Personae

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Desert Boot Creator Nathan Clark Dead at 94

Earlier this week Nathan Clark, great-grandson of the founder of English shoe company Clark’s and inventor of the desert boot in 1947, died at the age of 94. Last week The Guardian ran this fine tribute. The casual ankle-high boots found a place in the Ivy canon, as the following photos from the Yale-Harvard football


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Sikh And Ye Shall Find: The Indo-Prep Style of Gagan Singh

Lisa Birnbach’s “True Prep” raised plenty of Old-Guard eyebrows with its inclusiveness. Whereas 1980’s “The Official Preppy Handbook” was WASPy to the core, the sequel opens the club to black, Asian, gay and Muslim preps as Birnbach declares “It’s a whole new old world.” As an example that those flying the preppy flag in 21st



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Andy Warhol In Brooks — And Chrome

Last week a chrome statue of Andy Warhol was unveiled in New York’s Union Square. Sculptor Rob Pruitt opted to depict the artist circa 1977 in his Americana uniform of Brooks Brothers blazer and Levi’s 501 jeans. Writes The New York Times: Mr. Pruitt’s version of Warhol, which he devised on a computer, is young


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Associated Press: More To Come From Richard P.

If you’ve enjoyed the history of J. Press and insight on the Ivy League Look from our interview with Richard Press this week, rest assured there’ll be more to come. Richard has offered to share more anecdotes and observations in occasional guest posts for Ivy Style. Stay tuned. He is pictured at a party at


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King Tut’s Tomb of the Preppy Era

The latest issue of The Rake is rolling off the presses and includes a story by me on The Cary Collection. Inspired by a post by Unabashedly Prep’s Fred Castleberry (who supplied the photos), I made an appointment with Thomas Cary and proceeded to crawl through what he calls “the King Tut’s tomb of the


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The Art of Ivy: Jacob Lawrence

In honor of Black History Month, Robert I. Brown, whom Ivy Style wrote about here, pays tribute to the art and style of painter Jacob Lawrence. Although Jacob Lawrence was a high school dropout, he adopted the Ivy League Look later in life, as did many African Americans involved in the arts who wanted to



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Franco-American: How Blogs Turned a Frenchman Trad

How influential are blogs? Influential enough to make at least one guy from the nation that invented chic to start taking his cues from America. French guys aren’t exactly short on style. Nor on having an air of innate superiority — possibly deserved — simply for being French. But Francis Cazal — an advertising copywriter


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Immortal Sole: Adlai Stevenson and the Boston Cracked Shoe

If you don’t live on the East Coast and are under the age of 60, the term “Boston Cracked Shoe” will not likely have any resonance. But being 77, and having spent all of my business career in the East, it’s a part of the history of the Ivy League Look that is impossible to


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The Man Who Brought Ivy To Japan

In celebration of powerHouse Books’ publication of “Take Ivy” on August 31, Ivy-Style examines the life and career of Kensuke Ishizu, founder of Japanese clothing company VAN JACKET and the man who commissioned “Take Ivy.” The article is by W. David Marx, who previously wrote on the Japanese youth cult the Miyuki-zoku. Marx himself has


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Knit-Picky: The Streamlined Style of P. Sears Schoonmaker

Phil Sears Schoonmaker wears a black knit tie 98 percent of the time. This one preference serves as a symbol for his entire approach to dressing. Thirty-seven-year-old Schoonmaker, a New York-based business process consultant, is a living embodiment of the idea that less is more, of restrained taste and bold simplicity. With his superb balancing


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Jack and John: The Sartorial Dichotomy of JFK

Was John F. Kennedy the most Ivy of US presidents, or did the most important man in the country actually encourage American men not to follow the Ivy League Look? That depends on whether you’re talking about President Kennedy the nation’s leader, or Jack Kennedy relaxing among friends and family in Hyannis Port. On assignment


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The Prodigy: Robert I. Brown, 16-Year-Old Style Blogger

Young men who came of age during the heyday of the Ivy League Look could largely rely on their peers for sartorial guidance. By the ’80s, things were much different, and the budding man of style had to rely increasingly on books, magazines and movies. But today’s young men, who’ve never known life without the


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Cyrus in Cyprus, Junior the DA

Yesterday The New York Times ran a profile on Manhattan District Attorney elect Cyrus Vance, Jr. that makes a passing reference to Brooks Brothers and Chipp. In Ivy-Style’s interview with Chipp’s Paul Winston, Vance Senior, who served as Secretary of State in the Carter administration, was mentioned as a frequent customer. Though Winston recalls making



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Outgoing and Determined: Remembering Tim Thompson

When Timothy Thompson, an 18-year-old from Ashland, Oregon, was chosen by LIFE Magazine to have his first semester at Yale chronicled, a massive challenge lay before him. Not only did he have to adapt to the school academically and socially, he had to do so while a reporter and photographer followed him around campus, capturing


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A LIFE in Brief: The Kennedy Clan

On newsstands now is one of those book-like magazines LIFE puts out when someone important dies — in this case, Edward Kennedy. “The Kennedys: End of a Dynasty” provides plenty of photos and family history for those who don’t want to wade through a full biography. I especially liked this photo of JFK from 1946.


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GI Bill: Mr. Thomas and His Postwar Khakis

Bruce Boyer herein presents his first piece for Ivy-Style, an interview with Bill Thomas of Bill’s Khakis. Khakis and jeans are the iconic American work pants, both having been around for over a century but coming into global status after World War II. The democratizing effect of these trousers — everyone from top CEOs and


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Pipes and Cardigans Get the Chicks

Playboy in its early years has always struck me as the ultimate men’s magazine. The emphasis on jazz and literature gave it a highbrow edge not found in today’s magazines, in which articles on socially relevant topics, rather than aesthetic matters, provide the weight and seriousness. Moreover, Playboy‘s editorial vision really did encapsulate a lifestyle,


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Lost City: John Lindsay’s New York

John Vliet Lindsay, mayor of New York from 1966 to 1973, personified the resolute confusion with which clubby, liberal WASPs faced the social upheaval of the era. Entering politics as a successful young lawyer, Lindsay represented the wealthy Upper East Side of Manhattan, known as the Silk Stocking District, in Congress from 1958 to 1965.


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Machine Man: Thomas J. Watson Jr. & IBM

In this, the second of two posts, Ivy-Style looks at clients of legendary clothier Chipp, as recounted by Paul Winston in our recent interview with him. For this one, on IBM president Thomas J. Watson, Jr., contributing writer Chris Hogan takes the reins. Although Fortune magazine proclaimed him the most successful capitalist in history, Thomas