Ivy-Style.com just celebrated its eighth birthday and reached 1,500 posts. That’s a lot of topics, contributors, and readers. We figured it was time to bring everyone and everything together symbolically with our very own Ivy Style Club Tie.
The project grew out of Ivy Style’s Facebook group at the suggestion of a member. I came up with the concept, and friend and accessories designer Matthew Karl Gale executed the design. The tie’s motif is a seal that mysteriously juxtaposes a wasp, a pair of scissors, a trumpet, a chrysanthemum, and the letters XLIV.
What does it mean? Well, it tells a certain story of the Ivy League Look.
- The wasp represents the WASP tribe, which founded the Ivy League colleges and whose tastes and values led to the creation of the Ivy clothing genre.
- The scissors represent Jewish tailors, a nunber of whom settled in New Haven at the turn of the century, who contributed so much to the genre: J. Press, Arthur M. Rosenberg, Fenn-Feinstein, Chipp, Gant, Norman Hilton, and many others.
- The trumpet, represented as a medieval horn for a nod to heraldry, symbolizes the jazz musicians who got hip to the look; specifically Miles Davis, as my 2008 article about Miles getting dressed by The Andover Shop inspired me to found Ivy-Style.com.
- The chrysanthemum is often considered the national flower of Japan, the country that has done so much to preserve the Ivy League Look, through its ownership of J. Press and through companies such as VAN and Kamakura Shirts. One of Ivy Style’s most popular early posts was W. David Marx’s article on the Miyuki-zoku youth tribe of the ‘60s. Marx then went on to write the book “Ametora” about Japan’s close relationship with the Ivy League Look.
- Finally there are roman numerals for the number 44, which represents 44th Street in Manhattan, the epicenter of Madison Avenue style during the heyday, where Brooks Brothers, J. Press and Chipp were located (with the Harvard and Yale Clubs just a stone’s throw away), and where Brooks’ flagship stands to this day. And if you happen to be a heavy guy who like natural shoulder clothing, it could also mean XL Ivy.
We think the tie speaks to the many fascinating stories behind the Ivy League Look and the diverse community of the website’s contributors and readers.
Now that we’ve examined the design, let’s move on to how the ties are being made. The fabric is being woven, not printed, in England by a mill that also makes ties for Ralph Lauren. The fabric will then be sent to New York City, where the ties will be manufactured. They will be 3.25 inches at their widest point, a compromise between 3 and 3.5. As you can see by the photos below, the navy and burgundy colors go with practically anything.
As the fabric is being custom-woven for us based on need, we are taking advance orders for the following 10 days, at which point orders will be closed. Miss out and you may be waiting a very long time to get one! Turnaround time expected to be about 60 days, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress.
The price is $79 + $5 in shipping, for a total of $84. Matthew will be taking the orders. You can pay via PayPal by clicking the “Buy Now” button below.
If the tie is a hit, we envision offering new colors, bow ties, pocket squares, and design variations. We’ll see how it goes, but in the meantime please make your purchase by Monday, December 5, as we need to get our order to the mill!
Honored to be the founder of this unique club. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD