Three observations, then have at it yourself. First, the using of Ivy and Prep as interchangeable. I know they aren’t, you know they aren’t, how does Kareem Rashed not know they aren’t? Easily explained dear reader – because for him they still are, and he is the window shopper we are looking to attract if the object is to introduce the aesthetic to a new audience. There are two ways to react – throw up your patched elbows OR – a slow welcome. I vote the latter, if you ever want to see the aesthetic with a significant presence. Speaking of which, I am writing this in Cafe 346 on Madison – take a look –
The second point I want to highlight is this: the quote from Richard Press. Here: ” “You go to work in an oxford button-down shirt, a blue blazer, khaki slacks and that, today, is dressing up,” Press says. It’s a uniform, he explains, which communicates that a man “still adheres to certain principles.” To reinvigorate the aesthetic, you sell a lifestyle based on values. Mr. Press is 1, 282% right. No secret – I am a giant J Press fan, but even if I weren’t, I remember starting out in advertising in 1986 at NW Ayer, then one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. David Ogilvy was coming out of retirement and I tailed along at a presentation he was giving to young advertising creatives. He gave us an exercise. He held up a bar of hand soap (1986, remember). He asked, “You are selling this soap, what are people buying?” Hands shot up. “Scent.” “The package, that is the first thing they see.” “Lather.” (Lather used to be a real selling point for a lot of stuff.) “The name, everyone is in a hurry.”
“No,” Ogilvy said, “they are buying clean hands.”
And so it is with Ivy. Take it from Mr. Press himself, when you buy Ivy you are buying a statement about yourself.
The third point comes from Mr. Bastian of Brooks association. The article runs through the pre-trodden path – Ivy is made up of classical elements and then you put them together – yada yada. What was Lebron wearing, etc. Then Bastian remarks, “These edgier streetwear brands are less democratic than a brand like ours,” Bastian says, “which has great price points and high quality and is enduring.”
Whoa whoa whoa. NOW we are getting somewhere, and Mr. Bastian gets it. In a crowded aisle of shopping carts bumping into each other as consumers climb over each other for bling, the polarized lenses of trad meet the flourescents and the glare of the mirage evaporates: you have been sold the idea that you want to live a life you can’t afford with transient priorities and most importantly, the Augustus Gloop mantra that your appetite is the only thing that matters. But here’s the fact of the matter, if you buy that we are all in this together, if you buy we need each other and that dignity is the highest approach, then you realize that an aesthetic that you can afford and that your role models are wearing is the only ego-billboard that makes any sense.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again – welcome back, Ivy.