astor

During the Ivy heyday, when the natural-shoulder style sold by Brooks Brothers and J. Press became known by the popular term “The Ivy League Look,” Main Street clothiers often used the term “Ivy” in their marketing copy, even naming products the “Ivy League” model, as in our recent Stetson hat post.

But that all seems quaint in comparison to today, in which the term “Ivy League” is thrown not onto department store knockoffs for suburban America, but to aspirational lifestyle brands in the rapidly growing markets of China and India.

Today the Indian website Fashion United announced that the brand 612 Ivy League, which makes clothes with a vague suggestion of something sort of quasi-preppy, is taking steps to become the number-one brand for preteen kids in India.

Meanwhile, the same thing is going on in China with Astor & Ivy, which combines clothing retail with test preparation.

As my colleague Daniel Cappello notes in his recent book on the Ancient Eight, there’s no more prestigious brand in the world than the Ivy League.

But can someone clue me in on what 612 stands for? I assumed it was for a campus area code, except there’s no Ivy school in Minneapolis. — CC