Ed Heald (Dartmouth ’68) may have had to sweat through soccer tryouts to earn the famous sweater that bore the date of his graduation and appears twice in the pages of “Take Ivy,” but now, thanks to a team of entrepreneurial young Ivy Leaguers, a vintage-inspired collegiate sweater can be had with only the exertion required of e-commerce.
Founded by John Shi in 2012 after his graduation from Dartmouth, Hillflint produces sweaters in extra-fine merino wool bearing the colors and letters of Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cornell.
According to Shi, his company began with the intention of “bringing back an old collegiate tradition from the ‘Take Ivy’ era” and Hillflint started small, owing its growth to word-of-mouth among students and faculty on Ivy League campuses.
Rather than simply reproducing the coarse texture of vintage knitwear, Shi says he set out to improve upon the original collegiate sweaters by creating a garment that is “super soft, as well as be able to last for generations.”
Owing to their athletic heritage, Hillflint sweaters have a raglan sleeve, crew neck, and trim fit. Future graduates can purchase sweaters with their class year through Hillflint’s website, and alumni can contact the company directly for custom orders.
For Ivy League grads not looking to date themselves, Hillflint has an upcoming line of Heritage Sweaters, with the institution’s letter replacing the class year, vailable for pre-order.
In addition to their Ivy League sweaters, Hillflint also offers a line of school ties through a collaboration with upstart neckwear brand Hitsman. Made in New York from English repp silk, the narrow ties come in both a traditional stripe and an understated dot pattern that, while tasteful, might be too subtle to get one photographed in the cafeteria line by a visiting team of Japanese photographers. — ZACHARY DELUCA