised to have appeal across the spectrum of menswear, and for lovers of matte-finished repps and regimental stripes there is obviously much to like. What’s more, the ties are currently on sale in Celebration of Chinese New Year.
Each Conrad Wu necktie is handmade in New York City and features three-fold construction. The blades are untipped with hand-rolled edges. Widths vary from 8-8.5cm, well within the traditional sweet spot.
In addition to regimental rep stripes, hearty woolens, and small-print foulards, Wu offers a selection of stripes in shantung silk (such as the tie pictured above), that rare, nubby textured silk made popular a couple of years ago by luxury makers such as Drake’s of London.
Wu tells Ivy Style his plans for the brand are modest and focused on value. “My goal for my brand isn’t to make it big,” he says. “I draw personal satisfaction knowing that others are happy with my products. Quality and customer service will forever be what I strive for.”
With prices ranging from $87 for a wool tie to $93 for a shantung, Wu seems well-positioned to capitalize on the resurging interest in artisanal neckwear while offering a price below his competitors. — ZACHARY DELUCA
Ralph Lauren’s fall collection just went up online and is full of the very items we’ve been discussing lately. OK, we haven’t been discussing three-piece suits lately, but we’ve got a piece on vests coming up soon. (Continue)