There are several bits of J. Press news to report. First off, a reporter — or what was once called, possibly ironically, a gentleman of the press — for the New York Times visited Squeeze’s new New York store. For those who think “The Gray Lady” is an old hag, there’s plenty to quibble about, including the term “preppy drag” in the headline. There’s also the self-indulgent tone of the piece, though that is likely by design (it’s part of a regular column called The Critical Shopper). Of course the most odious is the use of the word “aesthetic” in place of, say, the more direct monosyllable “look.” Allow me to explain why I find the term so bloviatingly pretentious. There’s something about it that causes compulsive usage in certain people, like a kind of Tourette’s Syndrome in which profanities are not spewed out, but faux genteelisms. I once had a colleague – then a graphic designer in her twenties — who used the term regularly in her speech, by which I mean not just daily, but every third sentence.
Then there’s the line that several layers of editors allowed to pass: “Old money, which is to say the generation that considered the East 50s posh.”
But according to store associates, the story brought in quite a bit of traffic, which is a very good thing indeed.
And speaking of store associates, on Friday I had a long chat with Tom Davis. Many of you will recognize the octogenarian — or at least his name — as the genial gentleman who worked at Brooks Brothers’ flagship for just 12 months shy of 50 years, where he ran the made-to-measure shirt program. He’s in the same role at J. Press part-time, and expect the long-overdue interview with the legend to appear here soon.
Finally, here’s a head’s up for those of you in the tri-state area, or who’d like to be on January 24. J. Press will be having a cocktail party event featuring a talk by Richard Press. Stay tuned for official announcement. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD