Upwardly Mobile: Aspirational Ivy In Developing Markets


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

7 Comments on "Upwardly Mobile: Aspirational Ivy In Developing Markets"

  1. And were back to marketing again, haha. Christian, perhaps it stands for ages 6-12?

  2. OCBD correct, 612, ages 6 through 12, it’s preteen clothing. On the other hand, it could be a Ferrari, router bit, vacuum tube, Stevens shotgun, 1929 Paige-Graham touring automobile, White sewing machine, gas field valve, a clock, a government employment application form, etc, etc ,etc………

  3. With “Astor & Ivy,” it looks almost like they are trying to pick up where RL Rugby left off, including having a blog.

    Wonder if they have the licensing to use all those Ivy League names, colors, university seals, etc? (They are also a little confused on what’s Ivy, as it looks like material from both Stanford and MIT are also “borrowed” from.)

  4. Roy R. Platt | February 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |

    6+1+2=9, which some Chinese think is a lucky number, bit that’s probably not the right answer, since some Chinese think that 1 is an unlucky number.

  5. @Jim
    Since when has China ever cared about product infringement! 🙂

  6. 612 simply means for ages 6 to 12.

  7. James Redhouse | February 27, 2013 at 3:46 am |


    From the Fashion United link:

    “612 Ivy League is a brand for preteens, that is, six to 12 year olds.”

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